WINDHOEK: Cabinet endorsed a request by the Labour Ministry to go ahead with its plans to establish the National Productivity Organization (NPO) or Movement in Namibia.
Cabinet took this and a host of other decisions at its 14thth Ordinary Meeting held on 21 August 2012, a media statement issued on Friday said.
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government signed a Declaration on Productivity in 1999 in Maputo, Mozambique.
That meeting recommended the establishment of National Productivity Organizations (NPOs) in all Member States by 2001.
“The SADC Employment Labour Sector was tasked to ensure the involvement of all key stakeholders that can contribute to the creation and sustenance of effective NPOs; monitoring productivity growth by collating relevant national productivity statistics under the Employment and Labour Sector (ELS), and establishing benchmarking for productivity improvement.
In 2007, Cabinet approved the establishment of the National Productivity Centre (Decision n: 16th/18.09.70/005). Cabinet further directed that a national conference be held after the feasibility study to sensitize the stakeholders on their expected roles”, the statement said.
The Labour Ministry thus held several tripartite consultations within the country, and also undertook study visits to Botswana, South Africa and Singapore.
The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) was requested to provide the necessary assistance, and responded positively to this request.
In 2008, the Ministry then contracted the University of Namibia (UNAM) to carry out a situational analysis on the current state of productivity in Namibia.
The study, which was conducted in 2009, was passed on to the SCE to acquaint themselves with the contents of the findings.
However, the SCE responded that Namibia is not ready, and advised that a team should go on a familiarisation tour to Singapore, and also to meet with experts who were involved in the establishment of Botswana’s National Productivity Centre and the Singapore Productivity Movement in 1965.
In 2010, the Labour Ministry established a Promotion Unit, which was only a starting point, and is expected to graduate into a fully-fledged and independent centre. Currently, this sub-division consists of five staff members, being four Development Planners and one Chief Development Planner.
In August 2011, a Namibian delegation attended a one-week productivity workshop, organised by the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop was mainly focused on productivity promotion in the informal sector.
During that training, participants were informed that the informal economy is fast expanding, and is a major job provider in Africa. Therefore, there was a need to promote productivity in that sector as well, the Cabinet media release said.