WINDHOEK: While applauding the Khomas Regional Council for providing them with materials and equipment for their small businesses, the beneficiaries have urged the youth to step it up and begin working for themselves.

As part of the regional council’s Income Generating Activities Grant, the Moses ||Garoëb Constituency office handed over material and equipment to 23 small enterprises in Windhoek on Thursday.

The income-generating grant in its eleventh year is part of the local government’s ongoing effort to fight poverty and unemployment by boosting viable small business projects in the region.

One of the beneficiaries, Frans Mulyau, thanked the government for meeting him halfway.

For the past two years, Mulyau and three partners have been running a soap-making business out of Hakahana in Katutura, using basic tools.

“We started our business making soaps and detergents. This year, we went through training by the education ministry, where we were taught how to make soap. Then we asked for assistance from the government to be given a generator because, where we are operating, there is no electricity. We also got electrical mixers because we use sticks to mix the ingredients,” Mulyau told Nampa.

“We are very proud and are going to work even harder. We want our products to be used in our hospitals, schools, and the community in general. And we are applauding our government for meeting us halfway.”

Mulyau advised other young people to be innovative, saying that it will make it easy for the government to meet them halfway. “Yes, we want the government to assist. But as young people, let’s not rest on our laurels and start doing something. Only then can the government assist us, like the help we just received today,” he said.

Late last year, Ally Shiteta resigned from her full-time office administration job to set up a printing shop at the Ombili complex. “My business is very small. I started it earlier this year, in January, with only one computer and a small printer. But now I thank the government for giving me a bigger printer and other equipment. So I am happy and going to employ someone to assist me,” she said.

Shiteta advises other young people to be courageous and make it a habit of paying attention to public information as well as visiting government offices like the Moses ||Garoëb Constituency office in Havana.

“I just heard about the income-generating grant on the radio. Then I applied for the grant, and my application was approved by the regional council,” she said.

Mauma Pupuku John has also expressed his gratitude to the government for the power tools he received for his joinery business. “I really thank the government for giving me the equipment to work and help expand my business,” said John, who started his business in 2020.

John does not have formal training in joinery and cabinet making but learned on the job at Lumber City, where he worked for four years.

“My advice to young people is that self-employment is very important. I see today a lot of young people are just in the street drinking, which is not good. So I encourage them to stand up and start something so the government can meet them halfway,” he said.

For the 2023 edition, the Moses ||Garoëb Constituency was allocated N.dollars 250 000, and Councillor Stefanus Ndengu said that recipients received business aid grants ranging from N.dollars 6 000 to N.dollars 13 000.

Ndengu said the approved projects range from a hair salon to tailoring, welding, panel beating, printing and stationary, car wash, catering, joinery, dry cleaning, soap-making, bakery, and ice-making.

“The grant encourages community members to embark on economically viable projects that could be sustained in the long run. Since its inception, the programme has immensely contributed to the reduction of poverty and the increasing employment rate in the constituency,” the councillor said.

Meanwhile, Ndengu cautioned the beneficiaries to make use of the equipment by expanding their businesses and creating employment. “We have now entered into a development partnership, and our involvement will continue with regular monitoring and mentorship of your project,” he said, adding that the council reserves the right to take back the equipment when not used.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency