The recently launched Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) by the Head of State, President Hage Geingob, during the State of the Nation Address this week is a great initiative, which is a socio-economic plan that requires all Namibians to pull in the same direction to ensure shared growth.
The document is well drafted and the plan’s objectives are well thought-out and, therefore, realistic and attainable in the given timeframe, if implemented successfully. It is indeed an ambitious plan which outlines the future policies for the next four years.
Although the HPP is almost perfect in terms of poverty eradication, it falls short on a few expectations, such as addressing one of the major socio-economic issues of the masses – land and housing. Nevertheless, it is a good step in the right direction and we all hope it does not gather dust on the shelves in government offices.
The intention to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio is welcomed and a noteworthy goal. As for 121 business owned by the rural youth? Consisting of how many people exactly? At most you will only empower 121 000 youths out of how many? The construction of toilets and eradication of the bucket system is welcome, but people need running water.
The plan is to fast-track development, or rather to complement the existing government developmental plans.
It has broad pillars: with effective governance and service delivery being key. There have been instances in the past where regions failed to implement government’s social plans, such as the National School Feeding Programme and Drought Relief Plan where foodstuff was left to rot in storage, while those who needed it the most were suffering. We hope with the food bank this is not repeated. There should be a mechanism in place to ensure that this does not happen.
Regional heads should also be held accountable with the progress of HPP being one of the points on which their performance is apparaised. It will be very good if we can improve this in order to achieve our objective of becoming the most transparent country in Africa. This will strive towards fast implementation and do away with bureaucracy, which is a complicated administrative procedure,
Economic Advancement is my favourite one: the Growth-At-Home policy, Retail Charter, the new Procurement Bill and Investment Bill are all positive signs that government sees Namibian companies as major partners in the war against poverty and in job creation.
The food bank will feed the hungry, but who are those hungry? Who are we targeting? Street children? If it is those who are willing to work, but cannot find a job, then the food bank is not the answer. However, the unemployed youth will render services and get remunerated for their services is another step in job creation. The question remains: how will it operate?