2020 was the year in which Namibians especially unemployed graduates expressed their grievances and concerns on the topic of unemployment clearly. The economics graduates in Namibia have formed the “Resilient Graduates Project” aimed to tackle issues of Job sourcing and facilitation, post-academic learning as well as research activities.
Last week we learned of a similar project, by jobless artisans and we are happy that the unemployed graduates from different sectors have finally found their voices and are raising their concerns on the matter of unemployment. Thankfully, the number of whistle-blowers continue to air their views on a similar topic. Biashara Newspaper speaks to the project founder, Jane Toivo, one lady who knows a lot about employment, especially in the field of economics and who also has both her feet firmly on the ground when it comes to addressing issues of unemployment amongst the graduates.
Toivo expressed her concerns about the lack of opportunities for economics graduates in the country. “Although the Namibian economy is known to be a small and fragile one, the absorption of graduates into employment, be it public or private sectors continue to be a burden. It is evident that most graduates from the Economics field tend to settle for jobs outside their profession, deterring from utilizing their skills in building a robust economy” Toivo explained.
She added that in other cases, economics graduates continue to fill the streets after obtaining their first degree in economics. “The underlying matter is that most students are under debt from paying for undergraduate studies, making it difficult to continue to postgraduate studies even if they secure a job after graduation”. Toivo added.
The Association aims to seek sponsorships for qualifying students to pursue postgraduate studies, conduct research and assist with policy formulations to mentor and develop graduate skills for a competitive edge in job markets (capacity building), lead quantitative research in areas of interest and last but not least, network with other economics clusters in Namibia and Africa.
They plan to register it with the Business and Intellectual Authority of Namibia (BIPA) as a Not-for-Profit Association.