: Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi addressing Parliamentarians at the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Dhaka, Bangladesh
|Story by George Sanzila
Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi says despite Namibia having inherited deep seated economic and social inequalities from its colonial past, the country continues to strive for economic empowerment of its citizens. Although there has been great improvement, Namibia remains one of the countries with a high social disparity in the world.
Katjavivi who is leading a delegation of Namibian Parliamentarians made these remarks at the ongoing 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Dhaka, Bangladesh themed “Redressing inequalities: Delivering on dignity and well-being for all”.
According to Kajtavivi innovative ways are imperative to enhance sustainable development. He noted that as part of efforts to transform Namibia’s economy, robust policies and legislation have been introduced by Parliament in collaboration with government in order to reduce poverty and underdevelopment. “We need innovative ways to be able to enhance and sustain development for our current and future generations. We have crafted policies and legislation which are aimed at facilitating economic transformation so as to overcome poverty and underdevelopment”, said Katjavivi.
The Speaker noted that Namibia’s national budget has also been pro-poor and that achieving sustainable development goals has been placed at the core of developmental priorities. “We are working towards achieving Sustainable development goals. Our budget addresses the improvement of social welfare through poverty eradication and better safety net systems. We are prioritising education and skills development as well as health services”, said Katjavivi.
He implored Parliaments under the ambit of IPU to work together and come up with strategic poverty eradication solutions for their respective countries. “There is a need for our various Parliaments within the IPU family to share strategic synergies on how to contribute towards the betterment of the welfare of our respective peoples and nations”, urged Katjavivi.
In this regard, Katjavivi suggested that countries encourage both foreign and local investment with strong emphasis on value addition and protection of infant industries, skills development and a profound social grants system.
He appealed to Parliamentarians as representatives of the electorate to introduce policies that are aimed at bridging the inequality gap. The meeting that started on the 1st of April ends on Wednesday (05/04/17).