Plans to implement the Namibia Retail Sector Charter (NRCS) by the Namibia Trade Forum, (NTF) are on schedule despite poor attendance of meetings by stakeholders in the clothing/Apparel sector. The Chairperson and the NTF Secretariat has expressed great concern over the lack of meeting attendance.
Consequently, an action plan was drafted aimed at achieving broader representation on the team.
Initial consultations with relevant stakeholders in the retail sector (and affiliated sectors) commenced in July 2013. These meetings aimed to ensure broad sector participation and input on the development of the Namibia Retail Sector Charter. This relates to the project aim, stakeholders groups, mechanism and pillars (transformational agents/game changers).
During a consultative meeting held in June 2014, stakeholders endorsed the formation of three Task Teams (working groups). These were based on the goods classifications Fast Moving Consumer Goods (Non-durables), Clothing and Apparels (Semi-durables) and Building material/Hardware (Durables). The Task Teams commenced their work on 24 September 2014 by holding their opening meetings during which Chairpersons were elected and the Terms of References reviewed, refined and in cases adopted. “A number of retailers have proactively committed themselves to this process. With concern the NTF Secretariat has noted that leading national retailers have not yet joined the process. It is important to realize that the outcome of this charter will be binding on everybody,” said the NTF.
The Tasks Team FMCGs encompasses 21 members. The team has held five meetings between 24 September 2014 and 14 April 2015. During this time the Terms of References (ToRs) have been adopted. Central to the discussions on the Pillar outline is the importance of key definitions such as Namibian product/service and designated supplier.
“The Building materials/hardware Tasks Team has 8 members. Since its inception in September 2014, the Team has held four (4) meetings. The meeting adopted the Terms of References (ToRs) and advanced the draft of the Pillar outline (Zero-draft). The meeting stressed the importance of defining the concept of local sourcing and that targets should focus on product mix and not universal values. Other importance aspects raised were: supply continuity, relevant targets and capacity building,”further said the NTF.
While the Tasks Team Clothing/Apparels encompasses 11 members. From 24 September 2014 to 15 April 2015, the Task Team has conducted five meetings. The Task Team is yet to adopt the (ToRs) and no Pillar outline has been produced.
The proposed Namibia Retail Sector Charter (NRCS) aims to define principles and targets which will ensure greater access into the retail market for local beneficiaries . This intervention forms part of the “Growth at Home” strategy. The charter aims to facilitate the creation of a suitable climate for local contribution to the supply chain as well as to facilitate job creation amongst other growth targets which will best be achieved through enduring public-private dialogue and cooperation. The NRSC is scheduled to be implemented in the third quarter of 2015.