The future of job creation: entrepreneurship

27 July 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Twapewa Kadhikwa

I have a dream. My dream is that Namibia achieves 0% unemployment within the next 3 years. I believe this dream, call me crazy or ambitious, BUT I believe this is achievable with every BONE in my body.
Despite the challenges amidst Covid, the only direction towards job creation for the future is still entrepreneurship. Below are brief points sharing the powerful tools and instruments that can be used to create and harness entrepreneurship.

Unlocking entrepreneurial capital in human vessels
Namibia being a young state, inherited a dark legacy (both colonial and apartheid) that was not designed nor intended to allow Namibians the best versions of themselves. Through the system of apartheid, and you are welcome to debate this with me, the biggest tragedy was not the segregation, no, the tragedy of that system is that it buried the potential of the oppressed in a deep way.
Freedom as we know it is more than political freedom. True freedom, is economic freedom. Our Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma always emphasised that the second battle of the liberation struggle is economic freedom and until we are economically free, we are not free at all.

We are already post-Covid
In the few circles I move in, one often hears of the terminology “Life after Covid”. Let’s get rid of this notion and live in the now, which is post-Covid. The trauma, pain, disruption, hurt, instability and vulnerability that we have experienced and still experiencing is already life after Covid. This is it. Hence, by now we should already have reflected and become more purposeful in all we do so that we never ever find ourselves in such a situation again. Covid found us entrepreneurially weak, our economy very weak and ill, hence our vulnerability to it.
Namibia imports over 90% of all it consumes and exports 90% produce and resources in raw form. This is a recipe for absolute poverty and will benefit no one in both the short and long term.

Becoming an entrepreneurial nation
One of the dominant challenges in Namibia is that we have too many people, in especially critical positions who have an employee mindset. The employee mindset is one that is stimulated only by a vitamin called “salary” and limited to a “job description”. This mindset will not help Namibia nor will it make us become a more entrepreneurial nation. When I talk about becoming an entrepreneurial nation, I do not mean that employed people must tender their resignation to their employers and start enterprises, no. What I mean is, they need to become more entrepreneurial so that we can move the country forward, take ownership of their jobs and use the institutions that they work in as vessels of service delivery.

Nine years to Vision 2030
With only 9 years to get to Vision 2030, we certainly need to accelerate our speed. Below are 4 bullet points that will help achieve a reduced if not 0% unemployment rate.
• Entrepreneurial skills development at all levels in the education & vocational training sector: Primary and high schools should offer entrepreneurship across all grades as a compulsory subject. At this stage, entrepreneurship is offered as an optional subject and only from grade 6.
• Corporate support & leadership: Corporates play a huge role in the economy and I applaud the manner in which corporate entities came out to support government in the fight for Covid. We need to cultivate a mindset of allowing black Namibians to run businesses and not remain consumers only.
• Critical people in management with an employee mindsets: This simply means developing an entrepreneurial mindset, whereby people will be able to make positive impact within the organisations that they operate in.
• Inheritance vs Legacy: The definition of inheritance is something that you leave FOR others. It is tangible and can be traced. Legacy on the other hand is what you leave IN others. I seek to cultivate a rich legacy that leaves good fruit for the next generation to continue. Yes, we will leave an inheritance for the future generation but my question is, what type of legacy are we transferring?
With the above tools and instruments, I do believe that through informing and educating, each individual can spark the mind to see things differently and question the current status quo. Let’s take ownership and be part of the change of our entrepreneurial landscape in Namibia.
*Twapewa Kadhikwa is an entrepreneur and author.

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