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Namibia tackles poverty in 5th National Development Plan

President Hage Geingob says he hopes to find a durable solution to his country’s challenge to combat poverty.

Namibian President Hage Geingob has launched the country’s fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) with a focus on combating poverty.

“The problem of poverty continues to be a challenge. We have sought to provide relief in crises, but we need to find a durable solution that helps everyone achieve the kind of lives they have reason to value.”

President Geingob says among NDP5’s goals are economic progression, social transformation, environmental sustainability and good governance. He says the plan is a step towards government’s Vision 2030 goals for economic, political and social reform for the well-being of its citizens.

Mr. Geingob says adjustments would be made to improve government expenditure on education, health and housing as a means of addressing the poverty in the country. Focus would also be placed on ensuring that those who are disadvantaged are able to be integrated into the mainstream economy.

The NDP5 will include aggressive investments in early childhood development and ending joblessness by up-scaling and modernising its agriculture, manufacturing, fisheries, mining and tourism sectors.

Meanwhile, Namibia’s Economic Planning minister Tom Alweendo has challenged criticism that NDP5 is too ambitious.  Mr Alweendo spoke at a panel discussion hosted by the Economic Association of Namibia and Bank Windhoek.  He was quoted by local media as saying: “It is better to set very ambitious goals and set yourself to achieve them.”

Mr Aweendo says mutual participation between government, the private sector and the citizens would ensure success.  He added that government would engage with the private sector to ensure that funding is available for certain goals laid out in NDP5.

“As much as government has a big role to play, government cannot do everything,” he said.

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