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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 06/05/17--16:00: ECB preparing for change
  • ECB preparing for changeECB preparing for changeNERA Bill still under discussion While the Namibia Energy Regulatory Authority Bill has not been passed yet, this is not stopping the Electricity Control Board of Namibia from preparing to change for its new role. The Electricity Control Board (ECB) has started an alignment process to ensure that once the Namibia Energy Regulatory Authority Bill is passed, the regulator is in a position to adapt operationally and legally to what would be required of it.

    The new bill will mark a change in how the energy regulator currently operates while giving the transformed ECB additional functions.

    Although no timeline for the adoption of the energy bill has been set, the regulator is nonetheless preparing for its new envisaged role as the Namibia Energy Regulatory Authority.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun recently, its CEO Foibe Namene explained the new anticipated role it would undertake. “The ECB's current role is electricity regulation. Once the NERA Bill becomes an Act, the ECB will be transformed into the National Energy Regulatory Authority (NERA). While [the] ECB focusses solely on electricity, NERA will focus on regulation, electricity, downstream gas, including, but not limited to, gas transmission pipelines and gas storage facilities; downstream petroleum transmission pipelines including storage facilities; renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation.

    “We are not operational in terms of the anticipated Act yet, but preparation for the transformation is already in full swing. We have started looking at our structure, operations and policies,” she added.

    She said that the ECB was on track operationally with its transformation blueprint, saying: “We [have] secured a new building for the increased role of the transformed regulator, one that can accommodate the present staff of the ECB and additional staff to be recruited to perform the regulator's expanded mandate. We are also discussing the structure and skills needed to effectively execute the new role efficiently.”

    She also updated Namibian Sun with regard to changes concerning the single-buyer model, which currently allows only energy behemoth NamPower to sell bulk electricity to town councils, mines and the regional energy distributors.

    Commenting on the anticipated changes to the model, she said: “The single-buyer model is currently under review. Based on the outcome of the review process, an appropriate market model will be developed. In view of Namibia's experiences in engaging with independent power producers (IPPs). The emergence of different market structures, funding requirements, significant cost reductions in photovoltaic and wind costs, and the emergence of new storage technologies, has prompted the ECB to review the suitability of the current market model.” According to her, the revised market framework will facilitate a competitive electricity supply industry market, ensure reliable energy supply, increase competition in the industry through the increased involvement of IPPs, and encourage investment in the sector.

    Said Namene: “The recommended market framework will be complemented with a set of market rules that will be the guiding regulatory tool for the operation of the market. The work on the review of the market framework commenced at the beginning of 2017 and is expected to be finalised by the end of 2017.”


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    Namcol to introduce two new programmesNamcol to introduce two new programmesTapping into other fields As part of its mandate to take education to the people, especially at grassroots level, Namcol will be introducing two new programmes in 2018. Introducing its first degree course, Namcol will offer the Bachelor of Arts in Youth Development Work (BYD). The aim of the Bachelor of Arts in Youth Development Work is to provide specific competencies required for effective youth development work that will enable beginners as well as experienced practitioners to develop and refine their skills in youth work. It further aims to equip students for effective youth development work at management level.

    This programme is designed to introduce and develop the discipline of youth development and accept highly interested individuals to develop their competencies within the vast youth development field. The programme is also designed to develop effective and reflective youth development practitioners capable of applying theory to practice when working with youth as well as to equip students with knowledge, attitudes, and skills and prepare them for work at management level.

    This course is for the following practitioners or professionals working with youth including civil servants, community development practitioners; and youth workers and interested individuals seeking competency at degree level in youth development work.

    The admission requirements are a Grade 12 with 25 points in six subjects, plus an E- symbol in English as well as anyone who has obtained the Diploma in Youth Development Work (DYD) at Namcol or any other equivalent qualification.

    The second programme Namcol is introducing is the Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship (CBE).

    This course is aimed at providing entrepreneurial skills to the school leavers who are seeking academic qualifications for employment and mid-career professionals who wish to change their current career status and become entrepreneurs.

    The programme targets those who are currently entrepreneurs without formal qualifications in the field.

    This programme is designed to address the lack of entrepreneurship skills in the country and to support the creation and growth of sustainable small businesses by doing proper market research, business plans, product development, marketing and financial management.

    The basic admission requirements for this qualification are a Grade 12 Certificate or equivalent with a minimum of 22 points on the Ministry of Education's point scale plus an E symbol in English.

    Applications for Namcol's tertiary level programmes are opening on 01 June 2017 until 31 July 2017 and application forms can be obtained at any Namcol office countrywide or can be downloaded on the namcol.edu.na website.


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    Engineering duo challenge conventionsEngineering duo challenge conventionsTaking the engineering 'bull' by the horns Engineers Frans Namuhuya and Valeria Mbango are determined to shape up the engineering scene locally, having acquired the rights to operate Cape Town based Geoplast and Cobute franchise. Call them crazy, but TeSik Group founders Frans Namuhuya and Valeria Mbango feel that they have found the perfect solution to the country's engineering woes. So much so that Namuhuya has left his cushy job while Mbango is still struggling to find her feet in a male-dominated industry.

    A quick sit down and the vision is made clear, these two disruptors want to transform the engineering world.

    Tired of being confined to his mundane eight to five, Namuhuya decided that it was time to take the leap and left his job. “Personally I could not handle an eight-to-five job. Being a civil engineer by profession intrinsically means that we constantly have to find ways to make life sustainable,” he said.

