In pursuit of its strategic objective of ensuring economic growth and development, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) recently recommended five areas in the Kavango East and West regions with the potential to contribute significantly to employment creation while ensuring food security for the country. The identified areas of focus are sustainable funding and management of the Green Schemes, timber manufacturing, cattle marketing, horticultural production as well as investment in renewable energy.
“The recommendations made are anchored on the proposition that for Namibia to realise the intended economic gains in the identified focus areas, leveraging on private sector investment is the best and sustainable model toward economic recovery and advancement. This dovetails the aspirations of the recently launched Harambee Prosperity Plan II,” read a statement from BoN spokesperson Kazembire Zemburuka.
He added that further consultations with the relevant stakeholders with regard to the implementation of these recommendations are ongoing.
Moreover, he said BoN is fully convinced that targeted interventions in the five identified focus areas – both in terms of investments and reforms – can significantly unlock the economic potential in the two regions. The long-term economic gains, to be realised through these targeted interventions, would include employment creation and upliftment of the living standard of the inhabitants of the two regions while contributing to domestic economic growth and advancement.
Zemburuka further noted that the Kavango East and Kavango West regions are endowed with substantial natural resources, such as water, forestry and fertile land, suitable for agricultural production and agro-processing.
“It has long been realised that this unlocked economic potential in the two regions can significantly enhance employment creation in the regions while contributing to the country’s food security and export earnings when fully explored. The two Kavango regions count among the poorest regions, marked by high levels of poverty and unemployment. The socio-economic situation in the two regions is, therefore, a cause for concern, especially in the backdrop of this untapped potential in sectors such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing,” Zemburuka stated. The central bank’s stance and recommendations follow a comprehensive assessment it undertook in conjunction with the offices of the two regional governors, the National Planning Commission, and the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation.
“The primary objective of this important undertaking was to assess the economic viability of existing projects, as identified by the two regions, in order to accelerate their implementation, in conjunction with government and the private sector. Further, the assessment identified new potential projects and areas of investment that once explored and fully executed, [they] can improve the economic situation in the two regions. As part of the targeted assessment, suitable funding models for identified projects were also explored with relevant stakeholders in order to actualise the developmental aspirations of both regions,” read the statement.
Zemburuka concluded that this latest intervention recognises and therefore complements efforts already made at both central and local government levels in the furtherance of the socio-economic development in the two regions.
“However, unlike previous interventions, the initiative is seen to provide the necessary momentum to unlock these set of proposals through a rigorous engagement with government, development partners and the private sector by availing the necessary evidenced-based analysis to stakeholders,” he stated.