Select Page

Local youth appointed as the WorldSkills Champions Trust Representative for Africa

Local youth appointed as the WorldSkills Champions Trust Representative for Africa

The National Training Authority (NTA) has announced that Justina Ashiyana has been appointed to serve as WorldSkills Champions Trust Representative for Africa from 2023 to 2024, representing the African continent together with South Africa’s Mihle Mvelakubi.

Eight new members from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania joined three returning representatives in the Trust.

The WorldSkills Champions Trust is a volunteer group of past competitors who are the voice of young people in the WorldSkills movement who work to raise levels of engagement among WorldSkills Champions and promote active involvement in WorldSkills projects, initiatives, and activities.

The NTA said during her two-year term as a Champions Trust Representative for Africa, Justina will develop her connections to local, continental, and global communities to inspire and support young people to pursue a skill.

“Her role will broaden her network and deepen her communications skills and she will play a pivotal role in the promotion of the National Skills Competition Ongwediva 2023,” they added.

They said she is the second Namibia youth to represent Namibia on the WorldSkills Champions Trust and her remarkable journey, determination, passion for skills, and advocacy for equal access to skills development opportunities have made her a role model for African youth, a role which she has embraced.

“Her transformative impact serves as a reminder that skills can change lives, uplift communities, pave the way for a brighter future, and encourage fellow young people to follow their dreams and believe in themselves,” the NTA said.

Highlighting her journey the NTA said Justina comes from humble beginnings at Omatando in Ongwediva and her skills journey has taken her to local and international platforms, where she has made a significant impact and emerged as a role model for African youth.

“A journey fuelled by passion and inspiration growing up, she developed a deep-rooted passion for joinery through her father’s influences, who was involved in construction work and her early exposure to the trade nurtured her skills and ignited a desire to become an Artisan,” they explained.

Furthermore, the authority said in 2016 she took part in the National Skills Competition, in the joinery trade where she proceeded to represent Namibia at the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

“Justina has since been an ambassador for skills and has participated in various platforms, representing the Namibian and African youth, including the Pan African Youth Forum in Addis Ababa in 2019, One of the Team Leaders at the WorldSkills Africa Swakopmund Competition, top 5 runners up of the 2020 WorldSkills BeChangeMaker Africa Competition, employed as a temporary assistant joinery trainer at Valombola Vocational Training centre in 2019 and is currently enrolled for a National Diploma instructor course in TVET at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST),” they said.

The NTA said these experiences have solidified her position as a catalyst for change, actively contributing to skills development in her community and advocating for equal access to skill-building opportunities, shattering stereotypes on an international stage.

“As the sole female competitor among several male participants, her journey at the WorldSkills competition was filled with challenges and triumphs which is an inspiring testament to the power of passion, determination, and breaking of gender barriers and the international platform allowed her to connect with talented individuals worldwide, fostering a global network of joiners and exchange innovative ideas,” they emphasised.

They said notably, Justina’s resilience and talent drew admiration from fellow women, who became instant fans, cheering her on and capturing moments with her and this unforgettable experience continues to inspire young individuals to pursue their passions fearlessly.

“Driving change and empowering African youth, her commitment to empowering African youth extends beyond her achievements in her pivotal role in 2019 of launching the ‘1 Million by 2021’ African Union initiatives, which aims to provide one million young Africans with opportunities in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and engagement (4E’s),” they highlighted.

Furthermore, they said her participation in the WorldSkills BeChangeMaker Africa Competition showcased her leadership skills and propelled her to become a temporary trainer at the Valombola VTC and WorldSkills Namibia Expert in joinery, and her journey is a living testimony to the transformative power of skills.

“Her unwavering dedication to creating equal access to skills development opportunities emphasised the importance of collaboration and the African proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Justina has become an influential force in driving change and empowering Africa’s youth through her accomplishments and commitment,” they concluded.

Champions Trust representatives speak at multiple high-level international events and take a leading role at WorldSkills Competitions.

To hone her skills, Justina recently attended her first training in Lyon France where she met the rest of the WSCT representatives and participated in leadership and media training sessions and forums.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.