Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-Namibia can achieve the same level of economic prosperity as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, if the country invests generously in education and infrastructure.
Hence, there is a need for a collective and robust interventionist strategy to prepare the country for an uptake in helping young Namibians grow into active participating members of the country’s economy, according to the chief executive officer of Namport, Bisey /Uirab.
/Uirab, who was addressing stakeholders during the 10th anniversary of the Namport Social Investment Fund breakfast in Walvis Bay on Tuesday morning said there were numerous case studies, even within the country from which lessons can be drawn to achieve economic prosperity.
Dubai in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) was a perfect example, as it is one of the most developed and wealthy nations in the world, he said.
“I am particularly intrigued by the model Dubai crafted, which has propelled them into becoming one of the world’s fastest growing economies over the past forty years. One important lesson is that Dubai was clear from the onset that they needed to have a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve.”
He believes Namibia, too, can achieve this by strategically exploiting the country’s strengths. “We have the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz that are strategically located along the west coast of southern Africa, with direct trading routes to and from the America, Europe and even the Far East.
“Therefore, as a country endowed with the enormous blue economic resource (Atlantic Ocean), we cannot delay in developing the necessary capacities through education as well as investing in infrastructure as well as to exploring avenues of value addition to our natural and mineral resources,” he said. /Uirab went on to say Namport is proud of its contributions towards growing the Namibian economy by investing in education and capacity building in particular. He noted that the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) seeks to address challenges in the education sector, such as classroom shortages, teaching equipment and lack of qualified teachers.
“However, government cannot do this on its own and thus we need all relevant stakeholders to come on board, as stakeholder involvement will go a long way in accelerating our national imperatives, such as Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan for our country’s economic prosperity,”/Uirab said.