The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma on Wednesday stated that the ministry’s commitment to fostering decent work and inclusive economic growth extends to all sectors, formal and informal alike.
He said this at a multi-stakeholder workshop held under the theme ‘Setting the stage for a national diagnostic of informality in Namibia’.
Nujoma said the ministry understands that informality is not a monolithic concept; it is a complex and multifaceted issue that demands a comprehensive approach.
“The workshop marks a significant step towards that approach. It brings together stakeholders from academia, government, civil society and the private sector to collectively explore, analyse and understand the intricacies of informality in Namibia. By doing so, we aim to lay the foundation for informed policies and practical strategies that can improve the lives and livelihoods of those engaged in the informal economy,” Nujoma said.
Furthermore, Namibia has been designated as a pathfinder country under the United Nations’ global accelerator on jobs and social protection for just transitions and a pilot country for the ILO strategy to reduce inequalities in the world of work, he said.
During the workshop, UN Resident Coordinator, Hopolang Phororo stated that informality is a constitutive feature of labour markets in developing countries, and its central role for achieving several SDGs.
“There are four undisputed facts about informality in Namibia today, first despite the country’s commitment to job creation articulated in its microeconomic policies, the informal economy has gradually expanded to become Namibia’s greatest employer,” Phororo said.
At the same event, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab stated that BoN is ready and committed to playing its role in this vital integration; it signifies economic fortification and the unleashing of dormant potential.
“Integrating the formal sector will propel the reach of our financial system, allowing many Namibians access to formal financial services and securing their financial futures,” !Gawaxab stated.
“Moreover, it is crucial to recognise that over half of the Namibian workforce operates within this sector, with many being women and individuals from rural communities and as President Franklin Roosevelt once said, ‘the test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little’, the BoN governor stated.