Since independence in 1990, the government has spent between N$90 billion and N$100 billion on the development budget in various sectors of the economy.
This was revealed yesterday by Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission Obeth Kandjoze who gave insight on Namibia’s 30 years’ developmental journey in a special publication. The publication highlights some of the achievements and what independence brought to Namibia in terms of agriculture, fishing, mining, tourism, SME development, road network, water, energy, ICT, rail network, port and airport infrastructure, social protection, education, health, sanitation, governance, public administration and civil registration.
In terms of natural resources, Kandjoze said positive strides have been made since independence in the allocation of fishing rights. He cited that the fishing industry has increased from none at independence to over 200 right holders to date.
The number of local fishing right holders increased to 206 by 2019, from zero at independence, he said.
The report says that the value of fish exports increased by more than 500 percent in 20 years from N$1.6 billion in 1998 to N$10.2 billion by 2018.
He also said significant progress has been recorded in the aquaculture sub-sector where, to date, there are 122 fish ponds countrywide.
“It is gratifying to note that the mining sector, on the other hand, has also contributed significantly to the economy over the years, with mining and quarrying contributing an average of more than 10 percent to GDP since 1990. To date, there are 38 mining companies in production in the country, 938 active mining explorations, and approximately N$2.1 billion was paid as royalties in 2018 alone,” he highlighted.
To date, it indicates that 2 930 exploration licences issued reduced to 63 licences from 86 registered in 1990.
On the agriculture sector, the publication reveals that the number of green schemes increased from seven in 1990 to 11 by 2019, while total agricultural capacity has increased from 7 168 to 50 168 tonnes over the same period. About the road network, Namibia has been ranked as one of the African countries with the best roads.
Bitumen roads nearly doubled when comparing the current status to the dawn of independence, with a total of 8 259 kilometres of bitumen roads compared to 4 572 kilometres at 1990.
On wildlife, Kandjoze noted that the government recorded much growth since independence, and there were 86 registered conservancies by 2019, having increased from none at 1990.
“The Namibian tourism sector has also grown over the years with the country’s beautiful sceneries and landscape having captured the attention of international tourists to the country. Tourist arrivals have increased from just over 100 000 round 1990 to now over 1.5 million by 2018 and this number is expected to increase in the coming years,” he indicated.
On education, there were only 1 313 schools, but today this number has increased to 1 885 schools.
Higher education institutions also increased. On health, Kandjoze said access to health care centres have increased resulting in several health care centres and clinics being constructed, reducing the number of people with access to such facilities in a radius of 2km or less from 45% in 1993/94 to 33% by 2016.
On the water sector, he said the need to continue preserving water security of the country persists and this implies investing in water infrastructure such as desalination plants and other technologies to harvest water, especially in season when Namibia has good rains or floodwater.
“Investment in the water sector is necessary to ensure consistent water supply coupled with increased investment in agricultural sectors to ensure food security. Regrettably, the housing sector also adds to the sectors where more needs to be done to reduce the number of households that live in improvised housing and those with no access to proper sanitation,” he noted.
On the economy, he said the goal remains to achieve the long-term vision that an industrialised nation develops along with her human resources, along with healthy GDP growth.
He maintained that the government needs to continue fighting unemployment challenges especially among the youth, address inequality and achieve inclusive and sustainable growth.
2020-03-20 09:07:25 | 18 days ago