NRDP empowering rural youth
As part of the non-governmental response to the need for rural development and youth empowerment, the Namibia Rural Development Project through the Namibia Youth Credit Scheme, has made a significant contribution to youth development in the regions of Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Okavango.
The Namibia Youth Credit Scheme is an initiative to enable the youth to access capital that helps them to contribute to the socio-economic development through own entrepreneurial activities.
Esegiel Kandetu, the Project Officer of the Namibia Rural Development Project said ”The programme’s overall goal is to promote the livelihood of the youth through employment creation and generation of income through enterprise development in order to alleviate poverty among the young people within the country.”
He said that the programme is executed with four other partners all responsible for different sections in the organisation. The Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture is the lead agency with the function to raise funds for the project, promote supervise and evaluate programmes in progress. The Management Advisory Board is responsible for setting policy guidelines, project supervision and advice.
The Erongo and the Otjozondjupa region are tasked to facilitate the training of young individuals joining the scheme before they receive their loans and to facilitate the process of loan transfers. The fourth partner is the training providers who are tasked to deliver the business skills training.
According to Kandetu, the loan tiers comprise phase 1 with N$2000, phase 2 with N$2000 to N$4000, phase 3 from N$4000 to N$6000, and phase 4 from N$6000 to N$20,000.
The credit scheme was piloted in 2005 in the Omusati, Omaheke, Kavango, Caprivi, Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto and Kunene regions but only rolled out to the other remaining regions like Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Khomas, Hardap and Karas in 2011.
Kandetu said the Namibia Rural Development Project has trained 769 young people in business management, thereby creating better livelihoods for these youth and their families. “Besides that, the project has also provided loans to 492 out of school youth which led to 1476 jobs created and has provided loans worth N$988,893.
The Namibia Rural Development Project is a non- profit, non-governmental organization registered as a welfare organization (WO139). The organization was created in 1991 as an agency to promote the social and economic welfare of Namibians coming out of exile.
The project works with household, community- based structures and family units in improving their capacities to utilise local resources to improve their living conditions and set them on a path of sustainable human development.