KEETMANSHOOP - Thirty-one //Kharas residents became proud owners of income- generating equipment worth close to N$450 000 from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare yesterday in Keetmanshoop.
Officiating at the event, the line ministry’s deputy minister Lucia Witbooi said approaches like this are in line with the ministry’s mandate which is to ensure gender equality and equitable socio-economic development for women and men and the wellbeing of children.
“The ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare oversees the Income Generating Activity Programme (IGA) aimed at contributing to the socio-economic empowerment of needy communities by encouraging them, especially women to participate in the IGA programme in order to create self-employment and in many cases, the employment of others,” she told the gathering.
Referring to the training part of the programme, Witbooi reasoned that this training in business management intends to capacitate and equip beneficiaries in order to properly manage their projects and make a profit at the end of the day. She elaborated further “if IGA beneficiaries manage their businesses profitably, they will be earning income, improve their livelihoods and reduce poverty.”
Witbooi in addition proudly announced that her ministry has, as a means of strengthening capacity partnered with the UN Women and De Beers Group to initiate a programme called Acceleration of Women-Owned Enterprises, which will eventually be rolled out to the regions. “This programme consists of six modules namely marketing, costing, buying-and-stock control, record keeping, planning for business and people-and-productivity,” she explained. The minister then urged leadership in regions to assist and support micro businesses in their respective constituencies in order to grow and generate high income. By doing so, her ministry will be assured that progress has been made in combatting poverty, thus contributing towards the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“I want to state that all these materials and equipment to be handed over today need to be taken care of so that they last and continue to serve for more years,” she said. The minister then ensured beneficiaries that the equipment will belong to them as long as they utilise it optimally, but in the same vein cautioned them that, if found to be lying idle will be repossessed and given to those who can make better use of it.
The line minister in conclusion congratulates the beneficiaries and wished them all the success in their business endeavours.
Speaking at the same occasion, //Kharas regional governor Lucia Basson reminded those present to recognise and appreciate what government is doing for them. “Despite the drought and economic hardships, you are very fortunate to still get assistance and support from the current government by receiving these equipment,” the governor said as a means of encouragement.