Jobs in spotlight at economic summit

31 July 2019 | Economics

The much-anticipated economic summit, which the government is pinning its hopes on to revive an ailing and depressed economy, starts in Windhoek today.

The summit is being hosted by the high-level panel on the Namibian economy, which is chaired by businessman Johannes !Gawaxab, with a mandate to raise about N$14 billion over two years. The summit ends Thursday.

President Hage Geingob will officially open the summit this morning, while a number of breakaway sessions focusing on different sectors of the economy and job creation are planned for today.

The plenary and breakaway sessions will bring together policymakers, investors and experts from all 14 regions of Namibia to make recommendations for the country's economic growth and job creation.

The PDM yesterday said in a statement that the summit should address the country's tax regime as well as joblessness, which has thousands of a Namibians sitting at home without work.

“The PDM has consistently called for a job summit, and for this reason our movement feels that the Economic Growth Summit alone is not the solution. This summit must also plot a path to job creation for our people. We all know that thousands of breadwinners are sitting at home, unemployed,” the PDM said.

“As we speak, unemployment and inequality stand at 37% while unemployed youth have peaked at 43.4%. The unbelievable number of 36 822 employment contracts were terminated during the 2017/18 financial period, while 73% of graduates are unable to find relevant employment after completion of their studies. We know that one of every two youths is unemployed, so it cannot be business as usual anymore.”

The PDM also proposed that the government should consider lowering taxes in order to stimulate the economy.

“Namibians pay more taxes than the citizens of most developed countries – a policy that the PDM considers to be hopelessly short-sighted but is kept in place by a government that is desperate to squeeze every cent possible from its beleaguered private sector and taxpayers.”

STAFF REPORTER

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