Windhoek - "I voted for whom I think will transform the country, bring about change and foster national development for the prosperity of all citizens," said 30-year-old Freddy Mateus, a Namibian youth who voted at one of the polling stations in the capital, Windhoek Wednesday morning.
Elizabeth Tashiya woke up early morning to stand in the queue at a polling station in Ojomuise, a suburb in Windhoek. She is confident that her vote would make a difference.
"I want to see change. I voted before in 2014. Moreover, I voted again today because I know my vote has the power to make a difference," Tashiya said.
Namibian urban youth said they are hopeful for a better future as they cast their votes during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on November 27.
Namibians went to the polls on Wednesday for the seventh time since their independence in March 1990. Records from Namibia's Electoral Commission (ECN) show that about 1.3 million voters have been registered, and vote for whom will lead the country over the next five years. The 4, 241 polling stations, spread across 121 constituencies countrywide opened at 7 a.m. local time and will be closed at 9 p.m.
Stino Simon, a Namibian youth, is driven by the urge for change to vote.
"Life is a struggle. So I am voting for a candidate whom I feel has the potential to overhaul the economy. A leader who considers and values the input of the youth. A President and political leaders who can create opportunities for the youth and address this high unemployment rate amongst the youth," said Simon.
Liina Mupopya, a young graduate, has been seeking employment for a year, with no success. For her, as a first-time voter, the elections give her hope for a prosperous future. Furthermore, according to the Namibian youth, they are voting for a candidate who will exude humility to Namibians, would be transparent and hands-on in addressing social problems such as the high unemployment rate, which is negatively affecting the youth.
The Namibia Statistics Agency shows that unemployment of Namibians between the ages of 15 and 34 years old has increased from 43.4 percent recorded in 2016 to 46.1 percent by the end of 2018.
However, voter apathy has been observed in the social circles of some of the young populace. Jeremiah Kaweya said he is not keen to vote, reasoning that social problems such as unemployment persist. Local commentator, Professor Paul Isaks, said that the voter apathy amongst youth is attributed to the high unemployment rate.
"While doors to education are open, jobs are limited. This may demoralize young people to participate," he said. Theo Mujoro, the chief electoral officer at the ECN, said that the presidential election results would be announced after the voting process is concluded at polling stations.