- Community and Culture
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Last week, 47 students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds graduated as official tour guides from the Namibia Academy for Tourism Hospitality (NATH) with funding from the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA).
The students who came from as far as the Caprivi, Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Karas and Erongo regions, received their certificates in Windhoek after undergoing a 14-month training course in subjects such as English, communication skills, flora and fauna as well as geology.
Some of the participants had gained tourism experience in previous jobs but lacked the financial resources to study for the nationally recognised level-3 tour guiding certificate.
NATH was the first official training provider certified by the Namibia Qualifications Authority to sign an agreement for scholarships with the MCA fund. The development programme, which is funded by the US government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), granted N$52 million to train Namibians as tour guides.
Twenty of the graduates have already found employment in the industry. Tuna-Mukwathi Angula, the top performer of the NATH course, said that she is thankful to MCA-N for empowering her. “l am now a fully-fledged tour guide - my dream has come true,” she said.
The training forms part of MCA-N’s overall intervention in Namibia’s tourism sector to the tune of USS67 million (N$500 million). For its five-year implementation programme MCA-N has budgeted USS4 million (NS30 million) for scholarships in fields that are experiencing skills shortages.
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