By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Kunene Region, commonly known as the most underdeveloped and poorest region in the country, is aiming to transition from this mindset by achieving more, with the little resources at its disposal.
Kunene Regional Governor, Angelika Muharukua, said in her State of the Region Address this week that poverty is the root cause of all the evils being experienced in the region.
“True development will bring about genuine peace and stability, and we can no longer afford to be known as the underdeveloped and poorest region in Namibia. Kunene can no longer afford fragmented planning and the lack of implementation of developmental projects, where this has made us feel left out in the past decades,” emphasised Muharukua.
She further called upon all heads of agencies and ministries represented, in the region, to bring about inclusivity in sectoral planning and development, in order to maintain peace and harmony in the region.
“Exclusive planning and development will bring about discord and conflict in the region. Meanwhile, we must capitalise on our region’s contradiction, in that the region’s wide open spaces and limited development gives us comparative advantages, for attracting investments in key strategic sectors,” she said.
“In the same vein, my office has placed a special attention on the advancement of youth groups, to create project opportunities that will make a meaningful change in their lives. The youth of this region need to maximise their potential, in order to realise their vision and aspirations,” said Muharukua.
She therefore urged all stakeholders in the region to tighten their belts, in order to strategically lure investors into key sectors that will lead to the achievement of the regional vision and objectives.
Muharukua also announced bankable projects that are currently underway in the region, such as the establishment of two agro processing manufacturing plants at Kamanjab village and Opuwo, as well as the establishment of the Epupa Waterfront, the construction of the railway line from Oshakati to Angra Fria, via Opuwo, and the upgrading of the Opuwo and Khorixas aerodromes to fully-fledged airport standards by 2022. Muharukua also called on all traditional authorities in the region to avail land for developmental purposes, in their areas of jurisdiction.
A total of 3 908 unserviced erven were recorded in the region. According to the Namibia Poverty Mapping report, which was released in 2015, the are an estimated 568 418
poor people in Namibia, of which 21 percent are found in the Kavango region, while Ohangwena and Oshikoto account for 15 percent and 14 of the poor, respectively. In 2001, the poorest region was Ohangwena, followed by Kavango, Oshikoto, Kunene and Omusati, with more than half of the population being classified as poor in these regions.
By 2011, however, the situation had changed with only Kavango at 53 percent – having more than half of its population classified as poor.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015