Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo has emphasised the need for politicians to mitigate corruption in the management of natural resources in order to ensure that in-country value creation reaches ordinary citizens.
Alweendo at the opening of the oversight workshop on maximising the potential of the mining and energy sectors in Namibia in Swakopmund on Monday called on government officials to be fair and transparent with their employment procedures, procurement processes and in exercising oversight over policy implementation.
“Corruption, especially where public officials obtain private gains from holding public office, is among the practical challenges that have the potential to derail the effective management of our natural resources. The more we are transparent in our conduct, the higher the chance of realising our fair share of the economic benefits from our natural resources,” he said.
The minister added that inclusivity, providing equal opportunities for people who might otherwise be excluded, is also an important aspect of ensuring every Namibian benefits from the country’s natural resources.
“To quote President Hage Geingob, ‘exclusivity spells conflict while inclusivity spells harmony’. There are examples across the world where the oil and gas sector in some countries has become an exclusive sector, dominated by a few individuals and excluding most citizens, especially the ordinary citizens. This exclusion has resulted in huge social inequality that fuelled social discontent and unrest. It is my hope that we give serious consideration to inclusivity in our discourse.”
Erongo Governor Neville Andre Itope expressed the need to fix the policy, legal and regulatory framework governing the energy, mining, and oil sectors in Namibia, including the effectiveness of the governance mechanisms in place for these sectors, as well as oversight, monitoring and enforcement.
The objectives of the week-long workshop are to assess the state of the mining, energy and oil sectors in Namibia, including their contribution to the country’s economy, employment and sustainable development, among others.
It is being attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of the parliamentary standing committees on economics and natural resources as well as agencies responsible for energy, mining and natural resources.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency