By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK "Economists tell us that the 'Bottom of the pyramid' is the largest, but poorest socio-economic group, which in global terms translates into the four billion people on earth who live on less than $2 per day. Developing countries like Namibia claim a fair share of this phenomenon." Prime Minister Nahas Angula said this on Friday morning when he addressed the 8th graduation of Namcol under the theme, 'The Potential of Open and Distance Learning in Eliminating the Barriers to socio-economic Advancement in Namibia'. A total of 110 students graduated in post-matric courses of the institutions. "I want to point out the current wave of socio-economic challenges facing the Namibian nation and demonstrate governments' robust, swift and consistent responses to such socio-economic difficulties. Our response strategy reflects the bottom of the pyramid as resilient and creative entrepreneurs as well as value-demanding consumers," the Prime Minister said. He specifically alluded to ways on how Namcol can assist in redressing the socio-economic imbalances and make a meaningful contribution to the national development agenda. "In fact NAMCOL was established to ensure that those outside the formal education system should have an opportunity to enjoy the right to education. Today we are honouring the graduating class of 2008 at the time when the economic outlook for 2008 and possibly 2009, looks much less favourable. The combination of slower global growth, the high interest rate environment, higher inflation and the petrol and electricity challenges are likely to decelerate growth," he projected. He said Namibians are faced with challenges such as unemployment, poverty, food and consumer inflation and the growing energy crisis. "The situation is further exacerbated by droughts and floods in some parts of our country. What is more - is that we experience a great flux in global affairs. The world is different now. It is more complex and more challenging than it used to be. The markets and labour forces are increasingly global and diverse. Change is so rapid that one cannot afford to be a spectator. The rules are changing continually and the goal posts are constantly moving," he said. "I cannot escape the conclusion that the fastest way to go backwards is to stand still in a rapidly changing world. We cannot afford to be either spectators or the victims of globalization. We must move out. I am happy to note that NAMCOL has adopted specific strategies to bring the national vision 2030 closer to its learner community. Government appreciates your efforts," he said. Rest assured that this government has not forgotten the infantry of our economic army. "We are convinced - more than ever - that the battle can only be won with plans that build from the bottom up and thereby create resilient and creative entrepreneurs, who will share the responsibi-lity - with government - to eliminate barriers to socio-economic advancement. Among the most critical goals of our government is the commitment to alleviate poverty by creating employment opportunities for most of the economically active citizen of our country. Alleviation of poverty and the creation of jobs are fundamentally motivated by the growth of our economy," he concluded.
2008-06-04 00:00:00 10 years ago