OMUTHIYA -Micro financing for women, youth and other entrepreneurs including those in the rural areas has been one of Oshikoto Region’s strong pillars in advancing economic development and withstanding the headwinds of the country’s dwindling economy.
This significant move, which was undertaken by various government ministries and organisations in funding small and Medium Enterprises, to a certain extent assisted in stabilising youth unemployment and poverty in the region.
This was indicated in the State of the Region Address (SORA) delivered by the Oshikoto Governor Henock Kankoshi.
Kankoshi highlighted that eight income generating projects in rural areas from different constituencies received a collective funding of N$528 846 facilitated through the micro finance programme. A further funding of N$187 550 from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development was disbursed to potential entrepreneurs, for employment creation purposes.
“The region consistently strives to enhance economic development mainly through the Constituency Development Committees’ Regional Development Coordination Committee (RDCC). In addition, N$634 616 was funded through the Rural Employment Scheme among the constituencies, with an aim of empowering previously disadvantaged groups such as the women and marginalised communities,” stated Kankoshi.
He could however, not provide the exact figures of how many jobs have been created so far.
In terms of successes, Kankoshi applauded the good educational system in the region, citing adult literacy rate, which is at 91.2 per cent, as well as the grade exceptional performance that the region has been topping since 2008.
He also indicated that crime is manageable with only 487 cases, but bemoaned the high rate of Gender Based Violence, which recorded a highest number of cases of 211; and blamed this on the use of alcohol.
In contrast to the achievement, Kankoshi noted the region is still faced with an alarming number of teenage pregnancies, which stands at 16 per cent.
“Equally, we are still facing social challenges, among such is the forgery of documents, unregistered deaths and lack of national documents among the youth and children. A situation which negatively affects them on benefiting from social grants,” further stated Kankoshi.
In terms of infrastructure he pointed out telecommunication as a major problem as the vast region is still without network towers, while on the issue of resettled farmers, Kankoshi said, 19 farming units do not have functional water supply.
“Lack of sufficient water on the farms has resulted in low productivity for small scale crop farmers, and this does not only affect production but both human and animals,” he said.
Furthermore, he expressed happiness with development in various constituencies and towns, saying much has been done, citing the completion of electrical, sewer and water reticulation systems which were completed, as well as the construction of gravel roads at Oshivelo and Onayena settlements.
“I can proudly and with confidence although being challenged by the global economic downturn, say that the region made significant impact in terms of the critical focus areas, among such the provision of potable water through connection of pipelines, and the Nehale LyaMpingana Constituency office which was completed and now functional,” he concluded.