Namibia recognized the importance of the elimination of child labour by making significant advances in the form of ratification of several ILO Conventions.
Like other International Labour Organisation (ILO) the Member States, Namibia ratified the ILO Conventions including Convention 138 on Minimum Wage, 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Optional Protocol on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, as a reaffirmation of Namibia’s commitment to the prohibition and the elimination of child labour.
To that effect, a government delegation consisting of social partners led by the Deputy Minister of Labour, Hon. Hafeni Ndemula is in Durban, South Africa to make their contribution and deliberate on the call for urgent action to combat the rising numbers of child labour on the African continent and the World at large. This is the first time that such a conference is held in Africa.
Namibia has recorded a total of ten child labour cases between 2015 and 2021. The Kunene, Omusati and Ohangwena Regions recorded one case each while the Kavango West and Kavango East Regions recorded four and three respectively.
According to the ministry, it has been established through routine workplace inspections by labour inspectors that child labour is rather detected in domestic, and agricultural sectors and in the informal economy.
Factors contributing to child labour are but are not limited to:
Poverty – Children from very poor families or orphans are made to work for their survival and that of their families; Cultural beliefs – Some parents who also have worked from a very young age, not having been to school may see this as part of the tradition; and Cheap or forced labour – The prevailing economic situation in neighbouring countries forces families to send their children to look for work.
According to the ministry, the Labour Act prohibits the appointment of a child under the age of 14 for employment purposes and restricts the appointment of a child under the age of 16. Punitive measures against transgressors are also listed in the legislation.
In terms of the Act, it is an offence for any person to employ, require or permit a child to work in any prohibited circumstance and such person if convicted is liable to a fine not exceeding N$20,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding four years or both the fine and imprisonment.
Alpha Namibia Industries Renewable Power Limited (ANIREP) has been selected as the preferred bidder for an Independent Power Producers (IPP) bid for the provision of 18.5 Megawatt power via the Modified Single Buyer (MSB) Framework, a statement released this week said.
According to the statement, the project is subject to the successful conclusion of the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
ANIREP Managing Director Iyaloo Nangolo said, “I’m pleased to have secured yet another significant opportunity to contribute to the development of renewable energy in the country, under the 20MW solar PV Khan IPP announced on 25 March 2022, in addition to the 20 MW Omburu EPC and O&M project with NamPower, which has now been commissioned.”
On completion, ANIREP will be supplying over 50 MW of Solar PV as an IPP.
“We have a healthy pipeline of projects, and ANIREP is at an advanced stage in negotiating for the expansion of capacity at one of our current IPP clients from their current 5MW capacity, by adding another 6MW of Solar PV and 3 MW/30MWh of Battery Energy Storage System. Namibia is facing a deficit in energy, resulting in importation from Southern African Power Pool. With a vision of becoming a 30% player in the renewable energy sector, ANIREP will continue to pursue the installation of renewable energy to contested buyers, further acquisitions and capacity
development opportunities and EPC and O&M work, with the view to increasing shareholder value,” he added.
The projects are in line with Namibia’s target to become a net exporter of renewably sourced electricity by 2030 and the National Integrated Resource Plan estimates that 70% or more of the electricity installed capacity will come from renewable sources by 2030.
“Namibia is endowed with abundant wind and solar resources making it one of the lowest-cost renewable energy production areas in the world. Our unique vertically integrated structure of being an IPP which also owns the leading EPC and O&M company in Namibia in renewable energy development has positioned ANIREP to be at the forefront in providing affordable renewable power in the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, shareholders will be updated in due course, as and when a PPA is signed and accordingly, shareholders are advised to continue exercising caution when dealing with ANIREP’s shares until a further announcement is made.
The month of June presents young and gifted jazz pianist and composer M-Ghyss to the monthly live music stage of Night under the Stars.
M-Ghyss describes himself as a calm person who is very talkative when it comes to expressing himself musically. He will most definitely be making a statement as a solo musician at the next ‘Night Under the Star event. When probed into why he chose Jazz as his major influence, he cites that the complex arrangement within jazz help him to feel free and express his musical voice without limits. A pianist at heart he confesses that it has always been a part of his life.
