Getting Ready for the Road

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By Lesley-Anne van Wyk WINDHOEK In a bid to improve commercial transport within Namibia and functional linkages with other countries, InWent began a six-day Alumni Workshop yesterday. The workshop is scheduled to run over the next five days. In his opening statement, Heinrich Plote, Senior Project Manager for Capacity Building International (InWent Germany) said, “The government of Namibia has agreed to host a series of training courses in the field of road maintenance.” Those invited to the workshop have attended previous training programmes from 2000 where more than 80 participants from sub-Saharan Africa attended. The course has trainees from Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Seychelles, Ghana and Namibia. “The training activities range from training to improve the overall performance of transport corridors of Namibia to tailor-made training for stakeholders of the sector.” The workshop is focusing on furthering the “knowledge and competence of its participants” as well as the vital need to “update knowledge and information”, said Plote. The programme is aimed at fostering an exchange of skills and maintaining an open dialogue to allow for economic development of the region thereby improving the efficiency of the existing roads infrastructure. The workshop will focus on sustainable road maintenance management and aims at training those who work with InWent to stimulate the demand for Germany’s services in the field of training as well as to enhance the service itself. Such individuals are called Multipliers. It will also benefit “especially the rural areas, where the transport on roads and paths is the only possibility for economic and social activities.” he added. The Councillor for Development and Co-operation of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Namibia, Stefan Sckell, highlighted that;”The training is of special significance because it is our common conviction that an adequate and well maintained transport system is of crucial importance for the further social and economic development in Africa.” He underlined the importance of the transport sector to the development of all sectors of the economy adding that ” … it facilitates the integration of the national economy internally and internationally.” The Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication has closely collaborated with InWent for several years and it was with “a hearty extension of warmth” that Friedrich Poolman from the Roads Authority addressed the representatives from InWent and Germany. Speaking on the behalf of Deputy Minister Stephanus Mogotsi, Poolman pointed out that participants in the programme have not only been promoted but are now far more valuable as their services are competed for within the public and private sectors. He said the through the consistent presence of InWent in the history of the department of roads and transport, “InWent has become a household name with us.” It was said that offering training to workers at the lowest level was absolutely necessary to the development of the sector. Poolman pointed out, “that engineers and technicians are fine to train but it is the common labourer who deals with the “three d’s: the dollars, dust and diesel” who know what the work is all about”. InWent is an organisation for international human resource development, advanced training and dialogue. It was established in 2002 through the merger of Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft (CDG) and the German Foundation for international Development (DSE). Its international training and dialogue programmes are directed to experts, managers and decision-makers from business and industry, politics, public administration and civil society from all over the world. In its efforts to foster international learning communities and knowledge networks at the core of sustainable international co-operation, InWent works through its eight business fields that include sustainable economics, international trade relations, regional development and urbanization as well as development education.