President Hage Geingob has called upon the private sector to apply greater efforts to ensure a demographically diverse workforce, which includes black Namibians and women at all organisational levels.
He made the statement at the launch of the National Dialogue on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication on Friday. Geingob said the stratified nature of our economy should not lend itself to generalisations as if all white-owned business behave in an uncaring manner.
“I am therefore heartened by the unsolicited offers to join government in its crusade against poverty eradication,” the president said. He said government resources are not limited and in order not to saddle the youth with unsustainable debt it is imperative that affordable and appropriate strategies are formulated.
“Effective implementation of these strategies requires a national shift in mind-set from all Namibians,” Geingob said. He noted the key to private and public service delivery is effective governance and accountable leadership, which avoids the pitfalls of corruption, tribalism, nepotism and lack of accountability.
Meanwhile, according to a recent report by the Employment Equity Commission (EEC), companies countrywide have 675 executive directors in total, of which 416 (61,6%) are white. These were largely white males, who held 339 of executive director positions, while white women held only 77.
Black Namibians hold 22 percent of executive directorship, of which 110 are men while 37 are women. The 61 percent executive directorship positions held by whites indicates an increase from a previous 59 percent reported by the EEC in 2010.
Non-Namibian executives amount to 16 percent (108), while only four people with disabilities are recorded as executive directors. Women continue to be left behind in terms of executive directorships, with only 19 percent representation.
The equity commission reported in 2010 that there was a “worrying trend” that 50 percent of new recruits at executive director level were whites. At the time, records showed that only 27 percent of executive director posts were taken up by blacks.
The country’s affirmative action law is aimed at equality of opportunity in employment, while the function of the EEC is to implement and monitor affirmative action policy in the country’s labour force.