… highlights importance of good governance Otniel Hembapu Windhoek If the opportunities that lay within are fully mined and maximally explored, sport has the potential to contribute towards the socio-economic advancement of Namibians, especially the country’s youth. Delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly yesterday, Namibian Head of State Hage Geingob touched on the potential and opportunities that exist within the country’s sporting sector, saying the time is ripe for young Namibians to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them. “Sport has the potential to contribute towards socio-economic development. The 2018 championships in the codes of football, indoor hockey, Para-athletics and boxing, demonstrated the role of sport in fostering a spirit of patriotism… There are instances where young people are provided capacity building opportunities in sectors such as agriculture – yet they do not take full advantage of these. Young Namibians should take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them. Our efforts will not be meaningful without the commitment of our youth,” said the president, as he reiterated that sport embodies the required tools that could lead to the economic emancipation of young Namibians. Geingob also briefly touched on the significance of good governance in any institution, sport included, saying: “I note with concern challenges and setbacks during the period under review. Effective governance as espoused in the Harambee Prosperity Plan aims to strengthen governance across all sectors, including institutions governing sport.” As it currently stands, the Namibian sports sector currently employs about 15,000 people, including players, administrators, sports goods manufacturers and various service providers within the local sports fraternity. Compared to other countries, the Namibian sports sector continues to lag behind in many respects as its contribution to the country’s GDP is negligible and adds only 1% to overall employment creation. Last year during the launch of the country’s 5th National Development Plan (NDP5), Geingob admitted that other governments worldwide are increasingly adopting sport for development programmes to encourage social cohesion, integrate marginalised members of society, alleviate poverty and reduce substance abuse and crime. At the time, Geingob pointed to their resolution to uplift the country’s youth through similar programmes under Chapter 3 of the current NDP, which is “Empowering People and Communities through Sport”. Under section 3.3.5, NDP5 targets to improve Namibia’s opportunities to participate in professional sport with the aim of increasing the sector’s contribution to employment creation from the 0.2% recorded in 2014 to an envisaged 2% by the year 2022. In itself and as per targeted implementation rate, NDP5 plans to build human capacity to expand organised sport and also upgrade and construct sports facilities throughout the country to enable wider access to sport in both rural and urban areas. It also plans to professionalise sport by constructing a high performance centre.
2018-04-12 10:06:43 5 months ago