Annually, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare promotes self-employment by financially assisting community projects countrywide through its Income Generating Activities programme.
This year, the ministry approved close to N$200,000 for 14 community projects in the Hardap Region. Various community projects in all eight constituencies were approved for funding by means of grants for the 2015/16 financial year. The programme falls under the Ministry’s Community Empowerment Directorate.
Officiating at the handover ceremony last Friday in Mariental, Hon, Doreen Sioka, the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare said the programme is aimed at inviting the community members to embrace various ways of survival in order to make ends meet.
“The Ministry is funding community projects as a way of creating employment opportunities hence strengthening the earning capacity of community members. The Income Generating Activities idea, therefore hinges on cultivating a business culture among community members with the ultimate goal of meeting the socio- economic needs of communities.” she said.
Some of the primary purposes of the programme includes supporting micro-projects in both rural and urban communities to improve the earning capacity of people, and to ensure that the funded micro-projects are in the long run organised into cooperatives.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Willem Moller said the grant is only as valuable as the commitment they as beneficiaries make to take responsibility for their actions and attitude to promote self-employment and be part of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Vision 2030 to reduce unemployment.
“To all beneficiaries of the equipment, please use this equipment to the best of your ability and make sure that [it] provides you more profit and [help you to] be self-sustainable until your children can take over from you. Let this be an example to the young entrepreneurs that the government is having activities in place to assist SMEs,” said Moller.
Sioka reminded the beneficiaries that the equipment remains the property of the government and that no dispute of ownership shall be entertained unless an official written transfer was made to the beneficiary.
“The ministry reserves the right to repossess and re-allocate equipment upon dissolution of the project,” she added.