    Both have pointed out that the current housing backlog presents an exciting opportunity for their company.

    “Housing delivery and the high cost of construction in Namibia present an interesting challenge and opportunity.”

    The road has not been easy with Namuhuya stating that penetrating a niche engineering and construction market isn't easy. “You find that people within this industry are extremely conservative, unimaginative and not always accepting of new technologies.” They added that you will find that many of these individuals are middle- to senior-aged and are stuck in doing things the only way they believe it can be done which is the old-school, traditional, conventional way.

    All their products are based on the South Africa Bureau of Standards, International Organisation of Standardisation and Agreement Accreditation and other tried and tested and sound engineering principles, but people still have walls of scepticism. “But we have faith that there will be a tipping point where ours and similar solutions become a standardised industry norm,” they said.

    “The challenges at times have been discouraging but this is just an opportunity to learn on how to better approach the market.

    Rejection is part of the learning curve, not all mind-sets can be convinced to do things differently,” Namuhuya and Mbango added.

    And there the conversation begins. Both lay out their vision for their engineering company; TeSik Group which they believe will challenge conventions in the engineering fraternity.

    While Mbango is not always present, she says that it has not been easy to strike a balance between work, business and her studies.

    She is currently pursuing a Master's in Project Management and says that she hardly gets time to sleep.

    Both have a deep sense of pride in what they have been able to achieve and have attracted attention from big players in the engineering fraternity. “We have had successful engagements with some major role players in the industry such as Sahara Commodities with our foundation solution at Elisenheim currently under construction by OJ Construction, NMC Namibia with foundation solutions at Town Lodge Grove Mall, NHE with our foundation solutions and Windhoek Consulting Engineers (WCE) as independent engineers, Prinsloo Drilling with formwork, OJ Construction with formwork and Nexus Building Contractor with formwork, to mention just a few. We are about to complete full commissioning of the TeSik Decking factory,” they add

    With the current downturn in the economy they concluded by ushering in upcoming black engineers. “You have an idea that you believe will work because you are confident in your knowledge and skills.

    Take the leap of faith; do not get caught in the rat race of having an expensive car or nice flat.

    The reward comes in making a change to your industry. Understand who you are as a person - your strengths and weakness.

    You have to be willing to start from humble beginnings, maintain 100% discipline whilst executing your business plan, and remember it's not a race. Enjoy the journey.”


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    The role of Nanso in modern-day student activismThe role of Nanso in modern-day student activism The Namibian National Students Organisation (Nanso) founded in 1984, is the biggest student representative body in Namibia. The organisation was founded in the midst of the liberation struggle with the primary objective of uniting student masses against apartheid, while also fighting the Bantu education system, military conscription, academic freedom for black students in university and the democratisation of schools, among others.

    Nanso was indeed one of the leading organisations in the struggle for independence. It is important to point out that since most of Nanso’s leaders, rank and file, were members of Swapo at its formation, the organisation was at first affiliated with the Swapo party until the two disaffiliated in the late 1990s for the sake of inclusivity and non-discrimination of students belonging to other parties, and that was indeed the right move even though some have a different opinion on the matter.

    The organisation battled extreme storms between 2000 and 2010 when there were allegations of mismanagement of funds leading to the withdrawal of sponsors and the selling of the organisation’s properties. However, a new wave of optimism was brought by young leaders such as Neville Andre, Timothy Angala, Dimbulukweni Nauyoma, George Kambala, Sharonice Busch, Uakotora Riruako and company who drafted a new constitution and paved the way for a new, inclusive and modern Nanso. Nanso is to a fair extent, better and more functional today compared to those turbulent first years.

    The biggest question that Nanso faces is the question of how to incorporate the organisation into modern-day student activism. We are no longer fighting the common enemy which was apartheid but rather a number of complicated problems faced by the Namibian child. The fact that we are no longer fighting a common enemy has made it rather difficult for the organisation because students are no longer as united as they were and not as radical anymore. Hence, some students even question the relevance of Nanso. The rather infamous reputation attached to Nanso doesn’t help its cause. Schools and institutions of higher learning are very hesitant in allowing the union to engage students because they are afraid of its ability to make students aware of their rights and challenge authority when the need calls for it.

    This has definitely not made our work easy as we have been victim of rude principals and vice-chancellors when we set up branches at institutions. There is also an immature fear and competition from LRCs and SRCs with the union. This further contributes to disunity among student. We now need to pave a way forward not only for the organisation but also for student leadership in Namibia. We first and foremost need to find an effective and smooth way of setting up branches and reaching all our students in all four corners in Namibia. Certain clauses of the constitution must also be amended to make the organisation more functional and transparent. The old guard also needs to move out and give the new cadres a chance to lead. We have competent young cadres like Simon Amunime, Shoky Kandjimi, Oscar Shikongo, Andreas Sheya, Oscar Mwandingi and so on.

    We also need to re-establish a new relationship with the Ministry of Education and the respective regional education directorates. Only through mutual cooperation can the students benefit fully. Last but not least, let us cooperate with each other as student leaders for the sake of our students. The students still need Nanso - as this was clearly demonstrated last week during the arrest and trial appearance of expelled Unam SRC president Joseph Kalimbwe. The students have put their faith in us and we need to restore that faith. Nanso has been here and it is here to stay.


