The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) feels it can collaborate with government to tackle the critical issue of urban land delivery.
In this regard the NCCI’s executive leadership said it has requested a meeting with the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, towards addressing this huge national challenge.
“While land delivery is a very pressing challenge facing us, we should be rational and long-term in our thinking when we find solutions to this challenge,” said Acting President of the NCCI, Sebby Kankondi, during the official opening of the chamber’s national council meeting in the capital on Friday.
Kankondi noted that the NCCI concurs with President Hage Geingob that the country must urgently deal with unacceptable levels of poverty and inequality once and for all.
“With a very small populace and a growing gross domestic product, one would have expected poverty levels and inequalities to have fallen sharply by now in comparison to the position we had at independence. We believe that poverty eradication is a shared responsibility among all the stakeholders in the economy, but especially between government and the private sector,” said Kankondi.
He said that dialogue between government and the business sector should be centered around the creation of a common understanding and strategy for poverty eradication through sustained economic growth and diversification of economic activities.
“We acknowledge and support the initiatives which the government has already proposed to tackle poverty, including the creation of a food bank. We believe however that the business sector, as a significant contributor to national wealth creation and therefore poverty eradication, should participate fully in the development of national strategies for poverty eradication. Our dialogue with government, starting next year, will undoubtedly provide an opportune platform for such participation,” Kankondi added.
He however cautioned that the most important principle to guide the country’s strategy should be an acknowledegement that the competitiveness of the economy will to a large degree determine the extent to which Namibia can eradicate poverty and hunger.
“We must first and foremost become a competitive nation through higher levels of productivity. We must accept the hard reality that competitive economies cannot be built by unproductive citizens. Although it might take a little bit long to turn our citizens into globally competitive people, we must never pretend that we can create shortcuts to competitiveness and permanent eradication of poverty. These key principles will have to form part of our discussions as we chart sustainable ways towards poverty eradication,” said Kankondi.