Geingob says NEEEF to undergo internal review

17 Apr 2019 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 17 APR (NAMPA) – The Namibia Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) draft legislation will be undergoing internal review after a round of public consultations before the Bill is presented to Cabinet, President Hage Geingob revealed.
Once presented to Cabinet, it will be re-tabled in Parliament this year, Geingob said whilst delivering his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
NEEEF will be the country’s overarching economic transformation policy, he noted.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency, within a period of 22 years, Government has reduced poverty from a baseline of 70 per cent in 1994 down to 37,3 per cent in 2003 and to 18 per cent in 2016.
The president explained that although income disparity declined from 0,7 per cent to 0,56 per cent, inequality remains high which attests to the structural nature of the problem.
“Wealth redistribution is therefore non-negotiable in our work to build a more inclusive and balanced growth model,” he added.
Geingob said the war against wealth and income inequalities must be multifaceted to redress the historical imbalances, noting that there is correlation between the national poverty level and the Gini-coefficient measure for inequality.
Since Independence, the government has lifted more than 400 000 Namibians out of poverty, he said.
“The sharp decline in our national poverty level is testament of an effective social poverty framework to reduce poverty and gives me confidence that it is possible to eradicate poverty in Namibia,” expressed Geingob.
Since last year’s SONA, Government has identified as well as registered 121 regional youth enterprises and is currently in the process of business planning to secure seed capital and commence operations.
It has also trained 141 graduates under the Student Entrepreneurship Programme.
A total of 101 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been funded through the Development Bank of Namibia, which created 850 permanent employment and 682 temporary opportunities, the president said.