He learnt Piano/keys in the street at the early age of 8-9 years, recalling that at the time instruments were not available to anyone, but by the age of 12 he was good enough to play in local churches with friends.
M-Ghyss and his quintet band are bringing to the stage some heartfelt, raw, original songs that he has spent the past year perfecting. His intention is to reach beyond the ear of the listener into the soul. His music is relatable and pure and the energy is going to be electric as he will be accompanied by some of the most talented and skilled instrumentalists Namibia has to offer.
The themes he chose to incorporate into his music are Love, Nature and Hope. Love, for M-Ghyss, is a common and universal language that everyone speaks even though we come from different origins, tribes, cultures etc. He explains it as follows: ‘Nature, I take it as the “truth, it never compromises, it teaches us a lot of things even though sometimes humans want to go against, it still stands to its own principles.’ Lastly, he explains that Hope is his third focus in his work.
For M-Ghyss, this is a major inspiration in creating his unique Jazz sounds. He confesses that as he lives his aim is to promote Hope, Truth and Love. In his own words: “I think, how fun and joyful it is to express all sort of feelings through jazz improvisation on piano and on other instruments that will be played that night by musicians playing with me.”
“A good song is something that emerges from a good melody”, he says, a tune that is attractive and memorable. Further, he believes his music is relevant to Namibia as that in every country not everyone is interested in upbeat pop songs, there’s always also a crowd for every genre of music.
In this case M-Ghyss’ style of music targets people that love classical Jazz, Afro Jazz, Fusion Jazz, and Soul Jazz. He feels that the Jazz movement is still slow in Namibia, but once there is a frequent venue to perform this genre, other people may discover it as well. He feels that more venues to perform “live music would be great in Namibia because we need to inspire more people, especially kids and young people to learn instruments so that we may have more musicians in Namibia.”
The show takes place on 11 June 2022. Doors will open at 19:00 at the Goethe-Institut, located on 1-5 Fidel Castro Street, Windhoek. The entrance is N$20 at the door.
Musician EES recently released a new music video for his new summer anthem ‘When We Unite’, in collaboration with female musician TopCheri.
EES said his new song comes at a very important time in history, with the ongoing war in Ukraine and the first upcoming Soccer World Cup after the pandemic.
“The song which features the current most successful and hyped female singer TopCheri is very motivational and inspiring about the fact that when we as people come together and unite for the same cause, we can achieve so much good,” EES explained.
EES said the song has very outgoing and uplifting and in the music video, the audience will see him and TopCheri walking through the Namibia Desert with a marching band and of course Namibian flags blowing in the wind, something that EES is very known for promoting his motherland.
“This a very touching and emotional video that will want to start dancing to it at any point in time due to the bouncy groove and great mix,” he concluded.
By the Financial Literacy Initiative.
The Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI) is a national platform established to enhance financial education by promoting financial wellness through training, activations and customized public talks. The FLI serves as the nexus between the public and the private financial institutions that make up the Namibian financial sector by engaging them on financial inclusion issues and developing educational tools for public education.
The World Bank defines financial inclusion as efforts made to ensure that individuals and businesses have access to affordable financial products and services transparently regardless of their income or status in society.
Financial inclusion is primarily defined as merely providing financial access to the ‘banked/unbanked’. However, ‘access’ is only one dimension of the three that make financial inclusion effective, and these are Access, Usage and Quality.
The SADC Financial Inclusion Strategy defines these three as follows:
Access: “availability of affordable and appropriate financial products and services” Usage: “uptake or utilization of financial products and services”. Quality: “product design and functionality that enhance the value of services to clients”.
Financial inclusion aims to provide financial solutions to all citizens including the vulnerable, marginalized and underprivileged groups, especially the youth and women in the rural areas.
The NSA 2017 Namibia Financial Inclusion Survey shows that Namibia’s financial exclusion level decreased from 31% recorded in 2011 to 22%, majority of those excluded were found to be residing in rural areas.
Having a bank account (banked) as a measure of financial inclusion may be misleading as many people have bank accounts but do not have access to financial products to meet all their financial needs i.e. they lack access to loans or credit facilities. In some instances, people have bank accounts that are dormant/inactive or underutilized because their benefits are not competitive and usage thereof does not add value to consumers, products/services are not user-friendly or do not meet the clients’ budget expectations.
