Namibian govt reaffirms support for arts

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Jeremiah Ndjoze

Windhoek - The Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development recently revealed that the government has embraced the promotion of the country’s growing arts and crafts industry as part of its Growth at Home Strategy.

This, according to the Deputy Executive Director in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Dr Michael Humavindu.

Speaking at a recent arts exhibition, which was held at the National Arts Gallery of Namibia, Humavindu highlighted the efforts that have been made by his ministry, through the support of the GIZ – a German development agency with offices in Windhoek – for the development of the Namibian visual arts industry.

Humavindu maintained that handicraft is a strategic industry that has gained momentum since the implementation of the Growth at Home Strategy in 2016, and that the sector’s footprint in the country’s National Development Plans testifies to that effect.

“Also, the arts and crafts sector has been selected for a more specific focus on its economic development through the Industry Growth Programme,” Humavindu stressed.

The Industry Growth Programme is part of the ongoing government efforts to reinforce Namibia’s economic growth by developing specific industry growth strategies, of which the growth strategy for Namibia’s handicraft industry and associated value chains was born.

“The Growth Strategy for Namibia’s Handicraft and Associated Value Chains is one of the several specific Industry Growth Strategies, through which our ministry, in collaboration with other line ministries and key industry stakeholders, will support local value addition for the country’s socio-economic progression, as highlighted through different pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” Humavindu revealed.

He added that even though the sector is still in infancy, significant growth has been noted in the recent years, with opportunities as identified in the Industry Growth Strategy. 

The opportunities, according to Humavindu, are: primary production and input supply, transformation and technology, product distribution and trade, and good business environment.

He was, however, quick to note that like any other economic sectors, as observed across the globe and more so in developing countries, the sector is also faced with several constraints that hinder its developmental ambitions.

“I, therefore, wish to encourage the sector representatives and all stakeholders to continue the strive for increased and sustainable initiatives, using platforms offered through the Growth at Home Strategy, to see constraints as not only challenges but mere opportunities for the sector performance improvement.,” said Humavindu.

He maintained that his ministry will continue to support the sector, while aligning its support to those of other government services that the sector may need and further encouraged sector representatives to contact his ministry in case of any policy misalignments that may inhibit the achievements the sector’s performance in relation to the Growth at Home Strategy.

“Allow me to ensure to you the continuation of our cooperation with GIZ to seek both micro and macro support mechanism, to ensure the sectors growth and sustenance,” he said.   

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