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New Era Newspaper Thursday August 3, 2017

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  • Namibia
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Thursday, August 3 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 2 Many NYCS-funded businesses fail Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop Only about 20 percent of the 360 businesses established by young people since 2011 in the //Kharas Region through the Namibia Youth Credit Scheme have been successful. This is according to Ronald Kanguvi, the training and employment officer in the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture at Keetmanshoop, who said about 80 percent of the businesses funded through the scheme failed, while some never even got off the ground. Statistics indicate that 513 young entrepreneurs were trained, while 457 received loans amounting to N.2 million, with 360 businesses established through the scheme, creating 506 jobs, but Kanguvi was quick to say the statistics do not represent the actual situation on the ground. He said most of the businesses have failed over the past few years, as only about 20 percent of the established businesses are thriving and are still operational. As someone who monitors the progress of the businesses, he readily acknowledged that small businesses face many challenges to keep going, but cited a lack of discipline and commitment as one of the major factors contributing to business failure. “We have a problem, as our youth are not disciplined and committed. All of them got about N,000 to start, but some went to Edgars to buy shoes, while others bought things to sell,” he said. One of those who could not keep her business afloat is Salome Isaacks, who started selling donkey meat in 2012. She said the business failed because clients were not paying what they owed her on time. “I used to give meat on credit and these people never paid back. This credit made me bankrupt, and my expenses were more than the income, so I gave up,” she explained. While others failed, business is going strong for hair stylist Lahja Johannes. She recounted how she started with N,000 from the scheme, which she used to buy hair for resale. After a second loan of N,000, she set up her own hair salon and three shops at Ileni, from where she sells food items. She says no amount of money is too little to start a business, and that discipline is key to success. Some businesses failed because the owners were stealing from their own business. They take money from the business and use it for other purposes. This will close down the business,” she said. “When I got the N,000 people were asking me what I would do with it, but look where I am today. Money is never too little, unless you are not hardworking.” DISABLED From page 1 NFPDN chairperson Daniel Trum yesterday called on the Ministry of Education to probe the conditions of hearing-impaired learners who fail to pass Grade 10 and proceed to Grade 12 and university. “Deaf learners are not able to pass Grade 10 and 12 to access tertiary education. I don’t think there is anyone who passed Grade 10 and proceeded to Grade 12 to date,” Trum noted, adding that the graduates would number no more than five learners. Trum said there is an urgent need for the association to work with the Ministry of Education to identify where the problem lies and solve it, so as to improve the lives and prospects of these learners. Furthermore, he lamented the fact that for those who pass Grade 12, access to tertiary education remains a major challenge. He charged that some private higher learning institutions have a tendency to shun such learners, but acknowledged that the University of Namibia (Unam), the Namibian University of Science and Technology (Nust), as well as the International University of Management (IUM) accept learners living with disabilities. Trum also urged government to ensure that people living with disabilities are included in all decisionmaking processes. “We don’t want other people making decisions for us, but people to make decisions with us. There are many places that are designed without accommodating people living with disabilities. People with disabilities existed before airplanes were crafted. You should rather adjust to accommodate those you found on Earth,” he remarked. Trum was referring to a recent incident following which Air Namibia issued a public apology after a person with a disability was barred from boarding a flight. The 16-year-old girl was prevented from boarding an Air Namibia flight from Walvis Bay to Windhoek, because she was wheelchair-bound. Vice President Nickey Iyambo, who received the award yesterday, said in Namibia there are still many people - especially in the rural areas - who do not have access to basic government services and who are kept locked up. He said government is doing everything it can to ensure such people benefit from social grants and other welfare benefits. “I want to promise my fellow citizens living with disabilities that I will do everything to ensure they are treated equally, like other citizens in the republic,” he pledged. He also applauded Unam, Nust and the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), as well as other institutions that have adopted an inclusive approach to their operations. Unam set up a Disability Unit and plans are underway to upgrade it to a centre, which Iyambo believes is a step in the right direction. He said the narrative of achievement by persons with disabilities would not be complete without mentioning their phenomenal successes in sports on the international arena. “Our Paralympians