Namibia is an emerging, nation in southwestern Africa. It achieved its independence from South Africa in 1990. It has an overall unemployment rate of 40% caused by both a lack of skilled labor and job opportunities. Its landmass is approximately twice the size of California, with a population of less than 2 million people. Almost 50% of the people live in the north central region of the country. Although the official language is English, many northern inhabitants only speak tribal dialects.
Since there are not enough jobs in the agricultural north, many families migrate south looking for work. Since many are unskilled, and illiterate, they end up in informal settlements (squatters’ camps) still unemployed. While the government is doing it’s best to help, the problem is just too massive. Some Namibian churches are beginning to realize that they have a key role to play in meeting the growing social concerns of Namibia. And yet the needs are overwhelming.
While overall Namibian unemployment is about 40%, in these informal settlements, unemployment is closer to 80%. Not many ministries or socal assistance organizations are mobilized to help these people. What they are most deprived of is the hope that their lives will ever improve.