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    Striving towards a Namibian youth-empowered countryStriving towards a Namibian youth-empowered country Tourism in Namibia is a major industry, contributing N$7.2 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. Our country is among the major destinations in Africa and is known for ecotourism which features Namibia’s extensive wildlife. Tourism is enhanced through the Namibia Tourism Expo which also includes the Motorshow, where they showcase different types of cars - therefore creating employment and extra jobs for the Namibian youth.

    Witnessing the number of people who attended this year’s expo, it was an exciting experience seeing that many were present; from children, the youth and the elderly. It was evident that most exhibitors had young people working for them including the organisers themselves, Namibia Media Holdings. This is the kind of inspiration, initiation and motivation we need in our country, a youth-empowered Namibia, where most if not all youth would stand up, make a change and engage in activities such as the expo.

    However, what I saw while we were distributing the Expo Times newspaper on the streets of Windhoek is that there still are people who do not know what the Namibia Tourism Expo and Motorshow is. They kept asking what the expo is, what happens there, where it is taking place, when it is happening, how much it costs and all sorts of questions. This then shows that some are not aware, especially the youth and if there are those who know of it, they are ignorant and are not willing to participate.

    As tomorrow’s leaders we need to stand together as the Namibian youth to tackle issues such as unemployment. Working together and spreading the news on job opportunities will help us overcome these stigmas amongst the youth.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Free press not a given
  • Free press not a givenFree press not a given The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya is, in my view, not an advocate of press freedom.

    I believe this is true judging from his actions. Recently however, President Hage Geingob countered Tweya’s stance when he said “we want our media to be the freest in the world”.

    In this era of information sharing and knowledge, the right to access information in my view has become an important aspect empasising free access to information for the media industry. Regulating the media, as the minister has suggested, will severely affect press freedom and access to information which many scholars believe is key to democracy and the rule of law.

    In my opinion, when the public has access to information - be it government and its decisions or findings by commissions - it makes it easier for the public to hold the government accountable for their actions. When the citizenry is well informed, they are better able to choose their representatives based not on party loyalty, but on merit and capability thus fostering mature democracy.

    Back in 2016, when the minister tabled the ministry’s budget, he eloquently spoke of introducing an access to information law and yet he also spoke about establishing a statutory body to monitor the media. Establishing such a body, will put the media on the slippery road of media censorship which in the end will result in suppressing freedom of expression and access to information. Namibia currently ranks 24th in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index released in April this year. However, this represents a drop of seven places, meaning the freedom we currently enjoy cannot be taken for granted but should be continuously fought for and jealously guarded.

    In her speech delivered on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day in 2011, the director-general of Unesco, Irina Bokova, stated: “The right to know is central for upholding other basic rights, for furthering transparency, justice and development.” Regulating the media is therefore a path leading to dictatorship because the electorate are deprived of key information. It is my view that when the media, whose task it is to disseminate information is regulated, free press becomes lip service or just a claim.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Taming the road rage
  • Taming the road rageTaming the road rageFamous for the wrong reasons Namibia’s roads are deadly and while some say curses and speed are involved, it may be something else entirely. According to the World Health Organisation, Namibia is ranked number-one in the world as the country with the highest number of deaths caused by road crashes.

    What really causes accidents on our roads? Some people say our roads are cursed, some say accidents are caused by reckless driving but the majority thinks road accidents are caused by speeding.

    Well, I personally believe that reckless driving and ignorance about road rules are the main causes of car accidents in our country. Even though speed does contribute to car accidents, I still believe it is not the main cause.

    Reckless driving is when the driver of a vehicle drives irresponsibly and cares less about other road users, including pedestrians. Such anarchy includes changing lanes without indicating to inform other road users that you are moving from one lane to the other, changing lanes without looking in your side mirror to make sure it is safe to do so.

    Some people, mostly our young drivers are the ones who cause most of the accidents. I mean, lean-backs look cool but they are so silly when you are a driver, one looks like they are about to take a nap. Do these lean-back drivers don’t even have a clear view of where they are going? Can they even react properly in case of an emergency to avoid an accident? I don’t think they can, and it is small things like these, that cause car accidents.

    These days, drivers of fast cars have a tendency to drive their cars at fast speeds because “my car is fast, so I will just take 3 to 5 seconds to overtake on a blind rise”. Really!? Your car is fast but do you know how fast the car on the other side of the blind rise is driving? No you don’t. In fact the driver of an oncoming vehicle can also say “my car is fast, I can overtake in 2 seconds….” That is silly, reckless and thoughtless driving which can lead to the death of innocent people and other road users who comply with road rules.

    Our roads are not cursed; our drivers are just irresponsible and careless. This mentality is robbing us of the lives of innocent citizens. It’s time to change and to be responsible citizens who care not only for their lives but the lives of other citizens as well.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: The modern dancer
  • The modern dancerThe modern dancerContemporary dancing prowess A passionate contemporary dancer shares his take on the art of his dancing skills and why it is a different and more important proficient form of dancing. Contemporary dancing is a style of dance that is an animated and explosive form of dancing and is a blend of many other forms of dancing. The dance is highly influenced by jazz and ballet dancing techniques. The core focus of contemporary dancing is to connect the mind and body and the result is a beautiful and rhythmic dancing pattern that is adored throughout the world.

