21 February 2013

Namibia: Tipeeg Not Right Solution for Job Creation

A LOCAL economist has said that the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg) is not the right solution for job creation.

"Tipeeg brought more confusion and faced implementation challenges because people were implementing a wrong programme," the chief executive officer of First Capital Treasury Solutions, Martin Mwinga, said in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday.

Asked to give his comment on the progress of the implementation of the programme ahead of the tabling of the 2013/2014 national budget, Mwinga said Tipeeg was an "ill-advised programme from day one".

"It was uncalled for. As I mentioned when it was introduced, it was not a job-creation programme and not suited for Namibia," he stated.

Mwinga added that "someone in Government must have been trying to copy the example of the United States of America, Europe and other countries" which implemented expansionary public works and infrastructure expenditure to fight cyclical unemployment.

"Yes, those countries faced cyclical unemployment and that intervention measure was appropriate but Namibia did not face cyclical unemployment. The country's main challenge is structural unemployment, and short-term fiscal expansionary policy," he said.

In the 2010/2011 budget, the government allocated N$14 billion to Tipeeg to support job creation in the long term.

It was hoped that the initiative would meet its target of creating 104 000 jobs through its focus on four key sectors - agriculture, transport, tourism and housing and sanitation.

But Tipeeg has so far resulted in only 33 965 new jobs since its start in 2011.

Figures presented to Cabinet late last year showed that N$1,1 billion was spent between April and the end of September last year, which created only 8 571 jobs under Tipeeg.

During last year's budget speech, Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said "the priority must be to create productive jobs in the private sector and to progressively re-orient Tipeeg towards supporting job creation in the long term".

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is expected to table her new budget in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

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