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USAID donates million dollar water tankers to Namibia

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated water tankers worth 12.7 million Namibian dollars (0.9 million U.S. dollars) to Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry here on Wednesday.

Thomas Daughton, U.S. ambassador to Namibia said that the donation is aimed at meeting government half way in order for the country to reach and fulfill its global targets for sustainable development.

Receiving the donation, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Anna Shiweda said the donation will help address the shortfall of the provision of water to communities affected by the drought.

According to Shiweda, most communities in Namibia, many communities still rely on boreholes for water, which was still insufficient.

In addition, during the implementation of the drilling program by the Ministry, 26 percent of all boreholes did not have sufficient water and those that had water were of poor quality. These areas, added Shiweda, therefore had to be serviced with water tankers, putting more strain on the existing limited fleet of water tankers of the Ministry.

“Water tanker remains the most reliable method that is at the disposal of the Ministry to supply water to the affected communities that cannot be reached through other water supply methods during emergency situations. Therefore the contribution from USAID will assist us in closing the gap between water sources and our people during the time of drought and other emergencies,” she said.


Number of unemployed in Namibia decreases by 32,000

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Highlights of a labor survey carried out in Namibia reveal that the number of employed people decreased by more than 32,000 in 2016 as compared to 2014.

The summary of the findings on the survey titled The Namibia Labour Force Survey 2016 Report was released Wednesday in Windhoek by the National Statistics Agency.

According to the findings, there were 708,841 people working in 2014 but this figure dropped to 676, 885 in 2016 out of a working population of about 1.03 million.

“The survey covers all aspects of people’s work, including employment, unemployment, underemployment, occupation, industry, education and training needed to equip them for work, wages and salaries,” Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said.

He said the broadly defined unemployment rate of the population aged 15 years and above is estimated at 34.0 percent which signifies an increase of 6.1 percentage since 2014 when the rate was last measured.

“The main reason for this sharp increase could be attributed to prolong drought that affected the agricultural sector throughout the length and breadth of the country since 2015,” he said.

He also said that the broad unemployment rate among the female population aged 15 years and above, is 38.3 percent which is higher than their male counterparts rate of 29.8 percent.


Song to raise awareness in efforts to curb poaching in Namibia

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Save The Rhino Trust, a not-for-profit organization in collaboration with Namibian artists composed a song to raise awareness about the prevalent poaching of rhinos in the country.

Statistics from Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism shows that poachers have killed 201 rhinos in Namibia since 2011.

The song titled “Save our Rhinos” envisions a world without the rhinos and consequences that the country may face should rhinos become extinct.

According to Chairperson of the Save The Rhino Trust, Ginger Maurey, the song composition was prompted by the increasing number of poaching incidents of the near extinct species.

“We collaborated with four Namibian artists who created the song that is full of vibrancy and full of hope and reaches out to the areas in the languages that are spoken around rhino range areas. The aim is to raise awareness about the importance of rhinos and to curb poaching. As a Trust we have fantastic international support for Save the Rhino initiatives, but we need more Namibians involved in the course as well hence the composition of the song,” she said here on Wednesday.

Lead artist of the campaign Elemotho said that artists are very important in raising awareness about poaching. The artist said that the song will be vital to raise awareness on the importance of rhinos to conservation, environment and tourism.

“Musicians are very powerful in society... So, when I was approached to compose the song, I invited other artists for a diversified team for our targets,” said Elemotho.

According to songbird Esme, they hope that the song will reach all four corners of the country as well as the international community.

“I was lucky enough to travel to most parts of the country so I can relate to the importance of wildlife. When they approached me, the seconds into the conversation I said yes as this song will play an important role in curbing poaching,” added Metarere, another artist part of the campaign.

Meanwhile, to promote the song internationally, plans are underway for a global tour organized by international-acclaimed artist Elemotho.

The song will be released on May 29 and can be downloaded online after contributing at least 20 Namibian dollars to Save The Rhino Trust to further raise proceeds towards anti-poaching, said Maurey.


Namibia to hold start-up festival to attract investment

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia will hold a start-up festival for entrepreneurs on June 9 in efforts to create a platform that brings together the county’s most promising start-ups and talented entrepreneurs.

Senior Advisor for Financial Systems Development for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Anna Mostetschnig, told Xinhua in an interview that since Namibia lacks enough start-ups, there was need for a mind shift among the business community in the country.

The first of its kind event will be hosted by four institutions, namely, the Financial Literacy Initiative, FabLab, Team Namibia and Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII).

According to Mostetschnig, the four institutes work a lot with small businesses and face the same problems and struggle to fill their trainings and mentorship programs with innovative entrepreneurs, who strive to grow their businesses and create employment.

Mostetschnig said similar platforms in the region, like the Africa Start-up Festival Technology Summit in Lagos set for September this year and the SA Innovation Summit are platforms where investors scout for new businesses.

“We believe that in order to really change something, the Start-up Ecosystem needs to come together,” she said.

Meanwhile, she said that to achieve their mission of becoming the most attractive country in the region for start-ups, they need to improve on a couple of things, and the Start-up Festival is the first step.


Namibia to unveil 5th National Development Plan

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia will launch its fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) on May 31, the Namibia Planning Commission (NPC) said Monday.

The NPC said after discussions, formulation and preparation of the document as well as several consultative meetings, the NDP5 document has been finalized and is ready to be launched.

The development plan will not replace the current national development programs such as Vision 2030 and the Harambee plan (HPP), which President Hage Geingob launched last year, but will run concurrently.

The Namibia government over the years has adopted planning as a management tool to help effective decision-making.

The first National Development Plan (NDP1) was formulated for a period of five years (1995/1996 to 2000/2001) focusing on the diversification of the economy and consolidation of the achievements realised during the initial five years of Independence.


Namibia new bill to promote e-commerce

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- The Namibian government said Monday it is underway with the crafting of an electronic transaction and cybercrime bill to provide a framework for the promotion of electronic transactions in government services and private contracts.

“Namibia endeavored to put legislation in place governing the electronic transaction and related cyber security issues,” Ministry of Information and Communication Technology’s Permanent Secretary Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said in a press release.

According to Ua-Ndjarakana, the bill is aimed at promoting e-government services, electronic commerce and communications with public, private institutions and citizens.

“The bill will further aim to develop a safe, secure and effective environment for the consumer, business and public agencies or bodies to conduct and use electronic transfers,” said the press release.



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