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Women's retreat empowers

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THE Twapewa Kadhikwa Annual Women's Retreat weekend, which aimed to activate the faith of women, as well as renew their mindsets for a more productive and prosperous future, will be remembered by those who attended as a life changer.


'Ompata' Headed to Big Screen

THE gritty reality of township life is often overlooked or ignored, but young film-maker Roger Rafael has found a way to creatively tell these stories through a YouTube series titled 'Ompata'.



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Average house prices edge up

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AT the end of March this year, the average price of a house in Namibia was N$1,2 million – about N$100 000 more than during the same time last year.


Namibians show interest in US trade

Elijah Mukubonda

SEVERAL Namibian entrepreneurs have shown interest in pursuing business opportunities in the United States after making contacts at the Namibia-US trade summit held in Namibia early this month.


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      Is Namibia Producing Needed Skills?

      by Danny Meyer

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      NAMIBIA has a skills deficit, and the country has grappled with this challenge for decades now.

      Yet, since the country attained nationhood in 1990, significant investment has been ploughed into education. There are plenty law, human resources, accountancy, public management, and office administration graduates.
      Funded by taxpayers and supplemented with international donor funding, new institutions were built and existing ones expanded.
      In common with developments elsewhere in the world, the private sector has seen business opportunities in education.
      There are now scores of entrepreneurial-owned educational institutions in Namibia – from primary schools up to tertiary level.
      Ironically, in Namibia, there is an ever-growing number of unemployed youngsters who graduate annually from universities, colleges and vocational training centres.
      Add to the number, jobless graduates, school leavers and dropouts.
      The level of unemployment has reached a crisis level.
      Employer dependence and a skills mismatch are the causes, but low economic growth is a major contributor as are disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic.
      Tackling long overdue changes by enacting business-friendly and economic growth-focused rules and regulations will position Namibia for growth.
      Heaven forbid – no more surveys, studies, and the creation of review panels.
      By now it is well known where problems lie – low productivity, lack of efficiency, and red tape and bureaucracy.
      As for the skills deficiency.
      For fear of contradiction, one wonders if a skills audit is not needed to ascertain if tertiary institutions programmes are aligned to Namibia's immediate and longer-term people skills needs.
      Let us leave it there as those in positions of authority must tackle matters and find solutions, not mere mortals like us.
      A private hospitality sector vocational skills development institution held its graduation ceremony this week.
      Braving the winter chill there was full attendance – not an unoccupied seat at Windhoek-based Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy's event.
      Invited guests came to support the students and the institution's founder and iconic hospitality sector personality, Tom Mutavdzic, and his team of trainers.
      It has not been a walk in the park for Mutavdzic and his colleagues. Hearing of the regulatory hurdles Silver Spoon faced, and continues to encounter, brings tears to the eyes.
      As if that is not enough, the constant search for funding to keep going adds to the stress.
      Cooking and baking courses for the public, and skills refresher and upgrade programmes for those working in the hospitality sector, has brought some relief.
      Seemingly, this small private vocational training institution, which helps young Namibians gain skills, is doing it right and churns out students with needed skills.
      Since Silver Spoon opened its doors in 2016, all its trainees secured jobs, either locally or abroad.
      Some have even started their own businesses.
      The importance of vocational skills development must never be underestimated, said Leake Hangala, one of the guests at the graduation.
      One of Namibia's most highly rated business people, Hangala has vast experience in Namibia's public and private sectors.
      As Hangala pointed out, the quickest way to appreciate the inportance of vocational skills development is to send your child to a school with unskilled teachers or to employ unskilled staff at your business.

      * Danny Meyer is reachable at danny@smecompete.com


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