Government, private sector are key partners to employment creation

To create employment, a national employment coordination mechanism that involves government and the private sector needs to be developed as both are key partners in placing jobs at the centre of the national development agenda.

News | 27 September 2019
Contact(s): ILO Harare Office Tel +2634369806-12 Email: harare@lo.org
(ILO News, Windhoek) At the opening session of the Employment Creation Seminar organised by the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy (HLPNE) recently, ILO Country Office (CO) Director for Zimbabwe and Namibia Ms. Hopolang Phororo highlighted that “employment creation is a multi-sectoral challenge that requires the coordination of actions across the full breadth of government and private sector.’’

“The HLPNE can be that strategic catalyst to put jobs at the center of the country’s development agenda,” she said.

The seminar comes after the Government of the Republic of Namibia appointed the HLPNE in March 2019 to spearhead the organisation of the 2019 Namibian Economic Growth Summit, in response to the economic headwinds, as a way to chart a path towards recovery and growth.

 

The HLPNE has four pillars of work that include building a US$1 billion investment portfolio, removing policy impediments, promote Namibia for tourism and investment and creating employment opportunities. The Employment Creation Seminar seeks to identify bottlenecks in terms of policy, education and training, incentives, including legislation or otherwise that hinders employment creation in the country.

Chair of the HLPNE, Mr. Johannes Gawaxab remarked that the macro-economy is not performing to create jobs that are required.

Said Mr. Gawaxab: “There is need to attract domestic and foreign investment to expand the private sector contribution to jobs and the economy to move away from relying on government to absorb the bulk of graduates.”

In 2018, Namibia recorded a general unemployment rate of 33.4% and a youth unemployment rate of 46.1%. Invariably, the unemployment figures portray a worse-off situation for youths and women.

Labour Minister, Honourable Erkki Nghimtina, officially opening the seminar indicated that jobs are an important socio-political context in Namibia and strategies that tackle decades of jobless growth in the country are a necessity.

In his address, Hon. Nghimtina proposed that to create employment, there is need for a national employment coordination mechanism, to set-up an employment creation fund and conduct employment impact assessments of government and private sector policies and programmes.

He further acknowledged the need for tax incentives for enterprises and public works programmes.

Speaking during their presentations to the seminar, ILO Employment Specialists, Messrs Bernd Mueller and Michael Mwasikakata concurred that the challenge for Namibia is not about labour supply but that of demand for jobs.

The country requires an optimum mix of policies to create new jobs that will ensure a better match between supply and demand to gradually shift the economy towards a job-rich growth through economic transformation.
Examples from Ethiopia, Portugal and South Korea were shared that demonstrate the positive results from deliberate actions by government to facilitate job creation in response to slowing down of growth and creating new jobs.