The tabling of the 2024–2025 budget may seem far away, but the Ministry of Finance is already in the process of putting the budget together and engaging stakeholders for input.

Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi already held an engagement in the Zambezi Region before moving to the Otjozondjupa Region.

This is an opportunity for the stakeholders to propose their input and the way they think the budget should go.

All seven constituencies in the region were represented at the meeting, where a number of government offices and ministries joined to raise their concerns.

Otjozondjupa Governor James Uerikua, among others, has raised the need to upgrade the road infrastructure in the region.

"The region has priorities, including the tarring of certain roads. You would notice that the Otjozondjupa region is classified as the third-highest in terms of road accidents. We have had meetings with the road authority to upgrade the road from Okahandja to Okondjatu, secondly, you have 195 km. We have submitted that this road needs to be upgraded from its current state."

While the government's intention is to meet the development needs of its people, the Finance Minister says the drastic drop in commodity prices has affected the country's revenues.

"No, we are seeing a positive sign. The economy grew from 2022 to 2021, and we are starting to see some positive growth numbers (2.3), so this is a positive sign that the economy is picking us up. It doesn't mean we have enough resources, but we are starting to move in the right direction."

He encouraged coordination between the public and private sectors, saying development is not possible without commercial companies.

"We don't generate money if there's no money from the private sector, which means there's no money for the government, so it's important that we work together with the private sector; we sit together with them and ask questions like, Why are you not coming to Otjiwarongo?"

The region has until the second week of October to sum up their financial needs for budget consideration.

Photo Credits
Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises- Republic of Namibia


Eveline Paulus