    In Namibia, contemporary dancing is gaining popularity amongst the youth and one such dancer is Botshelo Mcbreaton Pieters, who expresses himself through dance is a fervent contemporary dancer. “The passion driven individual” as he describes himself says family is an important factor in his life and that his siblings keep him grounded. “I grew up in Gobabis and moved to Windhoek in the fifth grade when my parents transferred to work in the capital. Most of my close family members live in Gobabis and as kids we always got to go to our farm nearby and have family reunions which was important,” said Pieters.

    The dancer says he is inspired by his own personal experiences and what others have done before him and that it fuels his passion for dancing. Pieters was once a Bachelor of Accounting student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) but chose to pursue his dancing career. “I was a student at NUST majoring in Bachelors of Accounting before I decided to become and trained to be as a professional dancer,” shared Pieters. The professional dancer says he is a lover of life and strives to do the best every day that he is on earth. “I am an adrenaline junky and I love the outdoors and living on the edge. I find joy in hiking, sky diving, shark diving and other thrilling activities,” said Pieters. Although he enjoys his dancing life he says he also enjoys his private life and tries to stay in at home as much as possible. “As a dancer most people tend to think I am very outgoing, but I do love my quiet time and spending some time at home with friends and family,” shared Pieters.

    His life was changed when he went on a trip of self-discovery in 2011 to South Africa, a trip which he says taught him about his potential. “I undertook a life orientation course in South Africa called Warriors in 2011. During this course all students undertook different challenges and workshops to help reflect what we want to do in life and to become close to one,” recalled Pieters.

    Pieters took up the art of Latin dancing and ball room dancing and that projected him into his career path and he later started his own dancing school called Fusion Funk. “My journey in this art started about 6 years ago. I started dancing in 2012 as a ballroom and Latin dancing student at Dance Domain Namibia. Within a year of being a student I realised my potential and decided to start my own dance school,” said Pieters. He explains that he opened his own dancing school to make dancing “fun and exciting”. “Fusion Funk is a very diverse dance studio dedicated to Ballroom, Latin Dancing, Creative Dance, HipHop and contemporary styles. Fusion Funk can be joined by all age groups from as little as little as three years up to 60 years and above. The studio teaching methods are fun and exciting,” said Pieters.

    Pieters has plans to host a few charity events in June and July this year through his contemporary dancing skills. “I will be hosting a dance showcase on 17 June at the Kayak and also have a charity dance showcase happening for the vision and hearing impaired at Midgard Lodge on the 22 of July. I am beyond exited for those.” shared Pieters.

    The dancer says he has witnessed the power of life and how it has influenced many dancers and that reinvigorates his passion for dancing. “I realised how the kids and adults came alive with movement and music. I loved this and wanted to drown myself in bringing life to more individuals,” said Pieters. He says many things have an impact on how he performs and he uses those things to come up with a unique routine. “Depending on what I dance for, the intention is to evoke the potential I see within my students. If I perform it depends on the theme and whether I would like to reflect a certain story though my movement,” shared Pieters. He goes on to explain that unlike many dancing styles contemporary dancing is distinct because it is more multifaceted and requires a lot of energy. “Contemporary dancing is very much different from other styles of dance, reflecting stories and so much emotion. I would consider it more complex,” said Pieters. The dancer says he does not have a favourite dancing style because he is versatile and that he can only mention a few styles he can think of that he has mastered. “As a diverse dancer it is really difficult to have a favourite style but I'm very much drawn to the Tango and lyrical Hip Hop dancing routines,” said Pieters.

    He says dancing does not come easy saying one has to pour their heart, sweat and tears to get meaningful results, that he had to believe in himself and realise his full potential to become successful at dancing. “Not every day will be easy, but believing in you is the most important thing. Investing time and being patient with yourself, taking chances and risks will help you grow,” said Pieters. He believes that the dancing industry in Namibia still needs to gain momentum and has a long way before it can be deemed successful. “Art in general is not where it's supposed to be. There is still a lot of progress to be made. There may seem to be many dance studios and dance teachers however there are not many in the country over all, since most of them are centralised also there is a lack of diversity within the dance industry,” said Pieters.

    Besides focusing on his dancing career Pieters is also a drama teacher at a local drama academy. “I have always found teaching in general to be the most fulfilling work I have ever done,” shared Pieters.

    He says his future plans are to travel the world and to learn more about dancing. “I soon would like to travel the world and learn more art in dance and theatre and come back to Namibia to share what I have learned and enrich our country in every way I can,” said Pieters.

    Shona Ngava

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    Challenging others to do betterChallenging others to do betterTransforming her community with her hands Justina Ashiyana is a joinery and cabinet-making trainee at Valombola Vocational Training Centre and shares how she plans to inspire others to follow their dreams. Justina Ashiyana grew up in Ongwediva with unwavering support from her parents. The Zone sat down with her during her preparations for the WorldSkills Competition.

    Zone: who is Justina Ashiyana?

    JA: I am a 22-year-old modest and hardworking girl with firm goals. I am a positive person and accept challenges as a character-building phase. I am very mature, have integrity and always look for ways to improve myself - which I believe is a way to grow and develop myself for a better future. I studied joinery and cabinet-making at Valombola Vocational Training Centre, and successfully completed Level 3 in 2016.

    Zone: When and why did you decide to venture into joinery? What is it like working in this industry?

    JA: I helped my father at his construction sites as a young girl and ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated by vocational skills, especially joinery and cabinet-making. When I finished Grade 12 in 2012, I decided to follow my passion and enrolled at Eenhana Vocational Training Centre where I completed Level 2 and then went on to do Level 3 at Valombola Vocational Training Centre.

