By: Annakleta Haikera
Kavango West region governor Sirkka Ausiku says the region has managed to bring services closer to the people over the past 10 years, as more public institutions opened offices and help stimulate the economy.
Ausiku said this on Friday during her State of Region Address (SORA).
She however added that there are many challenges that the region is faced with such as poor road infrastructure network like feeder roads especially in the inland, inadequate water infrastructure, wanting rural electrification, poor mobile communication network in most parts of the region, and deficient educational and health facilities, among others.
She said government had continue to address these challenges since the creation of the region in 2013.
“However, our nation went through difficult periods that affected our economy negatively, such as the economic downturn, the prolonged drought and the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. During these periods most programmes and projects, including for our new region, were put on hold and as a result the development in our region has not been moving at a desired pace,” the Governor said.
Ausiku said the region will continue to highlight these challenges until they are addressed. The region has developed a Regional Statistical Baseline Data validated by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), providing statistical evidence on the current development stage of the region and benchmark future developmental programmes and projects which is cascaded to constituency level.
She also appealed to all offices, ministries and agencies to make use of the statistics and reports from NSA when making decisions on resource allocation for programs and projects per region as this process will lead to equity, fairness and achieve shared prosperity for all.
“The region’s strategic development goals still remain the same, focusing on agriculture, because the region is blessed with fertile land and a perennial river; manufacturing looking at value addition and tourism. This came from two documents developed by the region namely, the Regional Profile, as well as the Regional Economic Investment Opportunities,” she said.
The Governor further narrated that she still believes that with good investment these three sectors can deliver a positive impact and help create employment and address poverty, especially among our youth.
“The region would like to thank investors that have responded to our call and came to invest at Musese Green Scheme and at Kanyikama village, as well as the timber production at Katwitwi settlement. Their investment will help the region address food security and create employment.”
Kavango West region has 26 horticulture gardens that are operating and doing well, this was one of the goals set for last year, the Governor stated.
David Nekaro, a youth activist in the Kavango West region, told The Villager that the Governor’s claims were not true.
“Even if we have to look at the development in the town, the Governor herself is renting the office where she is seated now. There is a little steady development in the agricultural sector; that is only with horticulture, but with the green schemes we heard the are investors coming but it is just on paper not in reality and youth unemployment in the region is still high.”
Nekaro said the youth centre and the vocational centre are still not yet at an advanced stage for it to offer the services that the youth need. He added the budget was given and nobody knows what happened to it.
He also added that such a statement the Governor made misleads people and investors that want to come and do business in the region, “because what they will come and see is not what they have heard. I feel as leaders in Namibia we must tell the truth so that we can get help from the high authority.”