Oshikuku-Fisheries and Marine Resources Deputy Minister Dr Samuel Ankama says Namibians need to embrace hard work and patriotism as a step to self-sustainability and economic development.
Ankama said this will speed up the process for industrialisation, while speaking at Oshikuku in Omusati Region during Workers Day celebrations there earlier this week.
The deputy minister expressed concern that despite available opportunities for self-employment, most Namibians – especially the youth – still depend on government as the sole source for employment.
Ankama said this trend will negatively affect the speed at which Namibia is able to industrialise, despite government efforts and urged Namibians to develop a culture of self-confidence in support of improved livelihood.
He encouraged mutual beneficiation between employers and employees as a means to promote labour relations. Ankama further stressed the need to respect the terms of the Labour Act, saying it will prevent unwarranted labour disputes and strikes, which can harm the country’s economic prospects.
He further encouraged his audience to remember the sacrifices made by worker leaders during the establishment of workers unions in Namibia, which were a force to be reckonwed with in the fight against the apartheid regime.
Speaking at the same event, Oshikuku Councillor Modestus Amutse said the country can use the existing food supply gap as an opportunity to create employment and increase income per capita. He said Namibia has plenty of prospects for agro-food production and processing to reduce its dependency on South Africa by about 80 percent.
Amutse added that Namibia’s fish industry spends millions of dollars in imports of tomato products from other countries for fish canning, which presents an opportunity to Namibians to capitalise on by producing and establish tomato agro-processing factories.
The Oshikuku councillor further encouraged local farmers to add value to crop production and to regard increased crop production as an important means of employment creation and wealth creation.