Khomas allocates N$2,5 million to SMEs

Shaalukeni Moonde

The Khomas Regional Council (KRC) has earmarked N$2,5 million to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region, aiming to stimulate economic growth and generate employment opportunities.

“To address unemployment, the council is continuing with its SME support programme, called the Income-Generating Activities project, under which SMEs are assisted with equipment and materials.

“A total of N$1,5 million is allocated for this programme, and the implementation of projects are at 13 different levels.

A further amount of N$1 million is redirected to implement minor projects in the region,” says KRC chairperson Shaalukeni Moonde.

Moonde says the high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth, continues to be a burden.

He says the regional unemployment rate stands at 31,5% as per the Namibia Labour Force 2018 survey.

“Despite our interventions, there is still more to do as a region.

Furthermore, urbanisation has also become a big issue for Khomas, whereby people come to the region seeking better opportunities.

“This problem is not only hampering our development plans, but also affects our service delivery, such as access to clean water and sanitation,” he says.

The chairperson says the KRC has entered into agreements to improve the livelihood of residents.

Among such partnerships is with the standing committee of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Congress on friendly exchanges.

“The agreement will, among others, serve to establish a mutual visit mechanism between the two parties – whereby both parties will send delegations to conduct mutual visits every other year, communicate on economic and social developments, and promote healthy development.

“Equally, the agreement encapsulates the parties to promote the Belt and Road initiative,” Moonde says.

The Belt and Road initiative is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in more than 150 countries and international organisations financially and through construction to connect Africa, Asia and Europe to China.

Through the initiative, China has to date spent US$962 billion, of which about US$573 billion was on construction contracts, and US$389 billion on non-financial investments.

Thus, Moonde says the regional council’s resolution is to uplift the livelihood of inhabitants by implementing demand-driven programmes and timeously leveraging available resources.

“I am therefore calling on the political arm and the administrative arm to uphold the strong bond of working together as per our institutional culture and pull in the same direction to ensure that we restore the Khomas residents’ dignity and drive our community to prosperity.

“We are on a value drive, thus ensuring we invest where there is maximum return in trying to meet the development demand of our people,” he says.

In terms of programme implementation, he says the region has performed well, though noting there are still gaps to be addressed, while in the same vein urging all stakeholders to recommit resources towards bread-and-butter issues. – The Brief

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