The country could benefit greatly from a green economy that could contribute to sustainable development, long-term growth, sustainable production and consumption.
This is the opinion of the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina, who says a green economy is also essential for green and decent jobs, among other benefits.
He was apeaking at a two-day seminar attended by key stakeholders from various sectors who gathered at a resort outside Windhoek to critically look at greening the construction sector and discuss the nation’s sustainable future.
The two-day forum – themed ‘Building a Greener Namibia’ – that kicked off on Tuesday was jointly organised by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Embassy of Finland. The forum brought together industry pioneers from as far as Ghana, Finland and various stakeholders with the aim to streamline green solutions in the construction industry.
Besides Nghimtina, among those in attendance were his deputy Alpheus Muheua; the Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, and the Ambassador of Finland to Namibia, Anne Saloranta.
“The Namibian government believes that the country can benefit greatly by greening the economy, and has resolved to develop green strategies that go hand in hand with employment creation,” said Nghimtina On his part, the Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein, expressed his admiration for the organisers, saying the huge gathering took place “at a critical juncture in the global and national economic and social transformation landscape”.
“The green investment and technology potential we are contemplating today as well as the business arrangements to give effect to their realisation are especially important to the expressed intentions of Namibia’s industrialization agenda,” said Schlettwein.
Furthermore, the government expects the private sector as the engine of growth to invest in the productive capacity of the economy and in the manufacture of value-added final products.
“The country can no longer afford to spend the budget on imported supplies, especially basic supplies which can be produced locally,” said Schlettwein.
“Given our potential in renewable energy, locally produced solutions for green investments in the construction industry are, in themselves, a niche market to tap,” he added.
He said for such reasons a platform such as the forum should aim to result in specific spin-offs.
“We should then find synergy to address emerging constraints through a consultative process,” he said.