    Zone: What inspires you in life?

    JA: I am inspired by circumstances in life. Growing up, my father would ask me to assist him at his construction sites, being a seasoned construction worker. This sparked my passion for construction work and when I completed school, I chose to do a vocational education.

    Zone: What does being a WorldSkills competitor mean to you?

    JA: Being a competitor means a lot to me because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will take me to places I have never been, broaden my horizons and enhance my skills by learning how things are done in other countries to the benefit my country. With my the recent success of being selected to represent my country I just want to do well so that I can show other girls that their dreams are possible.

    Zone: What are some of the challenges of being a joinery and cabinet trainee?

    JA: In the beginning, I had a challenge to read and understand joinery drawing plans. I was also a bit uneasy to operate vibrating and noisy machines.

    Zone: How did you overcome those challenges?

    JA: I found mentors who helped me to read drawing plans and my instructors gave me good guidance. They say practice makes perfect, that is exactly what I did. I practiced a lot and asked for feedback in order to master solutions to those challenges. Being on job attachments also helped me a lot.

    Zone: Are there any people that you would like to mention specifically that inspired you as a young person?

    JA: Yes, my parents, uncle and later in my life my fellow vocational education graduates that have become successful entrepreneurs all really inspire me. I draw a lot of inspiration from them.

    Zone: What advice do you have for young people that want to pursue a career in joinery and cabinet-making?

    JA: My advice to the youth in general is that they should always try their level best in whatever they do and set goals for themselves. Just like any other trade this one requires dedication and hard work.

    Zone: What is your message to young Namibians who also have ambitions of taking part in the WorldSkills Competition in the near future?

    JA: The National Skills Competition takes place bi-annually, meaning every second year. Young Namibians that missed the 2016 opportunity are given a chance to take part in 2018 which will select the international competitors for 2019. Young people should just keep an eye on the national skills competitions and WorldSkills Competition social media accounts for details. Most importantly if you really want to take part in the WorldSkills Competition, work on mastering your trade and put in enough time in to prepare for these competitions. I call on other young girls to be more involved with vocational competitions; we need more girls in such competitions. My wish is to see more girls thrive in this arena.

    Zone: Are there any political or social issues you feel passionately about?

    JA: Not necessarily but I am thinking of becoming a businesswoman, managing my own company and I know I can achieve that by continuously improving my skills and by networking with likeminded people. I want to have my own business so that I can use some of the profit to address some of the social issues in my community.

    Zone: What is next for Justina Ashiyana?

    JA: At the moment I am waiting to compete at the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi as a Namibian ambassador in the trade of joinery. I also have ambitions to further my studies in Levels 4 to 6, either at Nust as my first choice or at a recognised South African vocational institution.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Support your friends
  • Support your friendsSupport your friends Everyone needs encouragement especially to achieve your dream. Although dreams are compelling, they can also be fragile, because they come from a passion deep within your heart. I believe dreams have a life-changing potential, even though pursuing them can be very difficult.

    When friends reveal their dream to you, they risk having their dreams shattered or they can get encouragement. As a friend you have the power to help your friend to build that passion or you can demotivate your friend from pursuing the dream. Nowadays it is difficult to get genuine friends who really want to see you succeed so, as young people we should also be mindful of who we share our dreams with. Try to share your dreams with real and genuine friends who will not kill your dreams but rather align yourself with friends who will help you to achieve your dreams.

    If your friend is a dreamer but not a doer, encourage him or her to take action. Give them the support they need to take the next step and how to overcome their fears, excuses, and how to go round the obstacles in their way so that they can start executing their dream plans. If your friend is a go getter, keep encouraging them. We all need encouragement to as we go through the different stages in our lives, especially when we are working hard and not seeing any progress.

    Irrespective of the goal, whether your friend wants to be a doctor, business owner, musician, or writer, it is an amazing gift if you can help another person to realise their dream. It is a privilege to give friends such zeal and help them find resilience to press on. The truth is; we all need support one way or the other.

    You may be wondering how one can get support from a friend to achieve their dream. It is easy. You just have to believe in your friend's dream and motivate them to not just dream but to make an effort to work to achieve their dream. At the end of the day, it does not help to have a dream that you do not sweat for and spare time to achieve it. As young people, we need to have faith in our friends' dreams and keen interest in what other people around us do. Many a times we gravitate towards achievements made by celebrities. Admiring what famous people do and drawing inspiration from them is not wrong but, we also need to work and show our friends the same support that we render to these celebrities. Often our friends have great ideas but we tend to be naïve about the greatness of our friends dreams. Such tendency makes many people in our communities to lose hope and it kills the spirit of resilience. Most of the celebrities that we admire were or are supported by their own people. They got to the point where they are now because of the support they get from their friends. Their own friends believed in them and motivated them to work hard to realise their dreams. One might argue that our friends do not necessarily need validation from us but actually they do. Validation gives people courage and hope. Knowing that someone out there buys into your idea is a good because you will have people who believe in you and your work.

    One thing also worth noting is the fact that while supporting your friends, you should also bear in mind that you also need support. Do not just get caught up in helping others achieve their dreams but you also need the support and help from your friends. The world will be a better place if we work hard to better our lives and help others. We should not get jealousy and despise other people's ideas. Many times people do not support their friends for fear of being surpassed by their friends. This is not good. I believe that each person has his or her glorious days and we should not hold back support needed by our friends just because we do not want to see them doing better than us. We should also make peace with the fact that someone out there will always be better and teach ourselves to be content with our own progress in life while offering support to our friends when they call for our help.