have done very well on international platforms of note, such as at the just-ended Paralympics in Brazil. “I must acknowledge that government has made great strides with disability initiatives. However, a lot still needs to be done to ensure the status of persons with disabilities is improved.” UNSC From page 1 He said it is, therefore, crucial that Namibia’s foreign policy speaks to these domestic goals and helps translate these into concrete actions that can help achieve the country’s developmental objectives. “Today, we need to go beyond the dictionary definition of foreign policy as a policy pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations, designed to achieve national objectives. It must also have a larger dimension of global welfare. “We need to be involved in the Southern African Development Community for the welfare of our region; in the African Union for the welfare of Africa, and in other agencies, including the United Nations and its agencies dealing with international issues,” the president said. He added that Namibia needs to be concerned about conflicts, drought and refugee problems in Africa and beyond, noting that there is a need to urgently address the pressing challenges of global warming, global trade and terrorism. He stressed that this decade has presented many foreign policy challenges for a country that anchors its foreign policy in principles it shares with the UN, and cited the economic boom and bust, increased social and economic inequality, challenges to human rights, poverty and intractable wars in many parts of Africa and the Middle East, as well as refugee crises and threats of terror. Geingob also noted the implications of the rapid evolution of social media and the resulting change in the dynamics of democracy, as well as the challenges posed by climate change, the isolationist policies of certain states, including threats to global trade and other international agreements. “These are the challenges that impact upon what is in the interest of our country and the principles we stand for,” he said. He then highlighted some of the accomplishments of Gurirab, after whom the lecture series is named. He said Theo Ben Gurirab, the former speaker of parliament, represented Swapo at the UN where he served as deputy representative and petitioner on Namibia to the UN and the Americas from 1964 to 1972, and as chief representative of Swapo from 1972 to 1986. He said Gurirab as a diplomat at the UN helped spearhead the transformation of Swapo from a mere movement of petitioners to a mainstream movement of negotiators and participants in the international political arena. He added that the UN General Assembly in 1976 recognised Swapo as “the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people”. As such, both Geingob and Gurirab became permanent observers at the UN, as Swapo now had observer status in the General Assembly. President Geingob recalled the 14 years Gurirab represented Swapo and Namibia at the UN, saying his efforts contributed enormously to the growing political and diplomatic status of the party and helped it become an organisation with high standing, recognized as indispensable to the resolution of the Namibian question. KAZENAMBO From page 1 “President Pohamba is a fair man and a true democrat. Every time there was a fabrication against me, he’d call me at State House and ask me to brief him,” Kazenambo, now a private businessman, said. “The last meeting was attended by myself, him and Christine Hoebes, who was Pohamba’s assistant. He wanted clarity on allegations that I apparently said in Gam that all top positions in government were reserved for Aawambo,” he recalled. “I told the president that it was a lie. How could I have said that when I myself was a full minister and non- Oshiwambo speaking? I’m not stupid. “It was in that meeting that I said to Comrade Pohamba, ‘Look, I want you to enjoy your last term peacefully. Instead of calling me to State House every other week over alleged tribal remarks I have made, please release me from my ministerial duties.’ “When the letter eventually came, it did not say I was recalled. The president said there’d been some changes in government and he wished me well in my future endeavours.” Kazenambo said he was once even invited to Pohamba’s farm to explain allegations made against him. “Nickey must stop using my name to justify their violation of the party’s constitution. They must leave me and President Pohamba out of their issues. “He must rather explain how N million was used in the genocide case, while nothing has come of it,” Kazenambo charged. He also vehemently denied being a tribalist. Last week Kazenambo openly criticised the manner in which former Swapo MP Bernardus Swartbooi was recalled from parliament, saying procedures were not followed. Swapo said it was left with no choice but to recall Swartbooi, who had been publicly stating that he was “99.9 percent not Swapo”. The ruling party said it could not be represented in parliament and on other platforms by someone who openly states that they are not a member of the party. President Hage Geingob during a press conference on Monday explained to the media that he gave Swartbooi enough opportunity to reconsider the utterances that landed him in trouble, but the youthful politician would not heed the instruction of his appointing authority. Geingob explained that apart from formally writing to Swartbooi to withdraw and apologise for the remarks he made that he (Swartbooi) does not report to Land Reform Minister Utoni Nujoma, he also invited him to State House to discuss the same, but the deputy minister refused to comply.

