The moderator of the discussion, Martha Nangolo, Research Associate from IPPR, set the stage on the relevance of the dialogue by stating that the timing of such an intervention is neccessary for the youth to engage in the matters of national interests. Mr. Tangeni Amupadhi, the Editor-in-Chief for the Namibian Newspaper, opened the ceremony by delivering the keynote welcoming remarks whereby he illustrated the Harambee Prosperity Plan and encouraged the youth to embrace and take advatange of this type of initiative seriously.
The panel discussion was led by Emma Theofelus, Deputy Speaker of the Children Parliament, Maximillian Weylandt, Researcher at IPPR, Lauren Davidson, Economists at the Economic Association of Namibia and Vincent Shimutwikeni, the Spokesperson of NANSO. The panellists centred their analysis on the Harambee Prosperity Plan by providing insights into how the local and the national level are affected by it. This panel discussion was an opportunity for the youth to listen to the panellists‘ analysis whilst also providing input to the Harambee Prospertiy Plan.
Emma Theofelus mainly emphasised on the social progress which is one of the main pillars in the Harambee Prosperity Plan. She outlined that the plan focuses on the implementation of decentralising basic services. However, she stressed that the government still has to improve the level of sanitation in schools and hospitals in the country. In her final remarks she advised the youth to read the Harambee Prosperity Plan to enhance their knowledge on the current youth development policy laid out.
Other notable panellists, such as Maximillian Weylandt, critically focused on the implementation process on the set targets by the Harambe Prosperity Plan, which remains in question. He stated that students need to engage into politics and monitor the progres of the plan’s realisation.
Lauren Davidson further explained how the Harambee Prosperity Plan can have an impact on youth development. She stated that the plan mainly focuses on empowering the youth on economic opportunities that will decrease the current youth unemployment rate of 39%. Therefore, the youth should make sure that they are fully equiped to take up the opportunity and not to find themselves left behind in the economic opportunities outlined in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Finally, Vincent Shimutwikeni mainly emphasised on the education system in Namibia. He stressed that the government should prioritize on funding education at all levels in the country. He pointed out that the government should focus on educational infrastructure and school supplies in order to provide an effective and condusive learning environment for the youth. In his final words he said that the youth should be more pro-active and to take themselves seriously as their contribution will be of avail to the implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
The panel was highly enliven by questions coming from the #YOHNAM account on Twitter and further valuable questions arised from the young but remarkably engaged audience.
The event was live streamed via the website of the Namibian newspaper and uploaded onto social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook reaching over 1.200 viewers online.
The forum was closed by Lucia Kamati, Project Officer of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, who reminded the youth that they are the most valuable resources of Namibia and the solution to the country’s political and economic obstacles. She further acknowledged the partners for their effort to a successful realization of the event. “The future of Namibia lies in the hands of the youth, therefore the youth should embrace platforms of this nature,” she concluded.