Providing access to the mainstream economy for all Social Transformation: Part 4

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), which was launched earlier this year by President Geingob is the 5th NDP in the series of a total of seven National Development Plans that are designed to implement and achieve the objectives and aspirations of Namibia’s long-term vision, Vision 2030.

In sequence, NDP5 will be the third five-year implementation vehicle towards Vision 2030 and will be implemented from the financial year 2017/18 up until 2021/22.

The NDP5 framework is organised around the four interconnected pillars that are founded on the principle of sustainable development, namely: economic progression; social transformation; environmental sustainability; and good governance.

These pillars are aligned with Namibia’s commitment to eradicate poverty and inequality as outlined in Vision 2030, the Harambee Prosperity Plan (2016), and the Swapo Party Manifesto (2014). Additionally, the pillars support the global and continental development frameworks to which Namibia is committed. These include Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Paris Agreement (CoP21); African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

Within these contexts, Namibia commits itself to enhancing growth and economic diversification while addressing challenges that include a high degree of regulation and a mismatch between the skill levels in Namibia’s workforce and the skills demanded by the labour market.

NDP5 identifies five game changers that will move Namibia from a reactive, input-based economy towards a proactive, high performing economy. The game changers are: Increase investment in infrastructure development; Increase productivity in agriculture, especially for smallholder farmers; Invest in quality technical skills development; Improve value addition in natural resources; Achieve industrial development through local procurement.

Empowering people and Communities through sport

Where We Are
Governments worldwide are increasingly adopting sport for development programmes to encourage social cohesion, integrate marginalized members of society, alleviate poverty, reduce substance abuse and crime and raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. Developing the sports sector addresses many societal needs. The Namibian sports sector currently employs about 15,000 people, including players, administrators, sport goods manufacturers and service providers.

Fifty-two sports codes and five sports bodies depend on government funding. The sports sector contributes less than 1% to overall employment and its contribution to GDP is negligible.

Desired Outcome
By 2022, Namibians have improved opportunities to participate in professional sport with employment contribution increasing from 0.2% in 2014 to 2%.

Challenges
• Lack of standard adequate facilities that limit access to enhance sports development in the country. This is particularly acute in rural areas.
• Underdeveloped human resource capacity for sport means that organized sport is playing a smaller role in the economy, youth development and in community life than it could be.
• Inadequate funding for sports development. Given competing priorities and a lack of appreciation of sport’s potential contribution to youth, community and economic development, funding sport initiatives is a challenge.
• Lack of sport research and data. The absence of research and data makes the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of sport intervention programmes difficult.

Arts and Culture
Where We Are
Arts development enriches societies and economies, creating opportunities for community building, lifelong learning, innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and employment. Investing in arts and culture represents an investment in the limitless creativity of individuals. While arts and culture is a massive economic sector globally, the ways in which investments in the arts can pay off are hard to predict. Perhaps the best example of this is J.K. Rowling who used a small government arts grant to produce Harry Potter, which in turn produced a multi-billion dollar global franchise; the revenue of which paid back the original arts grant several million-fold.

Currently, 0.65% of the employed in Namibia have cultural occupations. Furthermore, an average of 60 students graduate annually with accredited qualifications in arts, while 25 students benefit from scholarships through the National Arts Council.

Desired Outcome
By 2022, Namibians are empowered and have opportunities to participate in arts and culture with the share of employment increasing to 2%.

Challenges
There is lack of arts programmes as well as inadequate physical infrastructure for arts education. There is also lack of human capacity, limited funding and weak cultural statistics. Lack of skilled cultural producers compromises the ability of the sector to contribute in the area of employment creation and poverty eradication.

Integrate marginalised communities into mainstream economy

Where We Are
The San, Ovatue, and Ovatjimba are community groups disproportionately tormented by poverty. There are about 21,061 households representing about 105,300 individuals of whom above 90% are from the San community.

About 55.4% of the San population have not attended formal education at all and are thus unable to read or write. Only 7.1% have completed primary education, 5.5% completed junior secondary, 3.7% completed senior secondary, and 0.6% have a post-secondary qualification.

In terms of income, 50.5% of the San households indicate that they rely on wages and salaries as the main source of income. Unemployment among San speakers is estimated at 77% while poverty is estimated at 68%.

Desired Outcome
By 2022, marginalized communities are integrated into the mainstream economy.

Challenges
Developmental interventions have been rendered ineffective by several factors, such as: inappropriateness of interventions that created structural dependency; segregation and isolation of marginalized communities; tensions with other communities; alcohol abuse and other social problems; remoteness and nomadic lifestyles; neglect to build social institutions and leadership structures of the marginalized communities; lack of supplementary support and inadequate extension services; low levels of education among the marginalized communities; lack of culture to keep and accumulate assets; and lack of a dedicated strategy that defines integration and mainstreaming, which resulted in an ad hoc approach to the plight of the marginalized communities.

Data on marginalized groups are particularly difficult to obtain, as by law data collection by ethnicity is prohibited and some marginalized groups are subgroups within a large ethnic grouping.

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