Economic diversification essential – PM

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Nuusita Ashipala
Ondangwa

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said there is an urgent need to transform the economy to break out of commodity dependence to more diversified manufacturing-based value addition.

In addition to the increased manufacture-based value addition, she said employment creation and export expansion will consolidate Namibia’s growth trajectory.

Although there was a 2.3 percent reduction in the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), there has been a noticeable upward trend since independence, with the sector contributing at least 8.7 percent in 1996 and 14.8 percent in 2011.

“Although this is laudable progress, our manufacturing industries must grow at a much more rapid pace to absorb our growing labour force and to surpass our extractive industries in terms of job creation, production, exports and public revenue,” the prime minister said last Friday while visiting manufacturing businesses in Ondangwa.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said government would engage more closely with the manufacturing sector to establish common ground on transformation, including the policy work on the promotion of previously disadvantage industrialists.

Transforming the economy remains a key challenge in Namibia with the industrialisation path deemed likely to fail if the previously disadvantaged people are not part of the process.

“We view this sector as one of our real potential agents to changing the status quo,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further said, noting that it was pleasing to see that Namibia’s own people have ventured into manufacturing and producing goods of high quality, an ambition advocated in Vision 2030.

“When the government and private sector are pulling in the same direction, then this country is heading into the right direction to be characterised as a prosperous and industrialised country,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.

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