First Lady Monica Geingos has announced that she will launch the One Economy Foundation (“ONE”) on Saturday at a fundraising dinner at Ramatex in Windhoek’s Otjomuise suburb. President Hage Geingob is scheduled as guest of honour.
“ONE” is a section 21 non-profit organisation which concerns itself with Namibia’s dual economy, wherein a small segment of the population participates and thrives in the “first”, the profitable, knowledge-based economy, while the majority of Namibians barely survive in the “second” economy.
The foundation will strive to serve as a conduit for transformation by connecting Namibia’s formal and informal economies and serve as a bridge over which Namibians in the “second” economy or operating on the peripheries of the “first” economy can cross and fully utilise their talents in one economy.
“ONE” has been described as the implementing arm of all the projects to be undertaken by the Office of the First Lady, primarily focused on, but not limited to, enterprise development and entrepreneurship; integrated early childhood development; gender-based violence response and preventative programme; health; and institutional strategic support.
Through the employment of diverse strategies including mentoring and professional coaching; collateral free lending, talent identification programmes for educational and entrepreneurial purposes; advocacy on adolescent reproductive health; advocacy on communicable and non-communicable diseases, the first lady aspires to actively work towards the shared dream of a Namibia where inequality is significantly reduced and the formal and informal economy increasingly become one.
The foundation’s board will be introduced to the public at the fundraising dinner.
Geingos is the executive chairperson and the rest of the board is constituted of independent, non-executive directors.
Board diversity is personified in the skills, demographic and experience mix of its directors and also by their respective participation in the formal and informal economies. Directors include a financial services expert, youth, an office cleaner who aspires to be an entrepreneur and a breadwinner whose full-time occupation is guarding cars at a shopping complex in Klein Windhoek.
One Economy Foundation will exist through minimising administrative costs and maximising the impact of donor funding. To this extent, the governance framework of ONE is grounded in the principles of accountability and transparency, as well as regular project feedback.