U.S. Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i. John M. Kowalski Hand-over Ceremony of the Community Skills Development Center in Rundu

The opening of this COSDEC is a momentous occasion.

Vocational training is a time-honored tradition in America that President Barack Obama continues to strengthen.  In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama said:

“I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.  This can be community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship.  But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.”

The Government of Namibia, like President Obama, sees the need for continued education, and especially the need for continued vocational training.

I am honored to be here representing the government…and the people…
of the United States of America at the hand over of this school.  I also am honored to be here as the grandson of a man who taught me, as a child, the woodworking skills he learned in a school similar to this COSDEC, but in my hometown in America.

I saw with my own eyes how vocational training can change a life and enrich a family.

Finally, I am honored to be here as an American taxpayer to see our commitment to, and investment in, Namibia’s most precious resource –the Namibian people–that the Government of Namibia has made with hard-earned American taxpayer dollars.

This vocational school and the other COSDECs, built with Namibian vision
and American taxpayer money, are the standing proof of our two governments’ common belief in building Human Capital, in building Namibia’s future.

The MCC/MCA Compact’s Community Skills Development Centers are here to increase YOUR income earning capacity.

The COSDEC is also here to teach you life skills–skills that you can put to use immediately.

The COSDEC’s focus is on YOU, the community, and, over time, can change to adapt to YOUR needs as it meets the broader needs of the community.

Let me tell you what makes this center so valuable.

COSDECs are one of the few institutions that you can walk into and walk out of with skills you can use to fix your car, make your daughter a dress, create a job-winning CV, cook something delicious to eat or sell, build a house from bricks,

Or like my grandfather, make beautiful furniture from wood.

Learn skills here.  Use them to make a better life for you and your family.  Use them…and enjoy the pride you will feel when you get paid for styling your first client’s hair.  Be proud when you see someone wearing clothes YOU made.  Be proud as you watch a family moving into a home YOU built.  Be proud as you wave goodbye to a happy customer driving a car that YOU fixed.

Learning a new skill makes you more valuable.  Using your skill builds your community.  Mastering your skill helps build a better and stronger Namibia.  And building a stronger Namibia is

But, the good people of Rundu already seem to realize the great benefit of community education centers.  I understand that The Ministry of Labor started the old COSDEC as a community center. It was then changed into a training center, starting with four rooms.  The government of Namibia noticed your hunger to improve and dedicated precious MCC/MCA resources to build this COSDEC…for you.

The new center now has two hospitality training rooms, two large workshops, two large computer rooms, and an administration building.  It also has a SME center, large workshop, and 4 incubator units.  This is how the government of Namibia has invested in Namibia’s Human Capital…by investing in you.

Use it to turn your dreams into realities.

The Government of Namibia set the high goal of building four new COSDECs and renovating five others.  With the opening of this COSDEC in Rundu, the government has, through MCA’s good management of American taxpayer funds, achieved that goal.

In addition to the construction, the MCA-N team has worked to ensure that these COSDECs become NTA-registered and able to train in accredited courses that provide you nationally-recognized certifications.  MCA also purchased with American taxpayer funds and installed in these centers machinery that will take training from ‘basic’ to ‘industry-relevant,’ thereby preparing trainees for the work place and self-employment.

The government also recognized that ‘outreach training’ is an important part of all the COSDEC’s community activities.  To help the COSDECs reach out, MCA purchased 6 new vehicles that will assist in delivering to rural communities the golden opportunity of vocational training.

As an American taxpayer, I am proud of MCC and MCA’s achievements that provide you with opportunity to realize your potential.

President Obama’s call to build a stronger America also works for building a stronger Namibia.  At the African Leaders Summit recently hosted by President Obama, he said “When I was travelling through Africa last year what I heard was the desire of Africans not just for aid, but for trade and development that actually helps nations grow and empowers Africans for the long term. As president I have made it clear that the United States is determined to be a partner in Africa’s success; a good partner, an equal partner and a partner for the long term. We don’t look to Africa simply for its natural resources. We recognize Africa for its greatest resource, which is its people and its talents and their potential.”

You are Namibia’s greatest resource.  With American support, the Namibian Government has provided you this COSDEC as yet another way to do your part to build a stronger Namibia.

Enter this COSDEC and learn how to change YOUR world…with YOUR own hands…and relish in the pride you will feel as you realize YOUR potential.