09 Jul 2015 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 09 JUL (NAMPA) - The annual NGO Expo and Symposium opened in the capital on Thursday morning.
Held under the theme of poverty eradication and the slogan together we can, the three-day expo aims to engage both non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as Government bodies in dialogue in order to find concrete tools to fight poverty in Namibia.
In a speech delivered on his behalf, the Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Zephania Kameeta stated that the major goals of the new ministry is to implement targeted, need-driven and sustainable poverty reduction in the whole of Namibia.
In order to reach the set goals, the ministry will embark upon a series of nationwide consultative dialogues in order to seek opinion from different stakeholders, he said.
Poverty eradication can only be attained if we pause and take stock of all our development efforts, but for once recognise that the poor are the key stakeholders in the fight against poverty, the minister said.
Kameeta said these dialogues will in turn be translated into actions and eventually culminate into a national conference on poverty eradication and lay out a national blue print on poverty eradication.
The schedule of the discussions and the national blue print were not stated.
The minister did not specify concrete examples of how poverty will be fought, but stressed that the poorest will not live from well-articulated documents.
Also speaking during the event, Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua listed efforts by the City to eradicate poverty.
These efforts include soup kitchens, shelters for both elderly and children, income-generating projects and the upgrade of informal settlements.
The mayor also drew attention to developments on the Windhoek food bank, saying the City has already reserved land for the envisaged food bank.
He underlined that action for change has been taken and are continuously developed, and reminded residents that the issue of housing, urbanisation and unemployment are yet to be answered.
As a council, we are called to duty to find solutions to these social inadequacies; a task which the City cannot successfully deal with alone, owing to lack of adequate financial resources, said Kazapua.
Even though Namibia has seen a drastic decline in poverty from 69,3 per cent in 1994 to 28,7 per cent in 2009, statistics provided by the World Bank reveal that Namibia remains one of the most unequal countries in the world when it comes to income distribution.