Govt urged to become largest buyer of local goods

26 Oct 2015 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 26 OCT (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has called on Government entities to start buying into locally produced products and services as a way to ensure wealth redistribution in Namibia.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and community projects must also create mass capacity to supply to State entities, Geingob said on Monday.
“This access to markets is what impedes most business start-ups and sustainability. We must also allow small producers to pool their products and sell to local Government entities,” he said.
Geingob was speaking at the opening of two-day National Conference on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication in Windhoek.
The conference, which is a result of the consultations to identify social and economic issues affecting citizens, is being hosted by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
According to the president, the recent tabling of the Public Procurement Bill in the National Assembly will, through legislation, enable the government to set aside purchases from qualified citizens as ways to empower them.
The main objective of the Bill is to regulate the procurement of goods and services; letting; hiring; acquisition; granting of rights and the disposal of property of public bodies, and will see preference given to locally manufactured products.
Another aspect of wealth redistribution, Geingob said, is the promotion and support of the ownership of resources by citizens, as it enables people to exploit these assets productively and generate wealth and create value.
The Head of State used the platform to urge the Ministry of Poverty and Social Welfare to also continue addressing issues of unemployment, disability and social grants, including finding immediate interventions to tackle poverty situations of the poor.
“The high level of income inequality has contributed to the prevailing situation. I am informed the findings of the ministry’s consultations provided proposals.
“The findings confirm that we have to address poverty, which requires the involvement of cross sectoral players,” said Geingob.
The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare held regional consultative meetings and a National Dialogue on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication in all 14 regions between 14 September 2015 and 01 October. It was meant to engage with communities and stakeholders in order to seek their input on poverty eradication strategies for Namibia.