Public enterprises created for development purposes: Shiimi

Public enterprises were established to solve developmental challenges and are essential to the national quest to achieve Vision 2030, finance and public enterprises minister, Iipumbu Shiimi, has said.

Speaking at the second Public Enterprises Conference at Gross Barmen on Wednesday, Shiimi emphasised the importance of public enterprises despite challenges of poor performance and governance.

‘As a country, we have created a number of public enterprises to try and solve our developmental problems. As we proceed, we have to continue to reevaluate which one we want to create and which one we have to consolidate.

‘These are institutions that we have created specifically for specific development purposes. You are there to deliver a specific mandate, and you are there to help achieve Vision 2030,’ he said.

Shiimi told the gathering his ministry has been reorganising in an effort to shape the public enterprise sector. He cited the Public Enterprises Governance Act of 2019, which, among others, categorises public
enterprises into different categories.

The 81 public enterprises are grouped into commercial, non-commercial public entities and as funds.

‘We have some of these classifications, and the way they are managed is different. That was done to try and create better governance in public enterprises because I think before, as a shareholder, we were not taking an active role in managing public enterprises,’ the minister said.

The top management of State-owned enterprises is meeting for three days at the tourist resort outside Okahandja to discuss and share best practices on effective performance and strengthening effective governance. The conference is held under the theme; ‘Leveraging value propositions for Namibian public enterprises locally and internationally.’

On his part, the chairperson of the Public Enterprises CEO Forum, Fluksman Samuel, noted that public enterprises ‘still have a significant impact on the economy of our country. Therefore, this conference may serve as a reminder of the enormous responsi
bilities on the shoulders of chief executive officers and managing directors of public enterprises.’

Samuel, who is the CEO of the Lderitz Waterfront, assured Minister Shiimi that the current crop of executives of public enterprises stand ready to support government efforts to improve governance and the overall performance of the sector.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency