The following remarks are from a Macroeconomist’s point of view, not as a politician, because I am not a politician and I am certainly not interested in politics as a career.
When we got together in mid 2009 to create and develop our Economic Ecosystem, our intention was never and it’s still not to compete with any government, but to work together as a public private partnership.
So that together, the public, the government, and our company, which is a for-profit company, we can all work together to formulate and develop a systematic solution that can work to help boost stagnant and slow performing economies in developing countries.
For the sole reason; help improve the economies by exponentially boost the aggregate GDP, reduce income inequality, combat poverty, improve healthcare systems, and raise the GDP per capita in order to over-all improve the living standard of the citizens.
Since January 2010, when we announced our development of Groot Town Center ecosystem in Grootfontein, this has been always our goal and vision.
Meetings with Government Officials
In the late part of 2010, my group and I met and spent nearly 3 hours with Hon. Tom Alweendo, General-Director of National Planning Commission of Namibia (NPC) in his office in Windhoek, going over and analyzing the entire Namibia’s economic performance by using our PowerPoint file as seen on our corporate web site at www.grootgroup.com.
We outlined and discussed all of the economic key issues, of what must be done, to help rapidly create sustainable employment opportunities in order to reduce the current unemployment rate of about 54% to about 4% within 3 years and realize Vision 2030 within 5 years instead of 20 years. We explained our concept to the NPC officials on how we plan to achieve this and what we are doing to realize it. All for the sole reason that we want to work together with the government and the general public in order to help our government, our people, our communities, and our country, Namibia.
In the 2011/12 Budget, it reads the following at some paragraphs;
“Starting this financial year, the Government will implement a Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (or TIPEEG). This program is aimed specifically at addressing economic growth and the high unemployment rate through support to strategic growth sectors. The TIPEEG will focus on four key sectors, namely, agriculture, transport, tourism and housing and sanitation.
The total budget for the programme over the MTEF is provided under each of the sectors and it amounts to N$ 9.1 billion. Inclusive of Public Works, the allocation for job creation amounts to N$14.7 billion. It is envisaged that the implementation of TIPEEG will result in the preservation and creation of about 104,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.”
My Analytical Review
It’s good to notice that the Government has allocated the capital to address these key industries, namely; agriculture, transport, tourism and housing, and sanitation. Furthermore, the Budget states the need to embrace entrepreneurship development, etc.
These industries and resources are the exact same ones that we detail explained to the NPC officials and all government key officials that we have met with since August 2010 when I arrived in Namibia. They are also in line with Namibia’s National Development Plans (NDPs) as well as with the 2009 SWAPO Manifesto.
My point here is this; I am glad to see that the issue of creating job opportunities to reduce the current high rate of unemployment in Namibia is now in the public forums; that everyone is now nearly discussing about how to combat poverty; all-in-all, improve the living standard of all the Namibian people.
In Namibia, the population is about 2.1 million (2009 estimate), and the workforce is about 716,000 (2009 estimate), but only about 329,000 of those are currently employed, while the difference or about 386,000 are not currently working, and this does not include those who have stopped looking for work. About 80,000 or 24.3% are currently employed by the Government. The rest are employed in private and not-for-profit sectors.
In the 2011/12 Budget, it says that the creation of employment in Namibia will amount to about 104,000 of direct and indirect new jobs. That’s out of about 386,000 that are currently unemployed. That means, about 35.8% or 254,000 of Namibians will still be unemployed. Out of spending nearly N$14 billion in new job creation for the Budget 2011/12, that only translates to about 18.2% reduction in the current unemployment rate of 54%, and leaves the unemployment rate at about 36%.
Regarding entrepreneurship development, I applaud the Government for thinking to implement this, as this is what we have also told NPC that entrepreneurs are the engines for a rapid economic growth. And as part of our Groot Town Center ecosystem development, this is one of the key features that we are implementing. We have already started doing so, with my “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership Meetup Series” that I have been holding in around Windhoek and so far in 2011, I have done 5 of these Meetup Series, which resulted in a creation and establishment of a new company with an innovative product by the community of Hakahana, Windhoek.
Even though there will likely be an 18.2% reduction in the current unemployment rate, the Namibian economy is still experiencing stagflation. The unemployment rate will still be very high, and the Consumer Price Index, the price of consumer goods, will still keep rising. The current salary, wages and fringe benefits for the majority of the Namibians will still remain the same, high school dropouts will keep climbing which will continue to increase the unemployment lines, and those who are graduating from colleges, will still find themselves working on some jobs with meager wages that they never studied for as their major in college.
The number of new jobs that the government will create as the result of the implementation of the allocated Budget may not be sustainable, since most of the jobs will likely be based on contract per project; hire today, lay off employees when the project is finished. And the laid off employees will go back to the unemployment line. Perhaps not much difference for the new job opportunities.
As a Government, not in the business of creating innovation and forming entrepreneurs, but tasked to enabling an environment conducive to encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship development, which then may result in businesses establishment; as seen in our .pdf file as posted on our web site; the Groot Town Center ecosystem, is the only and ultimate solution to enabling Namibia realizes full employment, more than 500,000 direct and indirect jobs, within 3 years. And the Government of Namibia and the people of Namibia just need to fully support and embrace to work with us and together develop Groot Town Center as planned.
If not, perhaps 20 years from now, Namibia’s GDP, per Vision 2030, will still be at about US$25 billion instead of about US$430 billion, the GDP per capita will likely not change much due to an expected slight increase in population growth, and the unemployment rate will still be cumbersome; the inflationary price will keep rising; basically life as we know it in Namibia now, will still be almost the same in 20 years.
Let’s all just embrace the development of our ecosystem, Groot Town Center, it’s the only solution for Namibia’s current, in the short and long term, socioeconomic pressing issues.
We, at Groot Property Group (Pty) Ltd, are ready to work with all the Namibian ministries, government agencies, parastatals, private businesses, non-for-profit agencies, and the general public in order to successfully develop and implement the best possible; Groot Town Center ecosystem, which will benefit both the rural and urban centers. Let’s work together to make Namibia even more beautiful.
How do we plan on realizing this, please read our Press Release with detailed information at http://grootgroup.com/pressroom/2011/pr011411.html.
Namibia is the best country in Africa, it’s the birthplace of humans, let’s lead the pack in rapid economic development to make it even better.