Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said promoting access to social amenities, such as health, education, water and sanitation, housing and employment opportunities have continued to be among the top priorities of government.
She added these are critical for the welfare and dignity of Namibians, and called on all stakeholders to join government in ensuring the leverage on the abundant resources the country is endowed with and the strong governance architecture to ensure a life of dignity for all.
“While our social protection programmes provide relief from poverty, they cannot fully address poverty. We must empower our citizens to have a decent income and have access to social amenities,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila during the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day/Namibian Women’s Day at Rundu in the Kavango East.
The commemoration marks the end of the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV campaign, which was launched on 25 October 2022, aimed at raising awareness of the negative effects that violence has on women, men, girls and boys in our country to enhance efforts to end such violence.
“The government is implementing programmes to ensure a sound policy environment, provide access to finance and markets, as well as skills and mentorship to support private businesses, including youth and women enterprises. The private sector is invited to optimise these opportunities and compliment these efforts of government to support community development.”
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stated that government has started to reform the green scheme projects to improve management and performance, adding it is important for all stakeholders to embrace this initiative to meet food needs and offer employment.
Additionally, she said, government is committed to respecting and protect the rights of all persons, and their dignity, hence the adoption of laws and policies, which removes any discrimination.
“Application of affirmative action in public service has led to an increase in employment of previously disadvantaged persons, who as of 2021 accounted for 98.3% of government workforce. The proportion of women in management was 42% in 2021, but in non-management positions, women account for 58.1%,” highlighted Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
Other protections include those protecting employees’ rights, including the provision of maternity leave, curbing gender-based violence (GBV) in the country and further the Combating of Rape Act and the Combating of Domestic Violence Act were passed.
“It is, however, concerning that we still have several incidences of violence against women and children in our country. Basic human rights are universal, and they include key values in our society such as fairness, dignity, equality and respect. These rights offer basic protection for us all, especially those who are vulnerable and may face abuse, neglect and isolation,” she stated.