Dissertation Abstracts

Experiences of unemployed youths in Ohangwena and Khomas regions of Namibia

Author: Namupala, Ndeshi , nnamupala@unam.na
Department: Sociology
University: University of Namibia, Namibia
Supervisor: Dr Winterfeldt
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Youth , Unemployment , Employment , Social protection
Areas of Research: Youth , Work , Economy and Society


Youth unemployment continues to haunt Namibia as its rates are among the highest in Southern Africa. The unemployment of those that should be the main bread winners not only affects them as individuals, but negative impacts of unemployment are extended to their families and friends. The difficulties in finding employment also mean difficulties in securing an income and decent livelihood for these young people. In addition, with poor access to productive assets such as capital, land, skills, majority of the unemployed youth face a daily struggle to meet their very basic needs. In the absence of social protection programs targeted at the unemployed people in Namibia, the unemployed youth find themselves in even more vulnerable situations and often are the ones on the periphery of the Namibian society. Social protection systems in Namibia depends on employer and employees monthly contributions and in case of non-contributory, it is limited to Orphans and Vulnerable children, pensioners and war veterans. As a result, the unemployed particularly the youths are left out. According to the 2014 Namibia labour force survey report, unemployment rate of youths aged 15-34 is almost 40%. Therefore social protection which includes the unemployed is more needed than ever, particularly for young people if they are to have dignity and also security for their future. The motto of Namibia’s current President is “no one should be left out of the Namibian house”. While this motto seem very inclusive, the reality of a Namibia house for all, can only be accomplished if Namibia starts the in-depth discussions on these issues of comprehensive social protection system which includes discussions of unemployment insurance.

This dissertation analyses the current situation of unemployed youths in the country and how they survive unemployment in the absence of social protection programs. This is in the hope to bring the discussion of unemployment insurance to the forefront of Namibia’s social protection debates.