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    Sudan commits to Darfur ceasefireSudan commits to Darfur ceasefire The Sudanese government on Sunday reiterated its full commitment to the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in Darfur, saying the dialogue is the best means for achieving comprehensive peace.

    Sudan “reiterates the full commitment of the Government of National Consensus to the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, and to the dialogue option as best means for achieving comprehensive peace,” Sudan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

    The statement held the rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)/Minni Minnawi responsible for the recent battles in the Darfur region.

    “Based on that aggression, the full responsibility falls on the Minnawi movement which rejects the option of peaceful dialogue and all the initiatives which call for cessation of hostilities and constructive dialogue to find a comprehensive political settlement,” said the statement.

    The ministry further urged the European Union countries to exert more pressure on Sudan's armed movements to accept peaceful dialogue.

    On Thursday, the US, British and Norwegian embassies in Khartoum urged the Sudanese government and the armed movements in Darfur to stop all military operations and negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict.

    “We call on the government and opposition movements to actively seek a political compromise and encourage the government of Sudan to continue demonstrating readiness to compromise in negotiations,” they said in a joint statement.

    On 20 May, clashes erupted between two Darfur rebel groups and the Sudanese army and army's affiliate the Rapid Support Forces.

    The Sudanese army has been fighting three armed groups in Darfur: the Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army.


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    US staff banned from flying Air ZimUS staff banned from flying Air Zim The United States embassy in Zimbabwean capital Harare has reportedly barred its citizens and staff from travelling on the southern African country's troubled national airline, Air Zimbabwe, citing safety concerns.

    According to NewsDay, the US embassy spokesperson David McGuire said in a statement that the prohibition order was with immediate effect.

    He, however, said that the ban would be lifted as soon as all issues had been addressed according to international standards.

    “We stand ready to work with Air Zimbabwe and Caaz [Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe] in any way as they address the issues raised. US embassy Harare will lift the restriction when all issues have been verifiably addressed according to international standards,” McGuire was quoted as saying.

    Reports last month indicated that the European Commission had barred Air Zimbabwe from flying to Europe over safety concerns.

    The European Commission maintains an Air Safety List of airlines that they say don't meet international safety standards and are barred from operating in the European Union.

    The commission named Air Zimbabwe - regularly used by President Robert Mugabe on his overseas trips - as one of four airlines added to the list “due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Safety Agency”.

    All five of Air Zimbabwe's planes were grounded in April, according to Zimbabwe Independent. It was not clear whether all five are now back in the skies.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Probe into Lesotho vote
  • Probe into Lesotho voteProbe into Lesotho voteSoldiers were deployed at polling stations The presence of army at polling stations over the weekend in Lesotho have raised alarm bells for the democratic process. Election officials in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho on Sunday investigated why armed soldiers had been deployed at many polling stations on voting day.

    The army has often been accused of interfering in politics in Lesotho, a landlocked African country of two million people that has been hit by attempted coups and instability in recent years.

    “The nation, the voters and even the observers were surprised... they felt that some voters were intimidated,” Independent Electoral Commission spokesperson Tuoe Hantsi told reporters.

    “The law dictates who should be at the polling stations, and (the soldiers) caused confusion.”

    Saturday's election was seen as a two-horse race between old rivals Pakalitha Mosisili and Thomas Thabane, who have both served as prime minister.

    Thabane fled an attempted military coup in 2014 when he was in power, and analysts say the army could favour Mosisili winning the vote. The snap election was called when Prime Minister Mosisili, 72, lost a no-confidence vote in March after his seven-party coalition government broke up.

    'We will seek explanation'

    .As vote counting began on Sunday, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional body expressed concern over the army's presence.

    “We will be seeking an explanation from the army as to why the soldiers were placed at voting stations,” said Augustine Mahiga, head of the SADC observer mission.

    The results, due out this week, are expected to lead to a coalition government, with Thabane, 77, seen as the narrow favourite to emerge as the winner.

    Thabane's All Basotho Congress party and the Alliance Democrats of Monyane Moleleki, a former police minister, have been in talks to form a possible government.

    Mosisili's Democratic Congress party could join forces with the Lesotho Congress of Democracy and the Popular Front for Democracy.

    Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy ruled by King Letsie III, who has no formal power, and it has a mixed parliamentary system.

    Saturday's vote was the third general election since 2012 after years of political in-fighting and coalition collapses that have undermined attempts to tackle dire poverty and unemployment.

    Lesotho has a 22.7% HIV/Aids rate in adults and an economy dependent on South Africa, which surrounds it completely.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day SURFS UP: Pedro Henrique of Portugal competes during the final of the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games last month in Biarritz. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/05/17--16:00: The damage is done
  • The damage is doneThe damage is done Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein appears to be the only high-ranking government official to speak openly about the SME Bank saga.

    The minister, according to reports, has refused to entertain a bailout request for the troubled bank to the tune of N$300 million.

    He is also quoted saying that the bank should be closed down if it fails to recover the over N$200 million invested in South Africa.

    This stern message from the finance minister is an indication that treasury is tired of dishing out bailouts to poorly run parastatals.

