The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office in Namibia convened a dialogue with the private sector to promote inclusive and sustainable development in Namibia and foster partnerships between the private sector and government.
This is to be achieved through the mobilisation of domestic resources, innovative finance, technology and foreign direct investment. The event was held on 30 and 31 August 2023 in Windhoek.
The engagement gathered insights from industry leaders, who presented various perspectives and identified challenges faced by the private sector, maximising awareness of opportunities and facilitating the involvement of the private sector in the national development initiatives for sustainable development.
The event skilfully fostered meaningful dialogue around four themes, namely: institutionalising partnerships, collaboration between the public and private sectors, financing and impact investing, sustainable inclusive green growth - accelerating skills development for employment and entrepreneurship and fostering the integration of the growth of the informal economy to ensure an enhanced and structured economy of the future.
On 30 August 2023, a round table dialogue took place, the outcomes of which were presented during subsequent deliberations. Thereafter, outcomes were presented on 31 August 2023 during deliberations with high-level representatives from private and government sectors during the private sector engagement meeting.
UNDP Resident Representative Alka Bhatia emphasised the pivotal role of the private sector in actively participating in the transformation of the Namibian economy.
“I call upon the private sector to come together and provide substantive input in the National Development Plan (NDP) and contribute to the development agenda of the country,” she said.
“We are grateful to the private sector for taking the time to come together and be part of this dialogue.”
She also pledged the commitment of UNDP to support the continued engagement of the government and private sector through a private sector-led dialogue platform.
Trade minister Lucia Iipumbu called upon the private sector to coordinate themselves and take ownership of such engagements.
“Whilst it is key that we postulate the trilateral cooperation, it is very important that in the design, implementation and monitoring of the private sector component, we emphasise that you need to be in the ‘driver’s seat ‘yourself”.
She also emphasised the importance of private sector involvement in driving economic growth and addressing socio-economic inequalities.
She stated, “The development of effective public-private partnerships forums as well as increasing the network capital of our industries through the development of sectoral associations is a key priority in terms of our overall growth ambitions”.
The two-day event featured insightful discussions, and the meeting concluded with participants expressing their commitment to forging stronger partnerships for inclusive and sustainable development.
Furthermore, there was a proposal to formalise a dialogue between the private sector and the government to enhance the business environment in Namibia.
This initiative seeks to cultivate greater engagement and collaboration between the public and private sectors. Recognising the importance of continued collaboration, attendees agreed to establish a mechanism for regular dialogue between the private sector and government to facilitate the exchange of ideas, foster joint initiatives and monitor progress towards sustainable development goals.