11 Dec 2017 16:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 11 DEC (NAMPA) - Economic emancipation is one of the key elements to sustaining the unity and peace in Africa, Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb said on Monday.
He made the statement while officiating at the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) week which started here on Monday.
The minister said weak economies fail to co-exist with peace and harmony, therefore Governments must ensure there is economic freedom.
Only with economic freedom are we able to sustain reconciliation and co-existence in Africa.
He said Namibia has political freedom but there is a greater need for economic freedom to those at the grassroots.
We must be able to talk about the unpleasant facts. The things we need to change to make a better Africa, !Naruseb said.
On infrastructure development, the minister said this goes hand in hand with human capital development and that more people in Africa need to be trained and get skills to build the continent on their own.
This, he said, will help achieve the PIDA aims of developing infrastructure in Africa and enhancing job creation and economic growth.
Director of Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, Cheikh Bedda, who also spoke at the same event, said there is strong political commitment around PIDA.
Bedda said out of the 433 PIDA projects, 80 of them are currently under construction while 50 are completed.
He stated that what should be done next is to integrate the rural economies in these projects so that they can benefit, instead of leaving them out.
Other inputs given by speakers at the event include the harmonising of regulatory frameworks to allow smooth implementation of development projects across the continent.
Started in 2012, PIDA is the blueprint for infrastructure transformation on the continent for the period 2012-2040 with one of its targets being to create 450 million jobs across Africa by 2040.
The PIDA week presents an opportunity for all who are concerned about the development of infrastructure in Africa to renew their commitment to PIDA and to embark on new efforts to bring them closer to reality.