Government to integrate disabled persons into economy

10 Aug 2017 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 10 AUG (NAMPA) – Government will integrate people living with disabilities into national economic activities as part of its socio-economic development strategy for all citizens.
This is to help people with disabilities who lack financial resources necessary to operate sustainable businesses as they are often disadvantaged in most employment opportunities.
Speaking during the launch of the revised Namibia Co-operative Policy on Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said the most effective way to address poverty is by growing the economy in a sustainable and inclusive manner through the creation of decent employment opportunities.
The policy is a revised strategy of the first National Co-operation Policy of 1992, aimed at encouraging effective economic inclusivity for economic development.
The first strategy lacked clear and empathetic policy pronouncements necessary to provide guidance during its implementation.
Mutorwa said co-operatives have the potential to break through challenges Namibians face.
“This can be realised in various sectors such as accessing housing, creation of self-employment opportunities through agriculture and in the renewal energy sector.”
According to the revised policy, government should facilitate affordable credit, access to Government procurement and marketing, focusing on co-operatives with people living with disabilities.
The ministry will also ensure that co-operatives integrate people with disabilities into their membership without discrimination.
There were about 146 registered co-operatives in Namibia in 2016, with a membership of about 11 988 people.
About 75 per cent of the current co-operatives are engaged in the agriculture sector in activities such as livestock breeding, crop production and marketing.
Other sectors represented by co-operatives include brick and carpet making, tailoring services, baking, and processing indigenous plants.