The Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General (DG) of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Tom Alweendo has blasted government critics that claim little has been done to develop the country since independence.Alweendo leapt to the defence of government that continues to face criticism over the manner in which it handles the affairs of the country “cynics only emphasise government’s failures but disregards its success”.He said Namibia is a better place to live in compared to the time after independence but cautioned that more still needs to be done.
He made the remarks while opening the one-day consultative meeting on the formulation of NDP5 in Windhoek.“We did not reach the pinnacle yet, nor do we say we did everything that we ought to do. There are still areas that we need to develop like growing the economy and making it more inclusive, creating more development opportunities, ensuring that income generated is shared equitably and paying attention to education,” Alweendo said.
Alweendo said past government failures should be used by policy makers as encouragement and to remind them that no challenge is too big to overcome if the required commitment is adopted.“There are those that are cynical regarding our ability to achieve things, they forget to mention what happened and how we grew this country, they just emphasize our failures and disregard our success and constantly remind us what is not done,” he charged.Alweendo said government critics cannot contribute to solving problems grappling the nation.“We need to remember that solutions can only come from those who are prepared to face future uncertainties and we must at all times remember that plan implementation must remain realistic at all times and the intended beneficiaries must be consulted,” Alweendo said.
The Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) should be relevant, realistic, practical and a plan Namibia can identify with and support, he said.
Alweendo said the meeting should focus on strategies to nurture the value of a procuring nation and investing in the Namibian economy, and should also form the basis to account on progress towards development.The NDP5 will be launched in April 2017 as NDP4 comes to an end in March 2017.The NPC DG added that Namibia’s achievements does not mean that the country has reached the pinnacle of its development or that there are no areas of development where more work has to be done.“We need to create more employment opportunities in our country while the income generated from economies should be shared on a more equitable basis among the people of our societies.”
He noted that particular attention also has to be paid to education where innovation should be the focus, adding that Namibia should view unachieved aspirations as the necessary stepping stone to the future.The meeting is being attended by various representatives from local and regional government, law enforcement agencies, the National Youth Council and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The stakeholders attending the meeting are expected to be active agents in what Namibians want to see in the development plan.
Additional reporting by Nampa