Unemployed lawyers told to look at green hydrogen, oil for salvation

Yvonne Dausab

Minister of justice Yvonne Dausab says the green hydrogen, oil and gas sectors would present law graduates with many opportunities.

Dausab said this on Thursday in the parliament while responding to questions raised by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Maximalliant Katjimune.

Katjimune asked whether the market could sustain the high number of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) graduates entering the legal profession every year.

She said opportunities should therefore be created for LLB graduates to specialise in relevant fields where there is a scarcity of expertise in Namibia.

This would help Namibia become an industrialised nation as per Vision 2030, she said.

Katjimune said the School of Law at the University of Namibia (Unam) has graduated roughly 200 LLB graduates each year in the last five years.

“This number excludes those graduating from other institutions within and outside Namibia,” he said.

Dausab said the ministry would continuously explore avenues to address the plight of unemployed graduates.

“Through working together, universities, government bodies, legal institutions and private sector employers, we can create a comprehensive strategy to provide valuable opportunities for these graduates.

“This would ensure their skills are effectively used and that their transition into the legal profession is smooth,” she said.

Dausab said it is essential to recognise that youth unemployment affects not only law graduates, but also various other sectors.

James Mnyupe

“We encourage the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation to join these efforts and consider sharing their initiatives, as collective action is vital in tackling this issue of youth unemployment effectively,” she said.

Meanwhile, green hydrogen commissioner James Mnyupe yesterday told The Namibian a lot of the new firms in Namibia need legal expertise and would either hire Namibian graduates or local firms with expertise in the new sectors.

Mnyupe said legal experts are already sought for advice in these sectors.

“We believe this is just the beginning as the spin-offs from these new sectors would impact various parts of Namibia,” he said.

The acting director of the Namibia Green Hydrogen Research Institute at Unam, Zivayo Chiguvare, yesterday said regulations and laws are yet to be drafted for the green hydrogen sector.

“There may already be laws governing trading in commodities, the safety of production, storage, the distribution and handling of any products, including renewable energy, oil and gas, which are applicable to hydrogen in Namibia.

“Since the sector must become a major economics contributor, there is a need to put together legislation governing the sector, including metrology, standards and certification,” he said.

Chiguvare urged law practitioners and their students to guide the drafting of comprehensive laws.

“Graduates can be employed in the compliance enforcement to ensure fair trade and quality. It is not possible to provide the exact number of graduates who would be employed by the sector, as it is still developing,” he said.

Chiguvare said Youth for Green Hydrogen scholarships do not limit fields of specialisation, meaning eligible students could also be awarded law scholarships.

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