Tom Alweendo discusses NDP 5 with Swakopmund residents

Swakopmund residents recently had the opportunity to ask burning questions about the future of Namibia when the local NCCI branch organised a breakfast meeting with the Minister of Economic Planning, Tom Alweendo, and the UN Resident Co-ordinator, Anita Kiki Gbeho.
The main topic of the meeting was about the National Development Plan 5 which was presented by Alweendo. “It’s one thing to have a plan, especially if it is a good plan, but it is another thing to have it implemented,” Alweendo said. Other topics included Namibia’s five-year roadmap and the Strategic Development Goals (SDG) by the United Nations.
During Alweendo’s talk he gave a brief overview of NDP5, stating it is unique compared to previous NDP’s. The national development plans aim to root out poverty. “We prioritised various things because as a country we have many targets and we need to prioritise. Alweendo admitted previous development plans lacked prioritization.
According to Alweendo various individual ministries developed their strategic plans based on NDP5. This too was not the case with previous national development plans.
The minister urged the private sector to become a part of the plan and be a driving force in its implementation.
“The private sector is there to make money. Yes, that is true, but the private sector should not only make money but also be a part of society. The private sector has a responsibility,” he continued. Alweendo also said that there is a “voice” suggesting that public funds are being abused. “It is something we cannot ignore and we need to work on it,” he said.
While talking about NDP5, Alweendo also mentioned the recent downgrading of Namibia’s economic outlook by the rating agency Moodys. Although he downplayed the downgrade he said that “we (as Namibia) do not want to be where we are.”
“When we look back on Namibia’s history (since independence) we can say there are a number of things where we have done well, but there are quite a number of challenges too,” he continued. According to him Namibia progressed from an underdeveloped country to a middle-income country and because of this progress “things have become more difficult.”
“There are many middle-income countries and we have to compete with these countries internationally,” he explained.
The minister encouraged attendees to become innovative, especially during these financially troubling times. “We should not wait for conditions to improve. Conditions won’t improve if you do nothing” he said. Adding: “We must persevere.”

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