Religious Leaders Hail Counties For Supporting ECDE CentersYoung Namibians willing to engage in entrepreneurship: Masua

Religious leaders from the Lower eastern region have commended counties that have invested heavily in Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) terming the move a big boost for basic foundation.

The clergy speaking to the press at a Machakos hotel after holding a citizen led engagement forum, lauded governors in the region for improving ECDE infrastructure in their respective counties.

Led by Lower Eastern Coordinator, Major Leonard Kasyoka from the Salvation Army Church, the clergy urged counties to introduce school feeding programs in ECDE centers to increase school retention of pupils.

‘We take note of the good initiative to advance ECDE learning across the counties,’ said Major Kasyoka.

Major Kasyoka particularly hailed Machakos County Government for introducing the milk programme in ECDE dubbed ‘Maziwa ya Mama’ which he said besides increasing the number of learners will also boost their nutrition.

He asked other counties in the region to replicate the initiative in their respective counties.

e church leaders also commended Makueni and Kitui counties for employing ECDE teachers on permanent and pensionable terms saying the move will improve the quality of education in the region.

‘We applaud Kitui and Makueni counties for upgrading their ECDE teachers’ salaries and employing them on permanent terms,’ said Major Kasyoka.

He added that the church acknowledged the efforts county leaders have made towards fulfilling the promises made to the people and said they were looking forward to progressive development in the coming years across the counties.

Through proper budget implementation, the clergy recommended that the county treasuries should ensure timely preparation and submission of financial reports to the office of the controller budget.

They further recommended enhancement of value chains through recruitment of experts to drive economic development besides supporting local communities to establish sustainable enterprises.

The church leaders also urged the counties to address pending bills to
ensure genuine bills are paid promptly by the end of the financial year and called for timely disbursement of county funds by the national government.

The religious leaders from the lower eastern region were drawn from African Brotherhood church (ABC), Salvation army, Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA), Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Full gospel and the Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG).

Source: Kenya News Agency

WINDHOEK: Swapo Party parliamentarian Patience Masua said that young Namibians want to engage in entrepreneurship but lack the necessary startup funds.

Despite the financial challenges faced by young people, Masua said in the National Assembly on Tuesday that efforts are being made to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

‘Many young people have an appetite for business, they have the talent, skills, ideas, and brilliance – all ingredients to build a successful business. They simply do not have the funding or the degree,’ she said while contributing to a debate on SME financing and its importance to the economy.

‘SMEs are important for the growth and diversification of the economy. They create job opportunities, stimulate innovation, and contribute to the overall economic growth of our country,’ said the youthful lawmaker.

However, Masua said the government has taken steps to make it simpler for SMEs to obtain finance. This includes the skills-based lending facility offered by the Development Bank
of Namibia (DBN).

‘The DBN has provided crucial financial support to young entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. Additionally, the government has also introduced various training programmes and mentorship initiatives to help SMEs grow and succeed in a competitive market.’

Masua also said that the allocation of funds toward small businesses in the 2024/25 budget towards the youth loan scheme is a step in the right direction to empower young entrepreneurs.

The budget of the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade this new financial year was increased by 31.7 per cent to N.dollars 365.5 million and a total of N$1.2 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

Finance and Public Enterprises Minister Iipumbu Shiimi said that funding has been allocated to the Equipment Aid Scheme, Start-Up Namibia, and EMPRETEC Namibia to facilitate domestic trade activities and build domestic entrepreneurship capacity, especially for SMEs.

When tabling the budget, Shiimi announced the lifting of the mand
atory registration threshold for value-added tax (VAT) from N.dollars 500 000 to N.dollars 1 000 000.

He said this will relieve approximately 23 000 SMEs from VAT administration to focus on their core activities while simultaneously freeing capacity at the Namibia Revenue Agency to focus on large taxpayers.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency