RUNDU, 12 APR – A two-day workshop on how the two Kavango regions can use their natural resources to create employment, ended here on Wednesday.
The workshop was organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the Kavango East Regional Council and took place under the theme ‘The role of leadership in water technology innovations to enhance job creation.’
It was facilitated by Dr Romanus Kawana, who is the Deputy Director of Economics and Public Administration at the Namibia Development Trust.
Kawana gave an overview of the two regions; the regional economic approach; natural resources and job creation; the role of leadership in water management; as well as the role of the community in water management.
He told Nampa after the workshop the regions have plenty of water and fertile soil, but it is not put to good use and this is one of the reasons why poverty is still an issue in the area.
Kawana said the workshop recommended that there be continuous leadership dialogue on how to use the region’s natural resources.
“The challenge is that there is lack of trust. The elected leaders are saying the communities are lazy and not doing anything. The communities on the other hand are saying the leadership is not supporting them. People in rural areas also feel they have gardens but there are no markets for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the workshop on Tuesday, KAS Director Thomas Keller said they are a political foundation and thus focus on political programmes.
Besides being a political foundation, he said, they are also a think tank that tries to foster democracy, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights issues not only in Namibia but in Germany and 120 other countries as well.
“This topic is very important to us even though we are a political foundation. Renewable and non-renewable resources are part of a nation’s wealth. They are actually the capital of a nation,” he said.
Keller said the process of creating capital out of natural resources is very important, particularly for the Kavango regions that are rich in water and fertile soil as it can contribute to long-term income creation.
“If you look around at the whole of Namibia, it actually is a very wealthy country if you look at its resources. However, due to historical factors, the country has not yet managed to make that existing wealth accessible for all Namibians,” he said.
Keller said governmental engagement, as well as community and elected leaders, play an important role.
The same workshop was also to be held in the Kavango West Region on Thursday and Friday.
It was attended by farmers, councillors of the Kavango regions, community development committees, as well as traditional authorities and various leaders of political parties.