Thursday, August 3 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Iivula-Ithana denounces child marriages John Muyamba Nkurenkuru The Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, says early child marriage, particularly for the girl-child, is a disservice to Namibia, the family as well as the child. In this vein she appealed to parents, particularly in rural areas, not to allow their offspring into early child marriage. She made the remarks when officially opening the fully-fledged regional offices for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration at Nkurenkuru in Kavango West on Monday. Iivula-Ithana took a moment in her official speech to address the issue of early/ child marriage particularly of girls, urging parents to ensure their girl-child gets an education to ensure the future and well-being of the child. “Early marriage used to help our women in the past. They used to have an importance in society but today when you introduce your child into marriage at a young age you deprive this girl of her future livelihood and that of her children. So let’s discourage that practice because it neither helps you as a parent of that child, the child herself, nor Namibia,” Iivula-Ithana appealed to parents. Iivula-Ithana emphasised the country needs both educated males and females in order to develop. “We are working towards developing Namibia by 2030, that’s our vision. If this country will have to be developed by one sector only, whereby only boys are encouraged to get an education and girls are sent into early marriage before they even achieve their secondary education, it’s a disservice to Namibia, a disservice to the family and a disservice to the girl child,” she emphasised. Furthermore, she encouraged all residents of Kavango West Region to visit the new offices of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration in Nkurenkuru to register for a birth certificate and ID card. “The birth and ID services you were in need of for the past years are now a thing of the past. From now on they can be obtained here on your doorstep,” she said. Iivula-Ithana also informed the Kavango West community that the ministry in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Ministry of Health and Social Services, jointly agreed to introduce the e-birth notification system with the aim to notify the e-National Population Registration System (NPRS) electronically when a birth has occurred at a dedicated hospital to secure the birth details of the child. The notification will be done immediately after birth by the nurse who facilitated delivery of the baby. The Bringing service to the people… The Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana (left) getting ready to cut the ribbon to officially open the fully fledged Kavango West regional office in Nkurenkuru. On the far right is Hompa Eugene Siwombe of VaKwangali and Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku. e-birth notification system will ensure verification of the mother’s identity as it is linked to the NPRS, as well as improve data quality and production of vital statistics. As the system of recording births does not yet comprehensively cover the whole country, the government still relies on birth projections for the calculation of birth and birth registration statistics. “For the parents and parents to be, it is your responsibility to ensure that your children are registered immediately after birth. We should remember that it is a child’s right to be registered,” she noted. The registration of children ensures they get access to essential health and educational and other social services. “In order to protect children, who are our leaders of tomorrow, from social ills such as early marriage, child labour and child trafficking, we must play our role as parents and citizens in ensuring that children are registered at birth,” she said. “Success stems from proper planning and for government to do proper projections it relies on accurate data and statistics, thus the absence of required statistics hinders proper planning and development, which in turn disadvantages the citizens of our country.” Geingob’s address on economy based on hope – DTA Albertina Nakale Windhoek The official opposition party – the DTA –says much of President Hage Geingob’s optimism in terms of Namibia’s economic outlook is based purely on hope. The DTA was reacting to Geingob’s address on the Namibian economy, among other burning issues affecting the country, which he delivered on Monday at State House. The underpinning fundamentals of the Namibian economy are stronger today than they were a year ago, Geingob had said, noting that the domestic economy has passed through the brunt of the economic downturn and is now on a recovery path. To support his view, Geingob highlighted the significant rain received earlier this year, which is fueling a recovery of the agricultural sector; consumer price inflation, which has been on a downward trajectory during the past six months and hit a low of 6.1 percent in June 2017; demand indicators such as monthly credit extension by commercial banks and improved vehicle sales; as well as “remarkably” improved liquidity conditions. However, DTA Member of Parliament Nico Smit said his reference to a recovery in the agriculture sector and Windhoek’s water stocks is based on good rainfall over the recently ended rainy season. However, he noted, the president conveniently does not address the question of where the country will find itself should the country suffer poor rains in the coming rainy season. Similarly, he said, he found little comfort in the president’s optimism towards economic recovery in South Africa and Angola, saying that in the former, forecasts for the economy remain subdued, while in the latter there are likewise no concrete signs of recovery. “It would be quite some stretch of the imagination to believe that many … Namibians, including those who occupy the seats of power in our country, agree with the president’s assessment that the economy is doing better than what is being projected in the media and discussed in public. “For starters, the presidential economic advisor, Dr John Steytler, was quoted in The Namibian newspaper approximately two weeks ago using a medical analogy to refer to the Namibian economy by stating that ‘a heart attack was avoided, but the patient is probably not out of hospital yet’,” Smit said. He added that he truth of the matter is that the economy is overwhelmingly driven by government spending, and where the government is struck by a liquidity crisis, irrespective of the cause, it has a significant effect on the economy. “It is a truth and cannot be hidden by any measure of grandstanding,” he maintained. Smit said that while a loan from the African Development Bank (ADB) has eased the government’s liquidity crisis and has no doubt alleviated the dire situation Namibia faces, this action alone is not sustainable. This, he says, is so because lending money to pay off debt can never be a viable long-term solution. He said the president’s reference to motor vehicle sales data and building plan registration and construction data is somewhat misleading, and “highly ironic considering that he made reference to fake news in his statement”. Smit cited IJG Securities reports that new vehicle sales in June 2017 were 24 percent lower than in the corresponding month a year earlier. Smit said that with the government cutting its capital budget excessively, the construction sector has been the hardest hit, which the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) has made known publicly, and as such the Namibian economy will remain under pressure for a considerate time. Regarding the SME Bank saga, the DTA MP opined it is quite shocking that President Geingob has suggested that the former chairmen of the liquidated bank, Frans Kapofi and George Simataa, should not be blamed for the calamitous exercise in mismanagement and misappropriation of a public institution’s public resources when each of them had a fiduciary duty respectively towards the SME Bank. He added it is laughable that President Geingob would regard it as the responsibility of the Bank of Namibia to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the management and board of the SME Bank. He further questioned whether Geingob is familiar with the contents of the Companies Act, adding that his actions are nothing short of an exercise to protect the politically connected.

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167

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