Namibians need to invest in sectors and industries that grow the domestic economy, according to the water and agricultural minister, Calle Schlettwein. The former finance minister who is now at the helm of the agricultural ministry said the economy needs to be revived after the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and owing to the impact of the lockdown measures on various sectors in the primary, secondary and tertiary industries.
“Water and agriculture are two sectors where Namibians could and should invest to secure food and water availability,” Schlettwein recently
shared on social media.
The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) last week stated that in real terms, the agricultural sector recorded a decline of 2.8% in the first quarter of 2021, mainly due to the livestock subsector that contracted by 7.5% in real value-added.
During his recent familiarisation in the Erongo region, the minister said large investments in infrastructure and in operational capacity and expertise are needed to secure water provision
to communities and industries in Namibia’s harsh environment. “During my visit to the Erongo
region, I appreciated that all three of these aspects need attention,” he said.
When in Erongo, Schlettwein visited mines and applauded some of them that are venturing into agriculture, educational activities, and nature conservation.
Among them, he mentioned the B2Gold,
located in the north-central part of Namibia, saying it is a company that takes its social responsibility seriously by engaging the community in a
manner that ensures that benefits outlast the life of the mine.
“It is very impressive that the B2Gold Otjikoto Mine is not only carrying out its mining mandate successfully but it has incorporated agricultural activities and educational programmes,” Schlettwein noted after his visit to the mine.
Over the past 10 years, NamWater with government support has committed investments of over N$1 billion in the creation and upgrading of water infrastructure in the Erongo region, particularly the central coast infrastructure that serve the local authorities of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay, and Arandis as well as the numerous mines in the vicinity.