McHenry Venaani, leader of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), is urging Namibia's youth to elect leaders who understand their struggles and who are committed to their empowerment.

He emphasised the urgent need to address youth unemployment, calling it a national emergency.
Addressing a well-attended rally at Okalongo Settlement in Omusati Region on Sunday, he stressed that this year's elections are for the youth.

"This is a youth election. Young Namibians, you are 71% of the country's population. This is the time for the youth to bring about change in our country. We are 71%. We have the power to change because it is about our lives."

Venaani also pointed to the alarming trend of youth unemployment and the unrealistic job requirements that worsen and threaten the progress of young Namibians.

"We were telling Swapo, we were telling late President Hage Geingob, may his soul rest in peace, that youth unemployment in this country is a national emergency. Declare youth unemployment a national emergency. When looking for a job in Namibia, they say you must have 10 years of experience. If you have never had a job in your life, where will you get 10 years of experience in your life? Your life as a young Namibian is advancing to the rear."

Venaani says he draws inspiration from the recent election of a young president in his 40s in Senegal.

"The youth are the most powerful tool to change Namibia. The youth have changed Senegal.  In Senegal, they have a president. Two weeks ago, they elected the president, who is 44 years old and young like you. I want to appeal to young people. You must not elect pensioners into office. You elect people. You elect a leader. He is young, like you. In Senegal, they have elected a leader who is 44 years old. I am 46 years old."



Ben Tsuob