Windhoek The Namibian government remains fully committed to ensuring a conducive environment for youth empowerment and advancement, Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni said.
Uutoni made the remarks while officially opening the SADC Youth Forum on Thursday at Safari Court Hotel in Windhoek.
Uutoni said that Namibian President, Hage Geingob, who is also SADC Chairperson, pledged to continue promoting the SADC Agenda in order to realise sustainable development, poverty eradication, food security, peace, youth and gender empowerment.
The Namibian government thus remains committed in implementing systems and programmes to foster the advancement of the country’s youth as a key part of the national development process.
Uutoni expressed his delight on the commitment of the youth across the region towards the advancement of the SADC agenda for regional integration, industrialization, sustainable economic development, peace, security, democracy and good governance.
He urged the young people across the region to work hard and remain committed in order to solve problems hindering their advancement and be progressive.
“My primary message to all participants is that progress is possible, It requires the harder path of breaking down barriers, building bridges and standing up for the values of tolerance and diversity that out nations have worked and sacrificed to secure and defend. Progress is inevitable, it requires our struggle, perseverance, discipline and faith. That is the story of how we won voting rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, immigration rights and many others, because those who came before us often risked their lives to give us the chance to know something better,” said Uutoni.
The Youth Forum, which is being held on December 13 and December 14, 2018, recognises the importance of youth participation in the policy formulation and programmes on issues that affect the lives of young people in the entire region.
According to Uutoni, the forum will see participants reviewing progress made on the implementation of the outcomes of the previous SADC youth forum; identifying of regional youth empowerment priority areas to be recommended for consideration during the next meeting of SADC Minister responsible for youth; developing recommendations for youth actions to operationalise the 38th SADC theme 2018-19; reviewing minimum standards for youth participation and leadership as well as drafting programme framework for youth innovations, and developing a plan action for youth participation in implementing the SADC Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) framework for youth.
The liberations will then be presented to the ministers of youth and be discussed when the SADC ministers of youth meet.