A buffet of strategic ideas set out for AGM of CEO Forum

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The third annual general meeting of the Public Enterprises Chief Executive Officers Forum, which takes place tomorrow, is expected to be the first that defines the roles of public enterprises in the implementation of the country’s development agenda.

Unlike the preceding two annual general meetings, which worked to lay the foundation for the forum, this week’s AGM would be the first where the chief executive officers report back on the implementation of resolutions adopted at the last meeting.

“Exciting developments have taken place” and the meeting would focus on the practical role of public enterprises in contributing to the development agenda of the country, the forum’s spokesperson, Franz Gertze, told New Era yesterday.

Gertze, who is also the chief executive officer of Namibia Qualifications Authority, said the forum was also scheduled to interact with Economic Planning Minister Tom Alweendo specifically to discuss the role of public enterprises in the implementation of the national development plan.

“Public enterprises cannot operate in silos, they are not just there to render public services, declare profits or regulate. They must work to contribute to the implementation of the country’s development agenda,” Gertze said.

The highlight of the meeting is set to be the engagement with Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste, who is expected to deliver a keynote address on the “unresolved challenges and new opportunities” facing the country’s public enterprises.

There is also likely to be a discussion on issues of remuneration of public enterprises’ chief executive officers and managers and the criteria for the appointment of board members to public enterprises.

The issue of national procurement and how it would affect public enterprises is also expected to feature in the discussions, with Gertze saying the forum members look forward to having that discussion.

Jooste is also expected to appraise the chief executive officers regarding the framework for an ownership policy, which will provide guidance on the role of the “State as shareholder” in commercial enterprises.

In his statement to parliament during the 2017/18 national budget debate, Jooste said the framework had been developed.

The minister said “the biggest challenge currently facing the MPE is the legal environment, which is still in essence the same as that under which the SOE Governance Council operated.”

Jooste said at the time that the Act in its current form merely provided the MPE with an oversight mandate and was not sufficient to deal with the transformation of the public enterprises landscape; hence the need to urgently amend the Act to give legitimacy to the hybrid governance model that was approved by Cabinet in July 2016.

Gertze yesterday confirmed that the forum was expecting, through their engagement with Jooste, to get a full appraisal on the hybrid governance model and the new public procurement framework.

The Namibian Institute of Public Administration and Management is also scheduled to engage the forum on the issue of skills development, something deemed crucial to the Namibian economy.

The AGM is further expected to elect new members to the secretariat of the Public Enterprises Chief Executive Officers Forum.

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