130 000 Namibians living abroad

11 June 2020 | Ministries

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

A total of 68 358 international migrants are currently in Namibia, while more than 130 000 Namibians have been living abroad since 2013.

This was revealed by labour minister Utoni Nujoma yesterday, who urged Namibians working in other countries to come home and contribute to the development of their motherland.

Utoni was delivering the keynote address at the official launch of the national labour migration policy.

He added that as a country of origin and destination, Namibia has benefitted and can benefit further from labour migration.

He said this potential is yet to be fully exploited.

Safe labour migration

“The country is committed to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible labour migration through the implementation of an integrated national labour migration policy for development. The contribution that these workers make towards development can now be explored with the comprehensive national labour migration policy,” he said.

The launch of this policy is in line with the global compact on labour migration, which advocates for labour migration management and aims to look at the employment of immigrant labour to transfer critical skills in the absence of available human resources locally.

It also aims to appropriately regulate the selection and recruitment of immigrant workers.

“Namibia’s labour migration policy is necessary to ensure the sound development and implementation of a labour migration system that will have a positive impact on human resource development, economic growth and decent work for all in Namibia. The accompanying implementation plan outlines concrete strategies and actions which will contribute to the overall achievement of the policy’s goals,” Nujoma said.

Monitoring skills transfer

Government must implement effective policies that are properly monitored to ensure skills transfer takes place between Namibians and expatriates working in the country, said Job Muniaro, the secretary-general of the National Union of Namibian Workers.

Muniaro stressed that the country can no longer afford not to have locals empowered.

“People will come through the window to work in Namibia to do work that Namibians can do, if proper implementation and monitoring does not take place,” he said.

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