Namibia is a country that has a variety of cultures, landscapes, and wildlife. Since Namibia is a young country, there are still many issues that need to be resolved. Cultural pluralism is a concept wherein each culture seeks to respect others’ traditions, which may provide understanding as to why each culture acts in a certain way. If Namibia takes advantage of its diversities, it can become a powerful nation with plenty of employment and decent wages.
The beauty of Namibia is that it accepts all cultures as they exist, rather than trying to assimilate them to one culture. It is an extraordinary country that is proud of its diverse makeup. It is amazing to travel from one region to another, seeing different sceneries, agricultural techniques, and cultures. The problem hindering Namibia from moving forward is an undeveloped infrastructure. It is a country with plenty of resources, a small population to land ratio, and a variety of employment, which could potentially improve Namibia’s economy.
According to a working paper published by First Capital Research in Windhoek, rapid growth rates in youth population, education, and a rise in female labor participation contributed to high unemployment rates in 2008. In an interview with Mr. Bernd Schneider, Managing Director of Natural Destinations Tourism Co., he mentioned that from an employer’s view, there are three reasons for unemployment. The first is lack of adequate education, which makes people unemployable. Second was the quality of work, since most people were untrained for their jobs. Employers are hesitant to hire untrained people because of employers’ past experiences. Such as when employers train employees, who then quit their jobs, and work for someone who pays more. And third, the greatest reason mentioned for unemployment was the government. Since the government tends to offer work to international workers instead of employing local Namibians.
Mr. Bernd Schneider also mentioned that there is really no reason for high unemployment rates. Since almost every region in Namibia has some sort of employment opportunity. In the north, Namibia has fertile soil, rainfall, water availability, and perfect weather conditions for crop farming. The south has mining and the coastal region has fishing. Other employment opportunities are available through tourism of cultural diversities, landscapes, research, and wildlife.
A problem that hinders more people from working in agriculture is the lack of title deeds. If title deeds were offered it would help generate jobs and sustainability opportunities. By doing so people could obtain bank loans to buy needed equipment to farm. Another option would be to sell their land or start a tourism business. Therefore, people could invest more in their land and receive profit.
Unemployment has lead many people to become criminals out of desperation, hunger, and spite. Currently the Namibian government is not implementing policies that can help people who are temporarily unemployed. Even when work is available it can be “disguised employment.” Meaning employers due not have enough work to keep their workers on a full-time status. Therefore, many people end up working less than 40 hours a week. However the greatest repercussion is that most Namibian families only have one or two people working in a large family, thus their salaries are not enough to buy the necessary foods for a healthy balanced meal.
Having traveled through several regions of Namibia, I was able to see how Namibians yearn for a better life. Ben Affleck stated in a hearing in Washington D.C. on behalf of the Republic of the Congo, “Assisting people in developing countries is not a charity it is good business.” His statement relates to people in developing countries simply asking for a lending hand. Someone who will give them the necessary tools to help generate income which will uplift their economy.
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