Equipping the youth of Lüderitz for the future
The aim of the Youth Entrepreneurial Mentorship Conference is to prepare future successful businessmen and -women.
The mentorship scheme can assist in accomplishing Namibia’s key financial goals in favour of the youth.
‘Youth participation in the Namibia economy by taking full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area through entrepreneurial innovation’ was the theme of the conference.
Members of the youth were called upon to come up with new business ideas, while being willing to collaborate with others and make a positive difference in their lives.
They should identify opportunities by looking into the market, analysing the gap between needs and availability of product or services in the market.
Day 1 of the conference presentations were about the Namibian economy, unemployment, leadership, business plans and financial access for small business enterprises.
Day 2 dealt with the untapped tourism industry – a catalyst for economic development, information-sharing, discussions, emerging business opportunities in the ICT space, tools to start, knowledge, manufacturing, technical and vocational training.
Day 3 was the much talked about agriculture, adding that its full potential remains unexploited by the youth of Namibia.
Deputy Prime Minister and minister of international relations Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said entrepreneurship is the only way to bring about sustainable development in Africa, including Namibia.
“The youth on our African continent have an important role to play to bring about and sustain meaningful change, not only in their communities but most importantly to Africa and the globe,” she said.
More than 120 youth members from all 14 regions of Namibia attended the conference, which seeks to enlighten young people on entrepreneurship.
“In developing implementation programmes for youth entrepreneurs, four challenges were identified - mentoring, networking, finance and information.
“I, for one, believe that agriculture is one of the sectors that has potential to grow our economy, create the necessary jobs and take our people out of poverty,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
Lüderitz mayor Anna-Marie Hartzenburg said the Africa Continental Free Trade Area is poised to create one African market, as Namibians have the potential to provide productive employment opportunities.
“By eliminating barriers to trade in Africa, the objective of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area is to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy,” Hartzenburg said.
Brandy Lufuma from Mama Africa – who ran a stall selling shea butter made in Ghana - said the youth should take up space, adding that working for someone is not the goal any more.
“Go out there register your business, write up your business plan and work towards turning your dreams into reality. You can make N$5 000 per day working for yourself rather than when you work for someone and you wait for that same N$5 000 per month.”