N$800 000 for innovative regional initiatives

Ester Mbathera

The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD) has called on regional councils to identify new and ongoing regional projects to be funded through the One Region, One Initiative (OROI).

This is because the ministry has set aside N$800 000 for the OROI projects this financial year.

Minister Erastus Uutoni explained that the initiatives need to be innovative and geared towards addressing gaps and fostering economic growth and employment creation nationwide.

“We are encouraging young people to inform other young people who have an idea or plans for unique initiatives or projects, to approach the regional council. The regional council would then approach our office for funding,” he said.

Uutoni encouraged the youth, especially the unemployed, who have been trained in skills that they are currently not utilising because they are seeking jobs.

He urged constituency councillors to contact the directorate on rural development in the ministry for information on how to proceed with this initiative.

“It’s not a lot of funding for one financial year but we will be able to cater for some of the initiatives,” he said.

In the announcement notice to the regional council, the executive director of the ministry, Daniel Nghidinua, explained that regional councils must adhere strictly to the OROI guidelines in soliciting and evaluating proposals.

The ministry will evaluate each council’s proposals for up to two flagship projects before making final funding decisions.

He said the funding will be allocated to regional councils that have fully utilised their previous OROI budget allocations.

“Given the high unemployment rate in the country, the projects to be funded must ideally have the potential to make a significant difference. As such, priority must be given to projects with a high potential for employment, income generation, and self-sustainability after the government’s initial funding,” he said.

The ministry has set a deadline for feedback and submissions from regional councils by 2 September.

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