The Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta has attributed the high poverty levels in the country to alcohol and substance abuse, as well as the mushrooming of unregistered liquor outlets.
He said the abuse should be discouraged especially amongst school-going and underage children as it has the potential to prevent the country from reaching its set targets.
“It is no secret that this trend has destroyed the promising future of many young people who are now flocking the streets with no qualifications and creating an extra burden for society,” said Shifeta.
He made the remarks on Wednesday at the 9th Eenhana Trade and Business Expo.
The minister emphasised that the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) is intended to fast-track social and economic development with the utmost aim of eliminating poverty by 2020.
“Therefore our joint efforts to address recurrent issues faced by our people such as poverty and unemployment, amongst others, in the true spirit of Harambee is crucial,” he said.
He called on the Eenhana Town Council to also play its part in the HPP by developing and implementing projects aimed at uplifting social and economic standards and ensuring prosperity for residents and neighbours.
According to Shifeta the theme “Business development through innovative entrepreneurship” was carefully crafted to urge local entrepreneurs to challenge business opportunities, focussing particularly on innovation and technology to improve products and services offered at the town.
Shifeta also appealed to the town’s local authority to prioritize potential investors whose businesses will contribute to uplifting the living standards of people.
Also speaking at the event, the town mayor Julia Shikongo appealed to the youth to partake in the expo.
She said the expo provides an opportunity for the youth to start businesses with the intention to grow them in the long run.
This year’s expo has 230 exhibitors compared to the 209 of last year. Council is expecting more than 10 000 visitors compared to the 8 000 of last year.
The expo which started on Monday ends on Saturday.