Namibia has to achieve an equitable development where benefits are equally spread across society, with strong emphasis on sustainable development, if it is to stimulate economic growth that would generate employment and reduce social inequities for Vision 2030.
Thus, regional councils and local authorities have to bear a greater responsibility to create an enabling environment for the local economy to prosper and generate employment, thus improving the quality of life as per the Regional and local Economic Development White Paper and the Decentralisation Enabling Act.
According to the latest Tender Bulletin, the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development recently floated a tender to get consultancy services for the development of town profiles and marketing strategy guidelines.
The aim of the tender, which received three bidders - Namishine Investment, Beniz Trading and Aveshe Consultancy - is of providing data for planning and prioritising the next steps in the development of towns, to define the current economic status of each town and to assess their economic potentials.
The 52 towns and villages to be profiled include Caprivi Region, Erongo with Omaruru, Henties Bay, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Arandis, Karibib, Usakos towns; Hardap Region with Rehoboth, Aranos, Mariental municipality and village councils - Gochas, Kalkrand Malthanoe, Stampriet and Gibeon.
Other regions are the Kavango, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa, with various villages and towns within the different regions.
The town profiles and marketing strategies will be used as planning tools to achieve balanced and sustainable integrated development that Local Authorities (LAs) can use to determine their developmental needs, such as road infrastructure, land use and environmental concerns.
The data will further assist in planning, budgeting and prioritising local services while marketing LAs. It will further serve as a source of information to donors, civil society and potential investors, amongst other uses.
To collect data, the consultancy firm will carry out field surveys, interviews and focus group discussions and verify information through physical site visits and desk studies.
The analysed data and recommendations, including comments from stakeholders, will have to be presented in a report to Local Economic Development Agency (LEDA), which assists local authorities by formulating town profiles and marketing strategy guidelines.