By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK President Hifikepunye Pohamba met with the business fraternity in the Karas Region and the towns of Oranjemund and LÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¼deritz in particular, as part of a wider initiative by Government to foster greater interaction and consultation with different sectors of the economy. The latter is a directive from the Cabinet Retreat last November to increase interaction between government and the private sector. “I should say that this emphasis coincides with my own strongly-held view that, policy-makers in Government should gain first-hand knowledge about the operations of different sectors of our economy,” he told a business delegation at a dinner hosted in his honour by Namdeb. Pohamba said this was important, as both sectors were partners in the social and economic development of the country. “Thus there should be not any form of disconnection in relations among the stakeholders in our country’s development,” he urged. He said unemployment was one challenge the country was facing, and fighting it should go hand-in-hand with initiatives to impart knowledge, skills and competencies to the country’s workforce, particularly the youth. He stated: “We should not lose sight of the fact that our economy can only grow and expand to create more employment if our people possess the skills and the know-how to compete in the competitive global economy. “In the same vein, we need to place more emphasis on value addition, manufacturing and local processing of our natural resources.” The President also expressed his satisfaction with efforts made by Namdeb and De Beers Marine Namibia to improve the working environment of their workers. He also urged the two institutions to continue working harder and continue to maintain and promote “harmonious labour relations” in their workplaces. “It is only when a stable labour environment prevails in the country that we can achieve our targets in respect of productivity, quality assurance and overall output,” he stressed.
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