The FLI provides financial education to improve the financial capability of citizens. A well informed and educated population will have the confidence to participate in financial markets and be in a better position to invest and take up ownership. Additionally, consumers can make better financial decisions, thus reducing debt whilst buying products and services that better suit their needs and finances. For instance, well-informed consumers will be able to compare different insurance products and may then settle for one that offers more benefits against costs. More so, they would understand the importance of borrowing to invest in education and business ventures other than allocating such towards consumption smoothing.
Financial inclusion contributes to financial market efficiency and effectiveness, leading to market deepening and strengthening, which will ultimately contribute to overall economic growth thus, reducing inequality and uplifting the poor and disadvantaged communities through inclusive growth.
Financial inclusion is an enabler for a conducive environment for the empowerment of individuals and businesses.
Financial inclusion is aimed at providing access to facilities for people to make/receive payments in a secure, simple, and affordable manner; easy, quick and secure remittance, or money transfer for all; access to basic no-frills banking accounts, which offers very basic accounts that have very low bank charges and also requiring very low minimum opening balance; availability of simple credit products and overdrafts linked to no-frills accounts, savings products (investments and retirement funds); and registration and licensing of institutions that provide micro insurance and micro pension products for low-income groups and informal sector employees to mitigate risks and external shocks, provide security and some form of safety net protection.
Overall, financial inclusion aims to bring all role players, both public and private, together to promote an inclusive financial system. Thus, effective public and private partnerships are tantamount to addressing the issues of financial inclusion.
Although the financial exclusion rate declined by 9% between 2011 and 2017, access to financial information and digital financial services remains a challenge, which is worsened by low levels of financial literacy.
The FLI’s continuous efforts to take financial education to the rural population are often undermined by language barriers and communication breakdown, hence the recent initiatives to translate educational booklets into local languages.
Rigid requirements and high minimum balance by commercial banks discourage low income and/or the informally employed from opening banking accounts. Payment of social grants (old-age pensions, orphanage grants etc.) in cash reduces the need for people to acquire bank accounts thus, maintaining the “unbanked” status quo. If allowed for a long time, this practice has the potential to undermine the country’s quest to participate actively in the provisions of the 4th industrial revolution, in which technological money transfers by members of society should increase.
Despite fintech advancement and banks moving more into online banking services and mobile phone applications (banking apps), the rural poor remain excluded due to poor infrastructure (internet services), which limits access in areas where they reside. Unwillingness to embrace technological advances due to fear of losing money resulting from poor financial education and lack of consumer protection laws are inhibitors to full participation in the use of technology for financial services providers.
For a country to effectively address the issue of financial exclusion both the private and public sectors must commit to working together to collectively promote inclusion for all.
The government will ensure a healthy, well-monitored regulatory environment, and improve citizen documentation procedures to enable Know-Your-Customer (KYC) compliance. Furthermore, the Government is committed to encouraging payments of social grants into basic bank accounts to ensure that formal banking services are rolled out to the formerly unbanked.
The private sector will complement government efforts by investing in a wide range of specialized innovative products and services such as digital identification (KYC) that would promote market competition. Financial institution should also allow indiscriminatory access to information for all.
The Namibia Financial Sector Strategy (2011-2021) outlined four outcomes to be achieved to ensure financial inclusion in the country: firstly; for Namibia to have and implement a consumer protection legal framework in the financial sector, which will inculcate transparency and disclosure as well as consumer complaints and redress mechanisms. This will not only address the issue of the distorted flow of information between financial service providers and consumers but will enable consumers to make rational decisions based on available information, encouraging responsible dealings, and providing debt counselling whilst preserving confidence in the financial system.
Second, increasing the national financial literacy rate through developing clear policy framework for the coordination of financial literacy initiatives, developing and regularly updating national baseline data, incorporating financial education into the school curriculum to impart skills and knowledge from a young age, developing and enforcing mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of financial literacy programmes.
Thirdly, improved access to financial services and products to all Namibians by ensuring the availability of micro-insurance products, exploring the possibility of registering movable collateral. Achieve financial inclusion, efficiency, and affordable low-cost financial services by setting and implementing clear standards for fees, whilst maintaining a good balance between financial access and financial integrity. Lastly, Namibia to have effective institutions that will provide appropriate support and advisory services to SMEs in order to increase knowledge and access to finance.
