Alweendo calls for ‘new mindset’ in NDP4By: JO-MARÉ DUDDY
NAMIBIA’S Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) will contain “incentives – positive or negative” – to ensure that the blue print doesn’t become a pipe dream.
“Of crucial importance is that the plan must be implemented,” Tom Alweendo, Director General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), said on Wednesday.
The NPC is currently working on Namibia’s next five-year development strategy, as NDP3 will conclude by the end of next month.
NDP4 will be enforced, Alweendo said – whether by the NPC or by Cabinet.
“It is our intention to make sure that the implementation strategy is clear, with clearly demarcated responsibility.
There will also be inbuilt incentives to ensure implementation,” he said.
Unlike NDP3, which had an unrealistic number of 21 goals, the new plan will “prioritise” the challenges facing Namibia and focus on inadequate economic growth, unemployment and income inequality.
“This is a departure from the previous plans where we tried to do too much at the same time,” Alweendo said.
The NPC is currently consulting with the 13 regional governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Cabinet on which industries Namibia should pursue in its strive to become an industrialised country by 2030.
“So far we believe that Namibia have a comparative advantage to become a successful transport and logistics hub, given the location of the Walvis Bay harbour,” Alweendo said.
However, this will require modernising all the country’s transport modes, starting with harbor, rail, road and air transport. “It will not be a cheap option, but with careful planning and the involvement of the private sector, it is a certain possibility,” Alweendo said.
NDP4 will explore the possibility of establishing industries that will serve as input into the local mining sector.
“The good thing about this is that you have a ready-made market. All that we need to do is to ensure that our industries are as competitive as the alternative source of imports,” Alweendo said.
NDP4 will also promote sectors like agriculture and tourism, which have the potential for higher economic growth and employment opportunities.
Alweendo said Namibia should follow in the footsteps of rich countries, who once they identified the industries which would make them successful, “made sure nothing was allowed to get in their way in achieving their goals”.
If we are going to change our situation, then that is what we need to do. It will be of no use to want to be an industrialised economy, but we are not prepared to do what it takes to start industries,” he said.
Alweendo said it is of the “utmost importance that we start having a mindset that says that we are capable of doing things; a belief that we are as good and capable” as other nations which have successfully become developed countries.