EMPRETEC Namibia launched in capital

The Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade, and SME Development (MITSMED) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Namibia on Wednesday launched the EMPRETEC Namibia Programme.

EMPRETEC is a flagship capacity-building programme of the United Nations conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the promotion of entrepreneurship and micro small and medium sized enterprises (MSMESs) to facilitate sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Speaking at the event, UNDP Resident Representative, Alka Bhatia said the UN utilises the EMPRETEC methodology to support the government of Namibia through the MITSMED in enhancing entrepreneurship development in the country.

This is done with technical support from EMPRETEC Ghana Foundation which is one of the leading EMPRETEC in Africa, Bhatia added.

She said according to 2018 Namibia Labour Force Survey Report, the youth unemployment rate in the country stood at 46.10 percent compared to 43.40 percent in 2016.

These high unemployment rates, especially among the youth call for more integrated approaches to ensure that we leave no one behind, 'Bhatia noted.

She went on to say EMPRETEC is done by influencing an entrepreneurial mind-set and building capacity through training based on a comprehensive range of business development models.

Bhatia further noted that the EMPRETEC Namibia pilot programme will target 1 650 unemployed individuals.

She stated that the programme has a reputable success rate as many as of the graduates have gone on to establish business and create further employment.

The particular attention for the EMPRETEC Namibia programme includes given skills development activities aiming at eradication poverty through self -employment of young people, women vulnerable groups.

Bhatia additionally said that the full value chain of EMPRETEC comprises of entrepreneurial and management skill training, business counselling, access to finance, assistance in identifying local subtracting opportunities between micro and small enterprises with larger local and international companies among others.

It is expected that the programme will stimulate economic growth generate employment opportunities, create wealth and reduce poverty in the country, she said.

The Minister in the MITSMED, Tjekero Tweya said thriving and growing MSMEs are prioritised as a key achieving national goals.

He noted that the current National Policy on MSMEs identified as lack of access, lack of finance lack, access to the market and entrepreneurial skills amongst others as key constraints in the MSMEs development in the country.

At the same event more than 50 people have been trained so far in the first two sets of training and have graduated and given certificates.

Out of the 56 graduates, 24 are males and 32 females, while 16 are youth under 35-years and two veterans.

Source: Namibia Press Agency