Angula promises 500 000 new jobs in presidential bid

Independent presidential candidate for the upcoming elections, Ally Angula, is promising to create 500 000 new jobs over the next three years – a promise some experts see as wishful thinking.

Angula made the promise during the launch of her election manifesto in Windhoek on Tuesday.

Dubbing her campaign as the ‘New Way’, Angula said the current government approach has failed Namibians for 34 years, leaving them in an economic coma, struggling to make ends meet.

“We all know that Namibia is a land of incredible wealth, resources and talented people and thus our collective goal must be to create 500 000 new jobs in the next three years, and to create opportunities that generate monthly cash incomes for every Namibian household whether in town or in the village,” Angula said.

Angula maintained that the promise of job creation is attainable.

“I know for too many Namibians, the dream of a prosperous future feels out of reach. The ‘New Way’ is our bold answer to years of struggle. By realigning the role of government, we can unlock a new era of economic reform, creating jobs, fostering businesses and building a brighter future for all Namibians,” Angula said.

Her campaign is primarily focused on job creation, poverty reduction and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.

Angula said under her administration, there will be a direct investment of N$55 billion which will provide immediate financial relief to all struggling families and unemployed Namibians.

“The New Way focuses on providing direct funding to Namibian indigenous entrepreneurs in industries that utilise our strengths, like climate-resilient agriculture to lower food prices and generate incomes for our small-scale farmer families in our rural areas,” Angula said.

Angula further promises to create jobs through a vocational training centre (VTC) graduate programme, which will subsidise graduates to start businesses to help restore schools, clinics and police stations, amongst others.

“We have a 34-year renovation and maintenance deficit. All VTC graduates will be listed for renovation work and maintenance work around the country so that we can bring all of our clinics, police stations and schools up to standard. No tenders – graduation is the only qualification. No back door and no needing to know someone or to be connected. All VTC graduates will be listed and dispatched to tackle renovation and repair projects on their own,” Angula said.


Economists, however, say Angula’s election promises are hard to achieve.

Independent economic researcher Josef Sheehama says Angula’s aims to lower unemployment and raise living standards are admirable and important on paper.

“However, it is not possible to create 500 000 jobs in three years. This indicates that 160 000 new jobs are generated annually. Given the impracticality of this wish, her manifesto will not carry enough weight to surpass the performance of other contenders,” Sheehama said.

Sheehama made reference to South Africa, pointing out that even with its large population and increased industrialisation, the country only produced 104 000 jobs annually.

“Namibia will never be able to generate more than 160 000 jobs annually. How many businesses will be formed across different industries? Green hydrogen and oil discoveries alone won’t be enough to achieve this. It is not economically rational and is unrealistic, Sheehama said.

He added that the growth rate and the sectors targeted for attention were not specified in Angula’s manifesto.

“As a result, there are unneeded financial stressors, unrealistic deadlines and inadequate research leads,” Sheehama said.

Sharing these sentiments economist Omu Kakujaha-Matundu says the fact that Angula’s job creation approach is government led, indicates that she will be hamstrung by the current fiscal situation.

“I think the current fiscal consolidation will haunt the government for some time, until new sources of revenue are found. It is true that there is a serious infrastructure deficit and investing in infrastructure will create jobs, but these should contribute towards high economic growth and sustainable jobs,” Kakujaha-Matundu said.

He said the promise to equip technical and vocational education and training (TVET) graduates with entrepreneurial ventures may encounter scalability challenges, while it will require access to external markets for sustainability and economies of scale.

“One wonders why the current government failed to get this easy job creation going? Maybe talk is cheap,” Kakujaha-Matundu said.

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