This Week In The Khuta – Tourism needs to benefit from TIPEEG
With only a year to go, the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) has yet to make its mark on one of its four main sectors, namely tourism.
Since its inception in April 2011, the programme which is no stranger to controversy, has received mixed reviews from all and sundry, with some calling it a good idea, so good it has yet to be implemented. Even politicians alike have raised their concerns with the stagnating pace at which the programme is being run.
Currently in its third year of implementation, the programme is said to end in 2014. Although some sectors, especially Education, have seen the fruits of the programme, the tourism sector is yet to fully benefit from it. Even more so especially because of the upcoming Adventure Travel World Summit set to take place in Windhoek and Swakopmund in October.
Out of a total budget of N$14.7 billion that has been allocated to the implementation of the programme, N$ 649 million was set aside for the tourism sector. The expected outcomes include, amongst others, an increment in tourism investment, infrastructure facilities and promoting of community-based tourism. The TIPEEG intervention for tourism was designed around a target of 9000 additional jobs in the tourism sector alone.
Therefore the aim of TIPEEG would result in an increase in the number of tourists visiting Namibia and as a result, more jobs are likely to be created and thus increase local economic growth in the tourism sector.
However, almost two years after it was launched, the effects of TIPEEG are yet to be seen in the local tourism industry. A paradigm shift from job seeking to job creators should be the focus of TIPEEG in achieving its objectives in the tourism sector, especially with such an exorbitant budget allocation.
Namibia is said to have 42% of its land under community-based tourism and it is for this reason that Namibia won the bid to host the Adventure Travel World Summit. Many people in rural areas are dependent on community-based tourism as a means of living therefore this sector needs urgent intervention.
Money should be spent on small tourism projects by entrepreneurs such as Tura Tours, which is an initiative of a local tour guide who transports both local enthusiasts and tourists on bicycles to tour the suburbs of Katutura. Other activities such as wood carvings, beading and producing local honey and jam to sell to tourists, are also popular projects that need advancement in order to progress.
Promoting entrepreneurship would be beneficial to both the Namibian youth and the country as a whole as it will be seen as a step forward in achieving TIPEEG goals by reducing poverty and in the same breath, stimulate economic growth in the tourism industry.
In his State of the Nation address, President Pohamba called on all stakeholders and private sector to fully support the programme. However, given the pace at which the programme is being run, more has to be done by those in charge of implementing the programme instead of the money returning back to treasury and turning TIPEEG into a lifeless idea.