In conclusion, financial inclusion reduces inequality in society as services are available to all, regardless of income levels and/or geographical location, improves living standards when people are educated on various financial products and can access credit facilities as well as invest in education and health. Financial literacy and access to affordable loans enable people to start businesses and create employment for themselves and others. Ultimately, effective financial inclusion increases the possibility of people engaging actively and leading to overall economic growth.
Gondwana Collection Namibia this week launched nine transfer routes which provide a link between their lodges through a daily hop-on hop-off transport service for all travellers.
The Go2 Traveller Transfers offering is bookable from 20 May 2022, and operational from 1 June 2022. The routes include the Fish River Canyon, Namib and Kalahari deserts, Damaraland, Swakopmund and Etosha National Park. Gondwana has gone one step further and is offering the transfer service not only for guests staying at their properties but for all visitors to Namibia.
The offering came at a time when only a third of the car rentals that were on offer in pre-Covid days are presently available.
“The massive shortage in rental cars is set to continue for some time with vehicle production delayed and exacerbated by events like the floods in Kwazulu-Natal, while the demand continually increases as the world opens its doors once again to travellers. Namibia is increasingly becoming a destination added to traveller’s wish-lists as world travel resumes,” Gondwana stated.
The Go2 Traveller Transfers is the ideal means of travel for people who prefer not to drive themselves, but who would like to retain their independence and choice of destinations, as well as for tour operators who can book multiple transfers around the country for their guests.#
Passengers can be dropped off at their respective destinations along the pre-set routes. Vehicles range in size from Quantums and Sprinters to 4×4 Iveco Busses. Each leg of the journey costs N$690 per person and single and multiple trips can be booked online at www.go2.na.
Namibia participated in the Africa Energies Summit, where the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) promoted investment in the Oil and Gas sector, which took place from 17 to 19 May in London.
The Africa Energies Summit brought together Africa’s energy industry for a unique event shaped for companies active in Africa’s energy game and provided unrivalled insight into the Continent’s fast-changing energy landscape.
At the Summit Managing Director of NAMCOR Immanuel Mulunga scooped the legend award at the African Energies Summit 2022 for outstanding contribution to the energy sector in Africa.
NAMCOR also scooped the top national oil company of the year 2022 award at the Summit, they received this award due to votes they received from other African national oil companies.
(l-r) Geoscientist Secilie Hainana, Senior Geologist, Saave Nakashole, Managing Director Immanuel Mulunga, ENI Chief Operation Officer Luka Bertelli, Communications Specialist Utaara Hoveka and Asset Manager Martin Negonga.
The Ministry of Health and Socials Services announced on Thursday that it recorded 595 positive cases from 2189 results in the last 24-hour reporting cycle, representing a 27.2% positivity ratio.
The ministry in a statement said of these positive cases, 551 are new cases and 44 are reinfections.
“The sex distribution is 341 females of which 311 are new cases and 254 males of which 240 are new cases. The age ranges from three days to 86 years,” the ministry added.
According to the ministry despite the high positivity rate, they did not record a death during the period under review.
In a recent survey, it was noted that trust-related issues continue to drive COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the southern African nation.
Namibia will be represented by the Netherlands-based Namibian musician Shishani, visual artists, Peter Amuthenu (Namibian-based) and Frank Jooste (France-based) as part of the Africa Week 2022 celebrations being held at the UNESCO Head Office in Paris.
Shishani is a Namibian musician who lives in the Netherlands and a uniquely versatile artist whose music crosses different cultural genres of Namibia. Peter Amuthenu and France based Frank Jooste, will be exhibiting unique Namibian artistic drawings and paintings throughout the event.
The UNESCO Africa Week Celebrations were initiated by UNESCO African Member States to mark the annual African Union (AU) celebrations of Africa Day. The Africa Week thus showcases the vibrant African cultural heritage annually in line with the annual AU Africa Day theme.
It brings the continent’s 54 Member States musical and artistic expressions together with a Gala Evening and culinary cocktail serving various African cuisines. A wide range of participants is expected from the UNESCO Member States, UNESCO Secretariat, French public and private sectors as well as civil society.