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The Minister of Sports, Youth, and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, has encouraged young people to aspire towards entrepreneurship as a solution to addressing the high rate of youth unemployment.

Spearheaded by the Begin To Imagine (BTI) youth group, the Expo is the first to be hosted by Bethanie Village.

Tjongarero made the call during the opening of the Expo at Bethanie Village in ||Kharas Region, where she pledged N$20 000 towards the hosting of the Expo.

The ||Kharas Regional Council and the Oranjemund Youth Group also pledged N$10,000 and N$5,000, respectively.

"The government of Namibia is committed to youth empowerment and mainstreaming youth issues to promote a shared responsibility among young people for sustainable development. In terms of the youth policy framework, the policy emphasizes the urgency of youth participants participating in all spheres, which promotes the fact that youth cannot continue to be jobseekers but must become creators of employment and find opportunities to free themselves from the evil of poverty," Tjongarero said.

||Kharas Governor Aletha Frederick, who is also the patron of the event, is happy that young people realize the need to do more to find solutions to their challenges.

"This initiative should serve as a springboard to venture and explore other youth development opportunities; that's why we have NYS, NYC are here. We have NUST here; we have all the institutions that can provide information to the young people of Bethanie so that we can see which programs can be implemented and also have access as young people of Bethanie to make our lives easier. Youth unemployment in Namibia remains stubbornly high; this situation is compelling unemployed young people, in particular those not in school, to venture into self-employment in the informal sector."

Also speaking at the occasion were Luderitz Waterfront Development Company CEO Fluksman Samuel and Bethanie Village Council Chairperson Diederik Frederick.

"State enterprises established by the government cannot sit and fold hands while we are seeing the high rise of youth unemployment among them and also limited opportunities. We have to be able to push an agenda, an agenda point to be discussed extensively by leaders of state-owned enterprises to reflect deeply and take a position so that we revert back to government discussion," said Samuel.

Frederick added that "I am delighted every time we have the opportunity to showcase young people's creativity, drive for success, and desire to positively contribute to national development."

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Luqman Cloete