Good Governance a Long Road

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Though Namibians can be proud of the existing good political governance with a practice of a multi-party democracy, the country still has a long road to go to address good corporate governance. According to the president of the Namibia Economic Society (NES) Mihe Gaomab II, Namibian companies still need to improve on responsible and accountable decision making, institutional capacity building and transparent use of resources especially those of the public trust. Presently, the corporate world is giving little significance to accountability and transparency. Evident to this is the failure to take Namibians to task stringently for any misdeed committed, which in turn has compromised accountability and transparency. He feels there is still a veil of cover on how some businesses are run and the way institutions are managed in the country in terms of transparency. “Fairness and ethical pursuit of how we manage our corporations and SMEs still leaves a lot to be desired,” said the economist. The lack of good corporate governance has similarly impacted on economic growth of the nation. According to Gaomab II, there is a great need to think through on enterprise governance and start implementing universal principles that would not only make institutions more effective but also contribute to the economic development of Namibia. Good corporate governance would not only pave the way to achieving Vision 2030 but would also promote an enabling environment for the currently needed aspects such as Foreign Direct Investment (DFI) and donor support to the country. “If we want to join the bandwagon of the global village, we need to ensure to have good corporate governance as an essential instrument to negotiate as part of a regional partner to effect good regional arrangements,” he stated. For a country that has established a long-term planning framework that would foster direction, ambition and purpose, Namibia is far from being on the right track to attain what is stipulated in the Vision 2030 blueprint. Evidence is the mismatch between the three percent economic growth and the seven per cent envisaged under Vision 2030. Gaomab II told New Era that something needs to be done to improve this rate, lest the country forgets about Vision 2030. He therefore called on the formal establishment of a private-public partnership in Namibia to ensure that the private sector and the government support national development goals by encouraging transparency, accountability and fairness in terms of corporate governance. Transparency, Gaomab II indicated, is not only essential to the realization of Vision 2030, but also for the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy to take root. However, good corporate governance can only succeed in Namibia if BEE is viewed within the broad scope of empowerment, job creation, rural development and poverty alleviation among others. “Black economic empowerment as a long-term process can and will only work if sound corporate governance principles are followed,” he stated.