Namibia’s national workshop aims at strengthening the link between the green economy and job creation

News | 29 April 2013
“The green economy is an area where future economic growth and employment creation is possible. It is the place where poverty reduction can gain special momentum and where we can make significant steps towards greater social equity”.

With these words the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioaka, launched the two day workshop Unlocking the employment creation potential of the emerging green economy in Namibia, held in Windhoek on 17 and 18 April 2013.

Representatives from different ministries and agencies, trade unions, the private sector, research institutes, as well as experts both nationally and from the region were invited to attend. By exploring and drawing upon good practices on green jobs in southern Africa and beyond, the workshop provided insight into the different dynamics involved in green job creation, particularly from the perspective of enterprise development. Experiences from the tourism, construction and waste management sectors gave participants an overview of the tools and approaches available to steer the process of job creation in a green economy at various levels.

As discussed during the workshop, Namibia faces great challenges in terms of green skills development. Its high numbers of unemployment mainly affect women and youth in rural areas. Moreover, its national economy strongly depends on natural resources and will be affected by the adverse effects of climate change.

The greening of the economy can provide pathways for job creation targeting vulnerable groups within Namibia’s labour market. The concept of the green economy has been recognized in Namibia as a means to contribute to sustainable development and job creation, thus helping to achieve the goals set out by Vision 2030.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is currently working with a multi-sectorial taskforce to develop a new National Employment Policy, placing special emphasis on green jobs. The two-day workshop, hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the embassy of Finland in Windhoek, offered a platform for constituents to start working together on green jobs.

As stated by Doreen Sioaka: “Without doubt- there is potential for significant job creation in Namibia’s green economy. It is now the time to consider how to maximize this potential”.