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Govt calls for economic re-engineering to support grassroots development

The government has called for economic re-engineering so that policies, reforms, and funding cater to grassroots levels.

According to the Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, “It is time to start focusing on what needs to be done at a grassroots level because what happens or does not happen at a micro level will invariably determine our economic path.”

"All these factors contribute to the right eco-system resulting from government initiatives. It has become clear that business owners, especially our youthful startups, do not want to hear about plans and promises but rather see action and implementation. They want to see milestones that indicate we are actually striving to achieve the objectives we have set. This is a time where courage is needed to convert ideas into implementation and learn the harsh and sometimes exciting lessons that implementation has to teach us. 

Iipumbu made these remarks at the ongoing Employment Creation Indaba in the Omaheke region.

"Many of the discussions you will have will build on the strengths that we have, one of which is our strong political will and drive to address the challenges. The government is fully aware of the need to urgently address the problem of unemployment and is keen to initiate a paradigm shift while being cognisant of the country's fiscal space," she said.

Iipumbu reiterated the need to target sectors with high potential for employment and sustainable growth, especially in the Omaheke Region, such as transport, tourism, livestock production, charcoal production, and manufacturing.

"The facilitation of the transition to formality of non-formal activities is a critical element; it is crucial to consciously integrate economic and social objectives upfront and ensure that social and employment objectives are not subordinate to narrow economic imperatives," she said.

"Most importantly, it is vital to acknowledge that people should be put at the centre of development, and decent work should be an overarching priority across all macro and sector policies.”

The Minister said the government is committed to serving the interests of the populace, and this year, the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade will roll out support programmes and facilities aimed at assisting the SME sector to establish and grow their businesses in Namibia, targeting the youthful population in particular.

Among them is the Ministry's Equipment Aid Scheme programme, although it has received limited funding, according to Iipumbu.

Other programmes include the Industrial Modernisation Upgrading Programme (IUMP) and the Strategic Development Goal (SDG) Facility, which will further assist SMEs in product development, standards, labeling, packaging, and marketing of their products.

In the same vein, the Ministry will assist SMEs with capacity development and training in basic entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and business modeling under the Empretec programme.

On the policy framework front, the Ministry is working tirelessly to finalise the Informal Economy and Entrepreneurial Policy, Special Economic Zone Law, and the Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Bill legislations, of which consultations will be held in Gobabis on June 16.

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Last modified on Friday, 09 June 2023 18:34

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