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Opinion - Namibia can stimulate economic growth and employment by 2022

2021-11-26  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Namibia can stimulate economic growth and employment by 2022
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Namibia, like other emerging markets, has a critical need to attract foreign investment while at the same time driving economic transformation. Infrastructure investment, delivery and maintenance will play a leading role in Namibia’s economic stimulation. 

A large-scale infrastructure programme will boost aggregate demand, assist in reviving the construction industry and contribute to employment creation. Efforts will be strengthened to attract private sector investment in the delivery of infrastructure as part of building broad-based Public, Private Partnerships (PPP). The pursuit of green industrialization and a green future is an important intervention not only in addressing the persistent challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment, but also in offering a sustainable solution to climate vulnerability and driving economic competitiveness. Green industrialisation also guarantees the security of energy, food, water and electricity supply. The macro-economic framework required to support Namibia’s Economic Stimulation and National Development Plans should be underpinned by effective coordination of fiscal and monetary policies as well as the mobilisation of other financing instruments to ensure that the Plans are sufficiently funded while maintaining financial sustainability.

Promoting good governance through the provision of sound fiscal stewardship will be a key area of focus. In this regard, concerted efforts will be directed towards prudent financial management, while expenditure will be in line with policy priorities, which goes hand in hand with public accountability and transparency. The relationship between stimulation economic growth and employment is one of the cornerstones in national strategies. Stimulation of economic growth should result from a suitable combination of employment growth and productivity growth. Creating jobs and incomes is crucial for development. This is why creating new jobs, but also improving incomes and working conditions for existing jobs, is hugely important. 

Innovations and technologies stimulate economic growth and employment, but also to overcoming other key problems of development. On the other hand, the size and evolution of the effect that the stimulation economic growth process has on employment differs according to other factors such as rhythm of introducing technical progress, institutional changes specific to the labour market, wage policies amongst other things. 

A brilliant move by stakeholders to increase the value of the minimum basic wage of farmworkers at N$1 653.00 per month as from 1 January 2022. Well done, Namibia. 

Entrepreneurship is not new to Namibia. A large part of the employment generated by the economy will be self-employment in the informal sector. These self-employed entrepreneurs need training of the multi-skill variety, going beyond production skills to include marketing, finance and accounting and elementary management. Such skills cannot be developed through structured formal training but require the guidance of mentors in actual business conditions. To promote self-employment as a means of job creation and to promote entrepreneurship for further job creation, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises government to facilitate the promotion, development and enhancing the competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The government has over time implemented policies for the promotion of the small industries, which included providing concessional credit, training in entrepreneurship development, marketing assistance. But the entrepreneurial growth did not take off in a big way in Namibia as compared to other countries because of the procedural hassles, stringent labour laws, and economic regulations amongst other things that the establishments had to face. The request of bid security amongst other things affects small business owners. The country to stimulate economic growth some of the requirements should be avoided by the government. Both in urban and rural areas, there may not be an impressive rise in wage employment but there will probably be enough scope for self-employment. The emphasis, therefore, has to be not on wage jobs but on creating self-employed persons or entrepreneurs. The entire system of training and education will have to give emphasis on the development of entrepreneurship.

The need for greater Namibian economic integration is ever urgent. In addition, by carefully calibrating growth-enhancing policies. Namibia needs to work together to promote peace and stability while addressing trade obstacles, climate change, corruption, cybersecurity and the opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A healthy and educated working age population is the cornerstone of sustained and inclusive economic success. It lifts living standards and the dignity of people. I tend to concur with the conclusion reached by the World Bank that adequate health levels, in tandem with quality education for children, is a great indicator of an economy’s future progress. This is a time to act boldly and swiftly.

In conclusion, we live in a time where jobs are no longer secure or abundant. We are increasingly called upon to be self-reliant, to take risks and initiatives and to generate our own income. Thus, entrepreneurial activity has to become the cornerstone of stimulating economic growth in Namibia and can be an important source of net job creation, which the country sorely needs. Boosting entrepreneurship, which is low in Namibia when compared to other emerging economies, and growing small businesses can also be crucial to stimulate economic growth and job creation. If this objective is achieved the goal of job realisation through self-employment would be complete as self-employment is the answer to providing jobs to the huge proportion of the population in the economically active age group. Given that startups are emerging as major job creators, government need to put in place an appropriate policy framework for the start-ups.

2021-11-26  Staff Reporter

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