Namibia : Namibia’s Youth Unemployed Rate to Reach 50%

Namibia has been dealing with high levels of unemployment for years. According to the 2018 National Labour Force Survey results, the unemployment rate is estimated to have increased from 43% in 2016 to 46% in 2018.

However, the situation has worsened in recent times and according to a New Era Article, there are indications that the youth unemployment rate could soon reach 50%. This is a worrying trend that could have significant social and economic consequences for Namibia.

Seblon Andres, in an opinion piece to the New Era Newspaper, says « … more than half of  Namibia’s economically active population does not work, posing major social, political and economic crises – as such, high unemployment can generate devastating effects on social exclusion, crime, economic welfare, erosion of human capital, death, misery and social instability. »

The high levels of youth unemployment in Namibia are due to several factors:

  1. The Countries Education System:

According to the Namibian Newspaper, the 2022 grade 11 results showed that only 18,8% of candidates qualified to progress to Advanced Subsidiary level subjects.

This means that only 8 817 full-time candidates qualified with a C symbol or better in three subjects out of 46 977 who sat for the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSCO) exams.

  1. Namibia’s Economy:

While the private sector is expected to be the primary engine of job creation, it is still relatively small in Namibia. However, various programs are available to help the youth in the country create their own jobs. For instance, Business Box Namibia held its first summit in August 2022, aimed at empowering and supporting young entrepreneurs.

  1. The Covid-19 Pandemic:

The pandemic has exacerbated the unemployment situation in Namibia, as it has in many other countries. The pandemic has led to the closure of many businesses, which has resulted in job losses.

Additionally, the pandemic has affected many industries, including tourism, which is a leading industry in the Namibia. The closure of the borders and the restrictions on travel have led to a decline in tourism activity, resulting in job losses in the sector.

Even with these factors, Namibia is still progressing. According to the Namibian Economist, Namibia’s real GDP growth is expected to reach 3% by 2024, which is good news for Namibian individuals and businesses alike. Industries that contribute positively, including agriculture, mining, and tourism, are anticipated to propel this growth.

The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), estimates export earnings for agriculture, forestry, and fishing products amounted to N$3.7 billion.

Namibia has a wealth of natural resources, and the mining industry is a significant contributor to its economy. With the increased global demand for minerals such as uranium, gold, and diamonds, the industry is expected to experience growth in the coming years.

Furthermore, the Namibian government has implemented policies aimed at attracting more investment into the mining sector. This, in turn, has the potential to create additional employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth.

Naango Kainge


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