The Youth for Global Goals Conference was joint initiative between the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union Delegation to Namibia, AIESEC Namibia, the National Youth Council, the Ministry of Sport, Youth & National Service, the Internet Society Namibia Chapter, and Progress Namibia.
The conference was aimed at encouraging the youth to contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The conference aimed to develop steps to address the main socio-economic challenges facing the Namibian youth through dialogue with the public and private sector, government and civil society.
The conference was attended by the youth delegates from the 14 different regions who engaged the stakeholders present and identify feasible projects that can address their needs and achieve the goals set out by the SDGs. Addressing the audience, the EU Press & Information Officer, Susan-Marie Lewis said, “Young people are the driving force for development and are key to achieve the SDGs”. She also highlighted that fact that this conference planning was done in collaboration with various youth organisations as we cannot seek to help the youth without having their voices and key issues heard.
Speaking on behalf of the Namibia Chamber 0f Commerce & Industry was Mr Thomas Indjii who said that the youth should play a critical role in driving the economy as they will one day inherit it. The Councillor for Development Cooperation from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of German, Gelinde Saucer, said that youth unemployment is one of the greatest challenges faced by the youth, not only in Namibia but globally.
The youth delegates were further engaged on the Sustainable Development Goals through a series of SDG games facilitated by Progress Namibia.
Each breakaway session played a simulation game based on the 3 SDG goals highlighted on that day; Quality Education (Goal 4), Decent Work (Goal 8), Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure (Goal 9).
Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work
Participants role-play family groups struggling to survive in the current economic system. Participants make paper bags from newspapers and sell to the shopkeeper to make an income. Game is a powerful tool which allows participants to feel the reality facing many people in the current economic system and unequal society. They can only reflect well if the debrief and overall facilitation is done properly.
Sustainable Development Gaol 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
Participants role-play communities living in a city affected by natural disasters. In an attempt to adapt to the severity of the natural disasters which are expected to worsen over time, each community must build the tallest and strongest building which is resistant to storms and flooding.
Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education
Participants role-play an individual and are asked to take a step forward based on a yes or no question asked by the facilitator. The game gets participants to understand the current education system and its challenges.
Further interventions to equip the youth with the sustainable skills for labour market and skill intensive industries for sustainable economic growth are vital.