Nekongo welcomes sport and youth decentralisation

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Nekongo welcomes sport and youth decentralisation
Nekongo welcomes sport and youth decentralisation

Africa-Press – Namibia. SWAPO Party Youth League secretary Efraim Nekongo has welcomed the Cabinet’s decision to decentralise the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service’s sport and youth functions to the country’s 14 regional councils.

He says this would fast-track sport activities in the regions and help eliminate bureaucracy in the ministry.

Nekongo says it would be meaningless, however, to decentralise these functions with insufficient funding.

“If that attachment is coming, we have to call for the Cabinet to consider adequately funding sport activities. And if there are modalities to be placed under the regional councils, that is a good thing, and it is something the Cabinet should be applauded for,” he says.

Nekongo says youth officers employed at regional councils are currently inactive, noting that decentralising would keep them busy.

The Swapo youth league leader urges the ministry to provide adequate funding to implement such functions.

The decentralisation directive was issued during the Cabinet’s 10th decision-making meeting held last week in the capital.

It directed the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to coordinate decentralisation jointly.

The functions to be decentralised are youth empowerment, youth development, sport promotion and support, and sport planning.

The decentralisation process includes financial obligations under the operational budget of the sport and youth ministry.

The directive is effective from 1 July.

The sport ministry will use its current financial budget for operations to cover all costs and gradually see to it that the staff complement of the recently established Kavango West region’s youth regional office aligns with other regional offices in the country.

Acting Popular Democratic Movement Youth League secretary Yvette Araes says the directive is a “mature decision”.

“It is good that the government wants to relieve bureaucratic delays and decentralise routine functions and provide more stable plans and policymaking centres,” she says.

All People Party’s Youth League leader Fridirick Shitunda says the decision was a substantial move made by the Cabinet.

He says the party’s youth wing last year received many complaints from young people in different regions that sport activities are mainly concentrated in urban areas.

He says decentralisation provides the hope that there will be youth activities in rural areas.

“This directive will help motivate and inspire the youth to work on their dreams more effectively and promote the efforts and involvement of youth in sport,” Shitunda says.

Minister of finance Iipumbu Shiimi in February tabled the country’s budget, dubbed it to be youth-centred, and as such, an allocation of N$330 million was made to the sport ministry for the 2022/23 financial year, and N$879 million over the medium-term expenditure framework.

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