26 Aug 2014 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 26 AUG (NAMPA) Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku launched the Smart Partnership Awareness campaign within the framework of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM) in Namibia here on Monday.
The Smart Partnership Movement started in 1995 in Malaysia at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Following the creation of this initiative, smart partnership dialogues have been taking place annually globally. The last dialogue took place in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in June 2013.
Speaking at the launch, Hausiku pointed out that the smart partnership movement creates sustainable opportunities with a win-win philosophy for its members.
Through smart partnerships we build capacity, develop and empower communities and provide access to finance, he noted.
Namibia has been a keen participant in the movement since its inception with former president Dr Sam Nujoma as a founder member and fellow of the movement.
The first dialogue was held in Swakopmund in 1998, when Nujoma took charge of the steering wheel of the movement.
Also speaking at the launch Monday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana explained that projects that are developed by participants in the movement are driven by a smart partnership between government and the private sector.
Namib Mills and Namib Poultry are partners in the Container Project, which is located in Havana and Otjomuise and this is in the process of expanding.
Through this initiative, loans to the value of N.dollars 50 000 have also been availed.
Community members buy products on credit at a strategic point, sell such products and pay back the money on a weekly basis.
Ua-Ndjarakana commended the beneficiaries, who have been regularly paying back their loans and even investing some of their profits in other development project.
All of them are committed to do the right things. This is when minds become smart, he noted.
Another project that gas benefitted from local companies is Aili Catering and Training Services at the Ombili Community Centre.
The founder and director of this project, Aili Venonya informed the gathering at the launch that more than 700 Namibians have received training so far. Venonya was previously employed at Kalahari Sands Hotel. She has been the driving force at the centre since 2010, encouraging unemployed youths to take up the challenge of acquiring skills in the hospitality industry.
My students do not need any qualifications, they just need to learn and work hard, she stressed.
Many of her students are now employed at various hotels and shopping outlets countrywide, according to Venonya.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CPTM, Dr Michaela Smith said the launch event was a special moment in the life of the movement.
The United Kingdom-based CEO explained that the campaign should continue to strive to inform and educate the public on a regular basis about the projects.
The Deputy Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) organised the launch.
The next dialogue will be held in South Africa in October 2014.