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Govt not sole funder of NDP5 – Alweendo

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12 Jun 2017

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ECONOMIC planning minister Tom Alweendo on Friday said government is not going to fund the whole of the recently launched fifth National Development Plan.

Alweendo made this statement at a panel discussion of the plan held at a Windhoek hotel.

The discussion was organised by the Economic Association of Namibia and Bank Windhoek and was titled: “Opportunities and Challenges in light of fifth National Development Plan(NDP5)”.

The minister sat on the panel with Bank Windhoek's managing director, Baronice Hans, and a young independent consultant, Hilda Liswani.

Alweendo said he had seen reports describing the plan as being too ambitious and that some reports questioned government's ability to fund the plan.

The minister said everybody needs to participate and government will not necessarily fund the plan but try to make policies and interventions that will make it possible for private sector funding.

He further said that although the plan is regarded as being too ambitious, it is better for it to be ambitious than to be less ambitious.

“It is better to set very ambitious goals and set yourself to achieve them,” stated Aweendo.

The minister further said that he is looking forward to Namibians taking ownership of the plan and not wait on government to do everything.

“You even find people who want government to discipline their child in their own homes. As much as government has a big role to play, government cannot do everything,” he said.

Hans said NDP5 is a good plan that requires everyone to get involved.

On the funding part, she said as much as banks have to get involved, they cannot do it alone and all institutions need to be part of the plan.

Liswani expressed optimism about the plan and asked for more platforms young people can use to be part of the plan.

“We need to start thinking of new ways to change the status quo. Young people are frustrated that they are being spoken about but not spoken to,” said Liswani.

In a report titled “NDP5, a step in the right direction, but financing and some overambitious targets may prove challenging”, sent out on Friday, PSG Namibia's research analyst Shelly Arnold said that while the NDP5 is more detailed than previous plans, which could help with the implementation of the plan, government should be careful not to overload departments with targets and should prioritise targets according to their realistic potential to improve growth and employment.

“Finally, perhaps the biggest question is whether (given the current need for fiscal consolidation due to rapidly rising public debt) the government can finance the NDP5 in its entirety,” she said.

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