OMUTHIYA - The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare yesterday awarded 19 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Oshikoto Region with start-up equipment through its Income Generating Activities (IGA) programme.
The programme aims at contributing to the socio-economic empowerment of needy communities, especially women, by encouraging them to create self-employment as well as employ others.
“The ministry provides start-up materials and equipment, complemented by training in basic business management skills. The training in business management is intended to capacitate and equip IGA beneficiaries with skills so that they can manage their projects efficiently and make profits. Thus, the ministry strongly believes that if IGA beneficiaries manage their businesses profitably, they will be earning income, improve their livelihood and reduce poverty,” said gender minister Doreen Sioka during the handover at Omuthiya.
The handover was made possible in conjunction with the All China Women Federation in Namibia which donated a number of industrial sewing machines to manufacture shoes and belts.
All China Women Federation is a social group in China that unites women and helps them out of poverty.
“Therefore, I wish to state that the ministry constructed 11 community empowerment centres in 10 regions, where various practical training programmes are offered,” said Sioka, adding the centres allow women to display and sell their products.
Women were thus urged to make use of such facilities.
The beneficiaries were drawn from 10 of the region’s 11 constituencies, a selection process which did not go down well with Governor Henock Kankoshi, who expressed dismay as no one was selected from the Eengodhi Constituency.
“I am concerned about the selection process, because I took note that in other constituencies there are two or three beneficiaries selected, but not even one person from Eengodhi, which seems not be fair to those entrepreneurs in that area,” stated a dismayed Kankoshi.