The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) on Wednesday labelled the just-ended Namibia Economic Growth Summit an electioneering conference aimed to collect political points for the governing party.
“The whole event was an elaborate and expensive exercise to ensure the re-election of President Hage Geingob and to trick the voting public into another five years of financial ruin and unemployment for our country,” the party’s treasurer general, Nico Smit, at a press conference here charged.
According to PDM, the conference will not yield any tangible results as it is founded on projects that were already in the pipeline but presented as new.
“The Ongos Valley Development was added to the summit project list simply as a pretense because its ground-breaking ceremony takes place a week from now (14 August),” Smit said.
He said at a minimum it would take a project which promises to construct 30,000 housing units over 15-20 years, starting next year, two years to conceptualise, acquire land and finance, and not the two days of the conference.
“Ongos had nothing to do with the conference but was conveniently added to the summit to create the perception that it was only offered to investors for the first time at the summit,” he said.
Held under the banner ‘Economic Revival for Inclusive Growth - Strengthening the Namibian House’, the summit is said to have surpassed its own target securing some N$46 billion in investment pledges compared to the N$14 billion it had set for itself.
Approached for comment, Jason Kasuto, a member of the panel on the Namibian economy that organised the summit, noted that a distinction needs to be made between pledges and investment commitments.
“N$20 billion are committed investments; that means real actual projects where the financing have already been raised and work is commencing. N$26 billion are investment pledges. This is capital that is available for investment to Namibia. It is now up to the private sector and SOEs to present their value propositions to secure this funding,” Kasuto said.
He added that a team has been dedicated to ensure that both public and private sector commitments reach fruition. - Nampa