Teenaged leaders at KAYEC Ondangwa have launched an award to promote ties between Namibian businesses and our next generation, with the encouragement of the Minister of Trade.
On 9 December 2015, KAYEC teens presented the first Namibian Next-Generation Business Award to Roama Gates Manufacturing Pty Ltd, a locally owned and operated company that supplies steel gates countrywide and exports beds to Angolan schools and hospitals. They chose the winner from candidates throughout the Oshana region, based on its youth-oriented record in 2015: giving a study bursary worth N$70,000, employing the youngest worker among the competition, marking Africa Industrialisation Day by speaking to schoolchildren, and more.
A letter from Hon. Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development endorsed the initiative: “At a time when Namibian youth unemployment has climbed to 43 percent – among the highest in Africa – and our nation’s basic literacy on money matters rests at 27 percent – far below the global average – it is essential that the business and trade community does all it can to engage the next generation on which we must depend to advance our economy in the years to come … I commend the youth at KAYEC for this step, and it is my hope that such an award may become a national institution.”
Mr Robby Amadhila, founder and owner of Roama Gates Manufacturing Pty Ltd, said the following during his acceptance: “Young people, let’s visit each other. I’m old now – 50 at the end of the year. I will never grow younger, but I would love to plough back what I know today. Today I’m humbled: No one ever gave me a gift like this.”
The Children’s Federation of KAYEC Ondangwa, a group of 11 adolescents elected to advocate on youth issues by their fellow participants in the local KAYEC school support programme, designed the survey that they used to select the winner of the award. The survey covers companies’ employment of young people, support for youth initiatives and education in the community, business services specially designed to serve the needs of Namibian youth, and pro-family work policies.
Said 16-year-old Martha Efraim, Vice-President of the KAYEC Ondangwa Children’s Federation: “We need something that can just build. Mr Amadhila is so inspiring – we need more people like him.”
KAYEC plans to expand the award to Windhoek and Okahandja in February and March 2016. Further information is available on request. Generous support from the American people has made such youth activities possible at KAYEC since 2007, via funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help Namibian communities respond to the national HIV epidemic.