NAMIBIA’S informal sector is the backbone of Namibia’s economy, but its dreams of being industrialised need to be realised.
This was the opinion of the Minister of Industrialization and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, during a consultative meeting with the Oshana Region business community and informal traders.
According to Iipumbu, 37% of the economy is made up of the informal sector, but for Namibia to be industrialised, it should start with baby-steps.
“We need to pay attention to the informal sector in order to grow the economy,” she said.
Iipumbu urged Namibian to start diversify on the food production to ensure that the country is able to produce sufficiently.
She added that her ministry also recently introduced the EMPRETEC Namibia programme to ensure that it trains targeted beneficiaries the basic principles of entrepreneurship behaviour in order to increase the very low national entrepreneurial stock and innovation ranking.
Iipumbu further said that the impact of Covid-19 on the local economy, such as the loss of income and jobs, is clearly visible and has affected largely the businesses productivity and growth.
“The ministry, in collaboration with other stakeholders, offered a Covid-19 grant to businesses that lost income during the Covid-19 lockdown and it has also distributed facial masks to vulnerable people such as pensioners, children and people living with disabilities,” added Iipumbu.
Oshana Regional Governor Elia Irimari said the business sector is the engine and lifeblood of the economy, as businesses help develop the country, industrialise the economy, creates jobs and thereby fueling the prosperity of the nation.
Irimari stated that the government has since the beginning of the Covid-19 global pandemic introduced comprehensive measures to fight the spread of the pandemic and at the same time continued engaging and assisting businesses.
“The pandemic has persisted and continues to cripple business operations, as well as reducing business growth, tourism and job,” he said.
Moreover, Irimari noted that the pandemic has not only claimed lives here and globally, but has led to declined family incomes and has challenged the strength and vitality of private enterprises.