A second version of the Harambee Prosperity Plan is expected to be launched in the final tenure of President Hage Geingob with a formulation meeting having been held this week.
This week’s meeting was attended by former Presidential economic advisor Dr John Steytler, economist Klaus Schade, Dr Inge Zaamwani, Dr Martin Mwinga and Jason Kasuto who was part of the high-level panel among others.
Despite Geingob’s first tenure being torpedoed by a series of economic headwinds and scuttling implementation of Harambee Plan, he claimed some achievements on the delivery of serviced land, housing and sanitation.
He said seven of the desired outcomes on economic advancement were off-target and these included anchoring public debt at 55% as the ratio of GDP by year three of the Harambee period, maintaining international credit ratings, improved volumes of locally produced goods and the establishment of an SME Development Agency with a countrywide representation.
Various experts that spoke to Eagle FM hinted on how the next plan should focus on and what lessons ought to be taken.
“We must as a nation take action to save the economy particularly employment, create food for our people and ensuring that critical services like schools and hospitals are functioning so that we continue to go through this crisis,” said Namibia Airports Company chairperson, Dr Leake Hangala.
He said to realize this, decisive action was required.
University of Namibia Vice-Chancellor, Kenneth Matengu, said that time around the drivers of the plan should not attempt to executive everything.
“For me, like in agriculture there are services of strategic interest and genera interest and we need to make a distinction when we make those choices and we can’t have a plan that we can’t fund. So, let us have a few projects that we can fund and implement. With HHP 1 we tried to do many things. We can have a phased approach of achieving things,” he said.
Urban and rural development ministry executive director, Daniel Nghidinwa called for introspection and asking of “hard questions” to see whether what has been done so far responds to the plight of the people.
He said access to land must address the majority.
We have a large section of our people that continue to reside in informal settlements and they do not have the security of tenure. Some of them have been living there for many years. Their jobs have not been permanent and reliable. So, we are looking at the problem in two parts, land issue and decent shelter,” he said.
Kasuto said the key areas of focus should be the informal economy where he said 57% of the workforce is while 42% of formal houses rely on it.
“Our rate of urbanization is growing and within the next years, we will be majority urbanized. We need to create an environment that supports informal enterprises and that is for me the tail you can bring the one economy and the other economy which is the engine of the country,” he said.
He said private-public partnerships should be aligned to a few infrastructure projects which out to be prioritized.
The next version of the Harambee Plan will spring from a foundation of an economy rattled by the global pandemic.
Kasuto said this catastrophe provides an opportunity to plan and consult.
“You cannot blame the past but things work in cycles. We are the victims to the extent of a lot of shocks because of the structure of our economy. Hopefully, when the Harambee II comes out it can speak to the structure of the economy and make it more resilient,” he said.