    We have said before that the rot at the SME Bank started long time ago.

    But typical of our government, it chose to adopt a “see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil” stance.

    Well the damage is done now and the chances of recovering close to N$200 million invested in South African institutions are slim.

    The idea to establish an SME Bank was a noble one from the beginning.

    In these trying times, small and medium enterprises are important for any nation as they are productive drivers of inclusive economic growth and development.

    It is a pity that the SME Bank failed to boost the SME sector in this country.

    Shamelessly this institution became a disgrace overnight, with records showing that it has dished out loans to the politically well-connected as well as many Zimbabwean professionals running businesses in Namibia.

    It has also been widely reported that the bank has employed many foreign nationals at the expense of Namibian workers.

    While we don't support calls as suggested by the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) to entirely close down the bank, we are in total concurrence with those pushing for a judicial inquiry into the affairs of the SME Bank.

    Although shaving staff and closing the bank is often the last resort, we believe that government must exhaust all avenues before entertaining such a proposal, which will have a negative impact on many Namibian workers.

    The SME Bank is an important institution and those that are responsible for dragging it down should be held accountable for their actions.

    At the end of the day government can no longer be expected to throw money at problems that require serious and urgent leadership intervention.

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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Big developments coming
  • Big developments comingBig developments comingCity to unveil 5-year development plan Housing is high on the City’s agenda with budgetary consultations to be held with residents. A five-year road map that will act as a guiding tool to Windhoek officials and councillors in the delivery of municipal and public services will be made public to residents in the coming months.

    Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua announced at May’s council meeting that the 2017-2022 five-year strategic plan will be submitted to council this month and he expects it will be operational as from the beginning of the current 2017/18 financial year.

    Kazapua said the strategic five-year plan will outline the city’s “desired development initiatives” and was conceived in “the spirit of national development plans, Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.”

    He explained that it will “serve as a road map and a guiding tool” to the city’s officials and councillors.

    At the council meeting at the end of May, Kazapua also urged the city’s councillors and management teams to finalise the budgeting process for the upcoming year in order to give residents and other stakeholders a chance to have their say.

    “I have no doubt that by giving our residents and other stakeholders a voice in the formulation of our capital budget, we will ensure that we do not misrepresent their developmental needs with what we, as councillors and officials, may think are their priorities,” Kazapua said at the opening of May’s council meeting last week.

    The mayor highlighted the ground-breaking ceremony this month, for the commencement of the construction of 79 houses by the Oluzizi-Amibex joint venture, which forms part of the council’s pilot housing project.

    “This is a notable undertaking from the council, which if proved to be successful after completion of the initial 79 houses, should be intensified so that all the informal settlements are formalised, and new plots are serviced for our people,” he said.

    He further praised the handover of a donated house by Oluzizi-Amibex joint venture this month to Ndinoita Shimoshili and her family as part of a good will gesture and to assist the vulnerable family with a home.

    Kazapua also attended the opening of what the Namibia Tourism Expo 2017 last week.

    He underlined the important role of tourism in the country, noting that tourism has a multiplier factor, which contributes to many sectors in the country.

    “To us at the City of Windhoek, tourism means jobs, business opportunities for small- and medium-enterprises, and, if properly managed, the preservation and promotion of natural resources and cultural heritage,” he said.

    He said the City remains committed to welcoming visitors to the city and to the country.


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    Women reluctant to use contraceptivesWomen reluctant to use contraceptives Research indicates that more men are using contraceptives compared to women in Namibia with around 57% of men making use of it while only 41% of Namibian women do.

    This is according to Risto Mushongo from the Namibian Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA).

    Citing a 2016 report by UNAids, Mushongo said that far more men use contraceptives compared to their female counterparts in Namibia.

    He also expressed his concern over contraceptive use amongst the youth.

    A 2013 report by Namibia's Demographic Health Survey showed that only 24.5%, less than a quarter, of youth aged 15 to 19 use contraceptives and that the pregnancy rate in this group currently stands at 19%.

    Another report that focuses on new HIV/Aids infections in southern Africa by Unesco revealed that 45 girls in Namibia are infected with HIV every week.

    “Within the eastern and southern Africa they are saying that in Namibia, 45 young girls are infected with HIV per week,” said Mushongo.

    According to research by UNAids, Namibia recorded 370 cases of new HIV infections in 2015.

    The report also indicated that Namibia had a decline in new HIV infections from 2009 until 2015.

    “There was a 79% decrease in the number of new HIV infections among children during the years 2009 to 2015,” read the report.

    The report indicates that nine out of 10 mothers in Namibia have access to antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to- child transmission of HIV.

    According to UNAids the rate of mother- to-child transmission of HIV is at 4% in the country.

    The report also indicated that the number of women in Namibia acquiring HIV between the ages of 15 to 49 decreased since 2009.

    “The number of women (aged 15 to 49 years) acquiring HIV decreased by 14% since 2009,” read the report.

    According to UNAids lack of understanding and ignorance about HIV/Aids continues to weaken attempts to put an end towards the disease.

    “Ignorance and misunderstanding continue to undermine efforts to end Aids. In the worst cases, discriminatory attitudes and behaviour are facilitated by punitive laws and policies. In 2016, 72 countries had laws allowing specifically for HIV criminalisation. Between 1 April 2013 and 30 September 2015, four countries in sub-Saharan Africa passed new HIV criminalisation laws: Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Uganda,” read the report.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Lions wreak havoc in Kunene
  • Lions wreak havoc in KuneneLions wreak havoc in Kunene A lioness and her cub who have escaped from the Etosha National Park, are threatening the lives of humans and livestock at the Okoutjete village in the Kunene Region.

