WINDHOEK, 11 APR – Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development has immense potential to unlock growth and employment, President Hage Geingob has said.
Delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address in Parliament Wednesday, Geingob said this year alone, Government has already established the SME Centre, Venture Capital Fund and Credit Guarantee Scheme under the Development Bank of Namibia in order to improve access to finance and business advisory services for SMEs.
Young people are the intended beneficiaries of these schemes, he said.
The Head of State further pointed out that student entrepreneurship programmes at vocational and tertiary institutions have collectively trained 268 entrepreneurs during the period under review.
“To facilitate market access, which undermines the sustainability of growth-seeking enterprises, the ministries of Labour; Works; Youth; and Higher Education have been directed to coordinate the implementation of the Public Works Programme and by so doing, facilitate access to public maintenance services,” said the president.
He added that vocational training institutions have partnered with the private sector to launch the Apprenticeship Programme and work integrated learning, which will assist with the transition of graduates into the labour market.
In the pilot stage of the Apprenticeship Programme, internship opportunities were secured across 14 private sector organisations.
“We expect similar partnerships to be forged between universities and the private sector.”
To facilitate job placement for unemployed graduates, the Head of State indicated that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has been directed to fully implement the ‘Namibia-at-Work’ platform, an information management system and employment matchmaking facility.