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Masua: Empower young people

2024-03-27  Paheja Siririka

Masua: Empower young people

Member of Parliament Patience Masua has highlighted the importance of young Namibians being part of the lawmaking process and ensuring that their contributions trickle down in their advocacy for law reform to address issues that affect them.

She added that there is a need to empower young people and that they should ultimately be part of the lawmaking processes in the various countries in which they reside.

“Young people don’t only want to be members of Parliament; we need to see the trickledown effect so when you have one young person in Parliament - you empower them. What we also need is for them to advocate for reforms that talk to young people,” said Masua.

She said this at the Second AU Reflection Forum on Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCGs). Also known as the Accra II process on UCGs, the forum on 18 and 19 March 2024 in Accra, Ghana was held under the theme, ‘Robust Response, Deepening Democracy, Sustainable Security’. It was built on the first edition held in March 2022 and on the Declaration on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa, also known as the Malabo Declaration on UCGs.

The MP highlighted some achievements that hugely benefit youth because of them pushing that agenda, adding that in a country of three million [Namibia], 71% of them are young people, and about 40% are unemployed.

“We looked at these statistics and we informed the finance minister that the budget needs to speak to young people, and we need tax reforms that will empower them. He responded in our budget statement and 23 000 SMEs freed from their tax burden - that talks to tackling the issues of young people and mitigating things such as unconstitutional changes in government,” she expounded. Masua noted that most of the low- and middle-income earners are the bulge of the 71% of young people and they need to be freed from tax responsibilities, adding that this is what pushed the government to do away with transfer costs for as long as you buy a house that is less than N$1.1 million.

“We want our young people to be able to earn and have collateral when they buy their homes and start their businesses, hence the Development Bank has a government-backed credit guarantee scheme that can give you collateral for up to 60% of your business if you are a young person under the age of 35,” said the law graduate.

Masua strongly believes that these types of changes signify the essence of representation and why it matters in a democracy, saying that “it is the trickle-down effect of what we want when young people are in positions of power, we don’t want talk shop but we want people who go into these positions and impact thousands of others.”

2024-03-27  Paheja Siririka

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