Namibia

Manufacturing through Value Added – Namibian

Saying every cloud has a positive side even though it may seem as if there is no end to one’s problems, rest assured that the good will eventually come out of every difficult situation.

In short: there is always something good somewhere deep down in everything bad.

For example: Many entrepreneurs use a cutback, or layoffs by their employer, to unlock this yearning to start their own business.

And then, termination indemnity provides much-needed startup financing.

Another example of getting out of the good from the bad is low inflation in a country.

It promotes faster economic recovery in times of recession.

This aphorism is derived from the observation that the silver lining of a cloud reminds one that the sun is behind that cloud, and as soon as the sun shines through it, coldness turns into warmth, and darkness will become light.

We must look at this terrible coronavirus in the same light.

Something positive is sure to eventually emerge from this horrific pandemic that has caused so much anxiety, panic, misery, suffering and even death around the world, as well as so much destruction to the already faltering Namibian economy.

This, in turn, has put the livelihoods of thousands at risk in a country already suffering from high unemployment and widespread poverty.

Namibia’s economic recovery will require a lot of corrective intervention.

This will take some time. But is time on our side?

Taking a fresh look at programs, plans, and interventions launched in the past also makes sense.

At the time of its launch in 2004, Vision 2030 presented the situation as it was at the time.

It also set out the goals the nation wants to achieve by 2030, namely sustainable wealth and job creation – all clearly defined in this time frame.

Namibia’s industrial ambition is clearly and unequivocally articulated in Vision 2030.

A series of seven national development plans guided the implementation process.

There are two eye-catching news stories in the media this week that grab one’s attention.

It reflects that there may be a silver lining to the coronavirus cloud to help the country grow its industrial base.

One has a terrible angle.

The nation is said to spend over 30 million Namibian dollars annually on importing coffins.

The National Planning Commission established a Technical Committee with the aim of facilitating the expansion and acceleration of casket production in Namibia.

It is encouraging that the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade has already identified 58 micro, small and medium enterprises with the capacity to manufacture or assemble coffins.

A similar exercise identified clothing makers with the ability and experience to produce masks in the early days of the Covid-19 lockdown.

One wonders if they have progressed in making other products.

Likewise, if a local carpenter could make a coffin for a human remains, producing school, office and home furnishings shouldn’t be too difficult.

The other story is about the construction industry stimulus package initiative introduced by the Presidential Adviser on Youth Affairs in November 2020.

Through this initiative, 75 jobs have reportedly been created in Windhoek.

Value addition opportunities are definitely the silver lining of the coronavirus cloud.

Now is the time to grow the shallow and narrow manufacturing sector in Namibia.

*Danny Meyer can be reached at [email protected]

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