Frederick optimistic about development projects

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Frederick optimistic about development projects

KEETMANSHOOP – //Kharas governor Aletha Frederick said the region has the potential to address socio-economic challenges, such as youth unemployment and the prevalence of widespread poverty in the region.

This was her view when delivering her annual State of the Region Address (Sora) in Keetmanshoop last Friday.

“I am delighted to share some recent developments in our region that I believe are appropriate to attract more investment into our flagship industrialisation and developmental projects,” she said.

She added that with the support of the institutions of higher learning, the region has the competitive advantage to exploit economic opportunities through socially inclusive innovation and enterprise development.

“I am seeing agriculture as one of the most promising sectors to address – not only food security but a sector, if provided with financial and other resources, including skills and capacity building, it can create much-needed jobs, including self-employment, particularly for young people,” said the governor.

She also viewed young people as the successor farming generation and, therefore, critical guarantors of future food security in this region.

“Therefore, I would like to echo my support to stimulate youth interest in agriculture as part of efforts to reduce youth unemployment,” she added.

Frederick continued that the anticipated green scheme development project at the Neckertal Dam, together with the aquaculture research project, spearheaded by the ministries of agriculture and fisheries, gives the region confidence that its smallholder farmers will have an opportunity to partake in this development.

“In addition, the much talked about massive investment and development of the hydrogen energy and ammonia project as well as the latest oil discovery will put this region on a new economic growth trajectory, as these developments have the potential to open up opportunities for more investment, SME development and global trade,” said the regional political head.

She said Namibia has been propelled into a green hydrogen-based fuels hub, further adding that this large-scale, most notable the green hydrogen project, will be developed in the Tsau llKhaeb National Park as part of the government’s Southern Corridor Development Initiative (SCDI) in the //Kharas region.

“In addition, central government’s disbursement of close to N$70 million so far towards the completion of the state-of-the-art Unam Southern Campus in Keetmanshoop will bring us closer to the reality of becoming a resource and research hub for the green-hydrogen based fuel industry,” she said.

Frederick also said the tertiary institution will, in the end, have the potential to render services such as economic and geospatial analysis to green hydrogen industry players.

“Therefore, as inhabitants of this region, we must support the government and be part of this development that will come with a projected 18 000 direct jobs, including 3 000 permanent positions; moreover, it will also open up opportunities for our small and medium enterprises to be part of the development of supply chain industries,” the politician added.

She further informed residents of the region in her address that a N$480 million programme, funded by the German government, seeks to build pilot projects, including a hydrogen service station.

“We (//Kharas region) were informed that the Namibia University of Science and Technology and the University of Namibia (Unam) will conduct associated research on the said project, which, as a result, will enable young people at these institutions to gain early exposure at a commercial level,” said Frederick.

When articulating the Covid-19 situation in the region, the governor reported 70 333 tests have been carried out to date.

“The region furthermore has 10 705 confirmed cases, representing 12.34% of the population, with 10 328 recoveries, which represents a success rate of 96.47%,” she added.

Statistics also indicated 165 current active cases, of which 66 are in Keetmanshoop, 81 in Lüderitz and 18 in Karasburg.

Frederick, in addition, said the region has 210 deaths, of which 53.8% are confirmed cases, whilst 46.19% are Covid-19 related.

 “The total number of hospitalised confirmed cases to date is four, with Karasburg having one, Lüderitz three and Keetmanshoop having none. The region, according to statistics, thus far has 34 936 eligible patients being vaccinated, representing 40% of the targeted population.