    Okoutjete is adjacent to the national park in the Sesfontein Constituency, about 20km towards the Werda Gate.

    Karipandjarere Muzuma, an employee of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in the region, said a donkey was killed and another donkey and a cow were wounded by the lions.

    “We are busy treating the wounded donkey and cow,” Muzuma said.

    He said the lioness has four cubs but three remained in the park.

    Park rangers suspect the lioness and her cub were not comfortable with the noise of vehicles, leading them to become violent.

    Muzuma further said another seven lions which had escaped from the park earlier, were driven back.

    He said the fence is too old and needs replacement.

    Chairperson of the Kunene Regional Conservancy Association, Gustaph Tjiundukamba told Nampa the number of lions in Kunene, especially in conservancy areas, has increased.

    “A few weeks ago, another lion killed about 10 goats in a village in the Sesfontein Constituency,” Tjiundukamba said.

    He said they are looking at addressing the human wildlife conflict in Kunene, especially in the Sesfontein Constituency, with the relevant authorities.


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  • 06/05/17--16:00: Water regulator inaugurated
  • Water regulator inauguratedWater regulator inaugurated The country's first-ever water regulatory body, known as the Water Regulator of Namibia, has been set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

    The regulator will start by drafting a water pricing policy, which will determine the cost of services in the water sector.

    It will particularly determine fees and charges, or the maximum tariffs that may be levied by water services provider or other suppliers of water including the state, for the supply or distribution of water and the provision of wastewater- and other associated services.

    After negotiation and by agreement with a water service provider or other water suppliers, it will set the operational targets to be achieved by the water services provider or supplier during a specified period, including targets for the level and standard of services, agriculture minister John Mutorwa explained.

    It will also monitor the performance of water service providers and other suppliers and evaluate their efficiency with respect to achieving the operational targets set. The body consists of five members, with former permanent secretary in the agriculture ministry, Joseph Iita, appointed as chairperson.

    The other members are Nathalia /Goagoses, who is the chief regional officer at the Erongo Regional Council; Petrus Maritz, who worked for the Department of Water Affairs; Olga Katjiuongua who is an economic and finance expert and Luther Rukira, managing director of Aqua Services and Engineering, a water-works equipment supplier. The members will serve for a period of five years.


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    Ondangwa youth clear councillor's nameOndangwa youth clear councillor's nameSay governor has 'personal issues' with member The Ondangwa Urban Youth Forum says their petition to the president is being used to attack their members. The Ondangwa Urban Youth Forum and Ondangwa Development Forum Committee has refuted claims made by the governor for the Oshana Region against the Ondangwa regional councillor Elia Irimari.

    Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa last week accused Irimari of organising a community meeting at Ondangwa where he was attacked for reportedly taking development away from the northern town.

    The youth expressed their disappointment in Kashuupulwa, saying that he is using their petition which they addressed to the president, to attack Irimari.

    In a statement issued by the chairperson of Ondangwa Urban Constituency Youth Forum, Paulus Nuuyoma, they urged Kashuupulwa to sort out his “personal issues” with Irimari outside the context of their petition.

    He said that as the youth of Ondangwa they approached their town council to brief them on issues that were making rounds in the media regarding the cancellation of the Ondangwa district hospital plan. Nuuyoma said several meetings were held at Ondangwa's trade fair hall from 18 May onwards and that these meetings led to the demonstration.

    “As concerned youth and concerned community members of Ondangwa we had a meeting with the town council on 20 May. Representatives gave us feedback on a regional meeting that took place on 19 May with regard to the hospital project. It was based on the feedback we received from the town council officials that we decided to express our dissatisfaction with the governor's decision. The governor, who indirectly acted as the meeting chairperson, requested the three towns (Ondangwa, Oshakati and Ongwediva) to make land available for the construction of the referral hospital which was already earmarked to be constructed in Ondangwa,” Nuuyoma said.

    Nuuyoma said that after the meeting the youth forum, together with the concerned community members, decided to express their disappointment, frustrations and demands in a petition which they decided to address to President Hage Geingob through the governor's office. He said the content was non-political, non-tribal, non-religious, and had no personal hidden agenda.

    “We strongly condemn the current state of affairs circulating in both print and social media where our concerns as per the petition are being redirected to councillor Irimari. If the governor has a personal issue with the councillor, he must deal with it outside of the context of our petition.”

    Last week Kashuupulwa opened up on the Oshana Regional Council's WhatsApp group where he expressed dismay regarding allegations reportedly made against him by Irimari.

    Kashuupulwa also explained that the Oshana educational directorate relocated to Oshakati through the guidance of the decentralisation policy.

    He said it was government policy to have regional head offices of ministries constructed in the capital town of the region.

    However, the Ondangwa youth questioned the decentralisation policy that governor is talking about.

    “With regards to the governor's decentralisation policy for the region it seems aimed at taking essential services away from people. It is also depriving the developmental benefits to the local town council, business community, local employment communities as well as geographical access to these institutions by their service recipients. Offices were relocated from Ondangwa where there was already existing government infrastructure, to Oshakati where they are now renting and constructing new offices, spending a lot of our tax money.”

    When contacted, Irimari refused to comment.


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