‘We need quality jobs to address inequality’: Shiimi

Finance and Public Enterprises Minister, Iipumbu Shiimi said there is a need for Namibia to create quality jobs for its citizens to ensure economic growth and address inequality.

Shiimi, who was speaking at a public lecture in Keetmanshoop on Wednesday, said that as much as education can address the issue of inequality, creating quality jobs for those educated is equally important in the fight against inequality.

“People need quality jobs, that is why we need business diversification; we need to attract the right industries that are able to create quality jobs so that our people have high income that will improve their standard of living. Yes, not everyone is equally talented for them to acquire jobs, that’s why our safety net schemes must work,” he said.

The minister said industry or sector diversification has the ability to address the issue of inequality, reduce government debt and grow the economy. He added that Namibia has done a lot to establish different sectors since independence, but such sectors need to be further diversified and developed to continue economic growth.

Shiimi said the sectors the country can continue to develop in order to improve economic growth are the food industry, metal, mining, chemical, machine, electronics, transportation and logistics sectors.

He said the government is looking at importing critical skills that will help the country discover more opportunities in terms of value addition and producing new products.

“We have discovered that there are critical skills missing in the country, we lack the know-how and that know-how is not in theory but in people, so we are engaging the home affairs ministry to ensure that our immigration laws are flexible for us to import these critical skills because if we employ these critical skills, it should unlock more opportunities for us and this should be proper knowledge transfer that will be monitored,” he added.

According to the finance ministry the purpose of the public lecture held under the theme ‘Economic diversification’ was to meet with stakeholders and hear their needs so that these needs are taken into consideration when the ministry compiles the budget for next year.

“When we compile the budget it should be informed by information from people on the ground, it has to serve the people and it has to deliver on those needs from the community,” said Shiimi.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency