Namibia still battles poverty and inequality: Basson

Namibia continues to battle with high levels of poverty and extreme income inequality while poverty found in urban areas it is predominantly a rural phenomenon.

These remarks were made by the //Kharas Governor, Lucia Basson in a speech read on her behalf during at the GROW youth entrepreneurship session here on Tuesday.

The session which aims to equipped the youth with the necessary skills to come up with finances for their businesses was attended by close to 25 youth from all seven constituencies within the region.

The rural poor are typically under educated, have limited access to health care, safe water adequate sanitation, markets, employment opportunities, inputs, security of tenure as well as electricity suppliers, Basson said.

She said in addition rural household are vulnerable to food shortage and hunger as a result of frequent crop failure, insufficient grazing due to drought, crops pest and livestock diseases.

Environmental degradation due to overstocking, poor agronomic practices and crime which lead to loss of livestock and crop income also nutritional intake is also consistently poor, she added.

She went on to say although Namibia is classified as a middle-income country and has made remarkable strides in reducing poverty and income disparity levels adding that there is still a wide and marked gap in income and development levels between rural and urban areas.

In this regard the eradication of poverty and inequality and the development of rural areas are part of key priorities for the government of Namibia

She further said by nature, poverty and under development are complex and cross-cutting phenomena and an effective strategy that seeks to address them requires and has to involve various intervention and stakeholders at different levels.

The governor said despite the obvious challenges and gloom picture that is often presented rural areas are home to most farming, tourism, mining and other vital economic activities and also boost of an oasis of often untapped human capacity.

She said if these are nurtured they can transform the rural areas for the better and also greatly contributed to the realisation of broad national development goals of industrialisation and economic growth.

Source: Namibia Press Agency