By the end of July Namibia should have its first food bank up and running in Windhoek, secured an energy supply deal of 300MW with South Africa and know how best to reduce the financial dependence of parastatals on State coffers.
By then the country would have revived the Equipment Aid Scheme, as well as approved a policy on how to use social media. This is only if President Hage Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan (HHP) meets its first major targets and deadlines.
HPP is Geingob’s roadmap and compass to leading Namibians to the land of economic prosperity. The plan was launched recently as the answer to the economic and social problems facing the country and as a means to lift citizens out of abject poverty.
However, many have likened it to previous national plans and called it “too ambitious”, while others have put their gears in rut and are ready to run with it.
Economic advisor in the Presidency and former statistician-general John Steytler is confident that all is on track and that more reviews on the progress of the plan should be done by the end of July.
By Geingob’s own admission, the HHP target under Pillar One (effective governance) the annual declaration of assets and income by public office bearers and civil servants will indeed be met by the end of June deadline.
In line with this the National Planning Commission will by the end of July present a quarterly progress report on the over 600 capital projects funded by the State to the tune of N$32,5 billion over the next three years.
Also, according to the HPP, by the end of June guidelines on the regulations of the new Procurement Act should be made available by the Ministry of Finance, while the Information and Communication and Technology Ministry must submit a detailed rollout plan on government ICT solutions by the end of July.
Pillar Two, which aims at creating 1 000 jobs within the first year of HPP, has tasked the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to review the Equipment Aid Scheme by the end of the first quarter of 2016, while targeting 180 beneficiaries this year.
By the end of this month, the Ministry of Public Enterprises should report back with proposals on how to better leverage the assets of State-owned enterprises so as to ease the financial strain on the national budget.
Under the pillar of social progression, the increase in the old age pension allowance to N$1 100 has already been implemented, but the resumption of the mass housing initiative is yet to take off.
Although Geingob had earlier raised concerns about the exorbitant cost for the construction of the food bank, the HPP set a target for the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to open a food bank in Windhoek by the end of this month.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy is also expected to finalise the National Integrated Resource Plan and a modified single buyer model by the end of June.