New Labor Market Assessment Guides Employment and Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Young Women

USAID Country Representative Dr. McDonald Homer (L) & Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Services, Hon. Emma Kantema Gaomas (R), together with DREAMS Entrepreneur Klaudia Kashikuka Ndeshipewa (C) launching the new Labor Market Assessment Report.

Windhoek – The U.S. Government-funded DREAMS program and the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service launched a Labor Market Assessment Report which identifies economic growth sectors, occupational and entrepreneurship opportunities for adolescent girls and young women in Namibia.

The Labor Market Assessment Report is critical to chart an economic pathway for young women. The assessment identifies seven economic growth sectors in the districts where DREAMS is implemented including wholesale and retail trade, artisanal sectors, information technology, and hospitality. The report also points out specific occupations within each sector as potential employment and self-employment avenues for young women.

DREAMS stands for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe and is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the aim to keep young women HIV-free and empower them socially as well as economically.

“Economic disparity related to gender inequality is an ongoing and complex driver of HIV. Implementing robust and evidence-based economic strengthening interventions is a priority for DREAMS in order to strengthen young women’s self-efficacy and decision-making power in relationships and to decrease their reliance on transactional sex,” highlighted Dr. McDonald Homer, USAID Country Representative. “This labor market assessment report contributes positively to meeting the economic and development needs of young women.”

According to the 2018 Labor Force Survey, Namibia’s unemployment rate stood at 33.4% with a youth unemployment rate of 46.1% — the average of 43% unemployed young men and 48.5% unemployed young women.

Guided by the assessment, the DREAMS program offers financial literacy education, skills, vocational and entrepreneurship training, linkages to internships and employment, as well as business starter kits for women entrepreneurs.

These interventions are now additionally informed by the Labor Market Assessment commissioned by Project Hope Namibia who is implementing DREAMS together with ACHIEVE. Since 2021, the program has supported over 560 adolescent girls and young women to complete vocational training, linked 245 of them to internships and wage employment, and provided 148 with entrepreneurial start-up kits.