News and Information

More and more Namibian youth face poverty squeeze
July 22, 2004
THE number of youth in Namibia who live below the poverty line is estimated at 119 800 out of 343 100, about 35 per cent.
According to the African Forum and Network For Debt and Development's (AFRODAD) 2003-04 edition, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 comprise around 18 per cent of the world's population and represent around 41 per cent of the unemployed in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It notes that levels of unemployment tend to be two to three times higher for this group than for the adult population.

The edition noted further that the informal sector in Sub-Saharan Africa had absorbed most of the unemployed - not because it had a limitless absorption capacity but because, in the absence of any social welfare system, the unemployed had to "squeeze in" regardless of how saturated the sector is.

According to the edition, the formal sector across most of Africa appeared to be stagnant and had become an insignificant player in the job market.

As the number of people joining the informal sector has risen, wages have fallen on the back of declining demand for their services as a result of over-trading and the weakening economies in Sub-Saharan African countries.


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