WINDHOEK: It is vital to take stock of the progress that the Swapo Party has made, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said on Monday.
Speaking during the first-ever Swapo-Party National Policy Conference which started in the capital on Monday, Pohamba said the conference is intended to consider new policy options in order to improve the effectiveness of the party’s policy interventions, facilitate a better delivery of services and boost their ability to address the developmental challenges facing the nation.
The four-day conference, taking place at a local hotel, is designed to provide a platform for the party to engage in in-depth discussions and analysis of the national development policies that the Swapo Party has pursued over the last 22 years.
The Head of State said a group of close to 46 cadres of the party, under the coordination of the ‘Swapo-Party Think Tank’, engaged in research and analysis since last year on existing Government policies that have been adopted or implemented over the years.
The Swapo Think Tank was headed by the Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo and former Permanent Secretary of Environment and Tourism, Dr Kalumbi Shangula.
“This culminated in the compilation of the draft policy papers that will be discussed during this conference. I thus commend these cadres for their dedication, which made this policy conference to take place,” Pohamba said.
Over the four days, the policy conference will deliberate on a wide range of issues which are contained in the policy documents.
These policies, the Head of State said, are based on the priority areas identified by the Swapo Party, adding that the policy documents which will be discussed will cover different sectors and developmental issues.
“These issues are unemployment and poverty; economic growth and income distribution; delivery of quality healthcare; delivery of quality education; promotion and sustenance of moral values; and gender equality,” he pointed out.
Other issues such as land acquisition and distribution; environmental sustainability and protection; generational transition; nation-building; youth development and economic empowerment; and the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) will also be discussed.
“The aim is to ensure that all critical policy issues facing our country are thoroughly covered, and that policy proposals are made in all critical areas,” the president said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nahas Angula took the opportunity to caution public servants attending the four-day Swapo-Party National Policy Conference that they are not on holiday, and that this is a working conference.
Angula said the conference is an extended retreat organised by the Swapo Party, and that the outcome of the conference will contribute greatly to the revitalisation of Government programmes.