Eenhana-Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission Tom Alweendo is concerned that a lack of financial and human resources could hinder the successful implementation of the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).
President Hage Geingob last week launched the NDP5 at State House. It is a five-year blueprint for economic development, to which government has committed N$164 billion.
Alweendo was, however, quick to assure his audience that government had a “careful” monitoring process in place to ensure the NDP5 is successfully implemented.
He made the remarks at the 10th Eenhana Expo gala dinner over the weekend, where over N$1 million was raised towards the hosting of the Expo, scheduled for July 31 to August 5.
Alweendo called for inclusive participation in the government’s plans, including the much-vaunted Vision 2030, and called on the government, business community, civil society and individuals to form strong partnerships to ensure the successful implementation of the country’s envisaged plans.
“When things don’t work for us you can probably say ‘government didn’t do it’, but unfortunately the people who are going to suffer from what did not happen is not the government, but all of us,” Alweendo warned.
The minister did not shy away from pointing out that the implementation of the NDP5 would be met with challenges, but hit back at critics who deemed the plan a failure before it even got under way.
“There is still much to be done. That does not mean government has done everything or has not done anything all,” Alweendo said.
The economic planning minister went on to urge Namibians to work together to solve challenging issues amicably, such as ensuring the availability of affordable and serviced land for housing and industry, without creating more problems in the future.
“There are certain things that have to change. The status quo cannot always continue, but in the process of us changing things, in the process of addressing some of those difficult challenges, let us not inadvertently create more problems for ourselves in the long run and find ourselves in a situation where we are holding ourselves back, because instead of solving the problem, we created some more problems,” he advised.
The launch of the NDP5 comes at a time when the country and wider SADC region face an economic slowdown and contraction in output, driven mainly by global economic trends that – unless countered – could work against the implementation of the NDP5, analysts have pointed out.