Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says the competitiveness of a given economy is not just reflected by improved infrastructure and administrative reforms, but is heavily dependent on the innovativeness of the business community.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said this during the hosting of the fundraising gala dinner that forms part of the Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition. The dinner took place at Ondangwa on Saturday.
She said Namibia is a net exporter of capital, however it is critical to move away from this disparaging situation as soon as possible. According to her, it is time for the country to invest more in education and training that would enable it to develop new products and add value to raw materials.
She urged Namibian businesses to venture into manufacturing and value addition, and optimise government supportive policies towards businesses, such as Infant Industries’ Protection, Growth at Home Strategy, Industrial Development Policy, public-private partnership and trade promotion policies. This in turn would support the country’s efforts to optimise job creation and reduce its vulnerability to shocks from international commodity markets.
“One of the critical challenges facing our country is how to overcome constraints to wealth creation and economic growth. This means that we should address such constraints head-on by enhancing our country’s capacity and potential to produce goods and services.”
“Production is the basis for wealth creation and economic growth. Wealth creation and economic growth are in turn the bases for employment creation and poverty eradication. In this regard, it is imperative that as a nation we promote productivity and competitiveness as critical elements in wealth creation and economic growth,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
The prime minister maintained that the government is committed to transforming and diversifying the economy to efficiently deal with employment creation and poverty eradication.
According to her, government is, thus, pushing for faster development of infrastructure, such as transport, logistics, energy and water and, at the same time also to develop local skills and talent to close the skills gap and skill mismatches in the economy, in order to achieve the highest levels of efficiency in both the public and private sectors.
Furthermore, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila applauded the business community in Ondangwa, alluding that she recently visited various businesses and was impressed by the advances made in manufacturing capacity development and value addition.
“Once again, I want to commend the owners of these businesses for bringing closer the idea of making Namibia a manufacturing economy, as envisioned in our national development plans and industrial policy.”
“I am equally pleased by the rate at which Ondangwa is developing into an economically vibrant urban area offering diverse opportunities to its inhabitants, visitors and prospective investors,” she said.
The annual Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition is scheduled to take place from April 28 to May 6. It will be the seventh year for Ondangwa Town Council to host this event.
During the gala dinner N$424 000 was raised of which Conselect Engineers contributed the highest amount of N$50 000, while FNB contributed N$45 000 and MTC gave N$40 000.
The event was held under the theme ‘Empowering business towards an industrialised nation.’