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Discussions Start On Industrial Policy

New Era, Namibia

Discussions Start On Industrial Policy

By Desie Heita

18 November 2011

Windhoek — The country’s draft policy on industrialisation is finally ready for public discussion after years of private sector grousing over its absence and the consequent devastating effects on Namibia’s overall market competitiveness.

The discussions also come at a time when the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) and the southern Africa region are seized with domestic regulation reforms that promote competitiveness along with regional integration.

The directorate of industrial development in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is set to avail a public platform for discussion on the draft industrial policy next week. It will take place in Windhoek, on November 21.

The draft document, according to the directorate, includes incentives for industrialisation, small business development, financing, regional integration, innovation, research and development, skill policy coordination as well as monitoring and evaluation.

"The primary objective of the policy statement is to articulate government’s thinking and approach towards industrialisation and how it intends to support the alignment of all stakeholders’ policies and programmes to that effect," says the ministry.

The national discussion is meant to create a final document that accommodates public views, thus creating a homogenous document.

The ministry is eager to point out that the industrial policy will not replace Vision 2030, but will merely magnify in finer detail, steps towards achieving that vision.

"It is aimed at articulating the intentions of the State with respect to industrialisation, and not a blueprint for it," said the ministry.

There will also be a Strategic Framework Document that will go along with the industrial policy to outline the implementation process towards industrialisation goals in the medium term.

The document will be pursued under the Fourth National Development Plan. However, the content of the document is yet to be finalised. Its name is nevertheless clear - Namibia’s Industrial Policy Implementation and Strategic Framework.

According to the ministry, the document will "reflect on what the world is likely to look like in the year 2030, which nations are likely to be the economic power houses and what goods and services are likely to be in huge demand by then.

It will propose strategies and suggestions, as well as action plans on how to achieve our common goals and targets".