Knowledge is power

Full steam ahead

17 June 2020 | Local News

Councillor Knowledge Ipinge; “I am accountable to myself. Feel free to ask, share, complain and praise or criticize …”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The urban constituency councillor for Walvis Bay Knowledge Iipinge commemorated 150 days of being in office on Tuesday.

On the occasion, Ipinge held a media briefing highlighting a number of projects he still has planned.

He said that he has come to realize through his tenure so far that delivering results as urban constituency councillor is the hardest part of the job.

“Elected leaders have the authority to give direction to government on what should be done at regional level. We are sitting on top of a large and complicated bureaucracy. It is not immediately evident how to work through this to get things done. Being a revolutionary however requires that I must manage politics and the inevitable day-to-day distractions of events I have to deal with.”

Ipinge said that a delivery unit in his office is essential to ensure the realisation of short and long term targets. He tasked residents to identify and recommend candidates that could serve on the Walvis Bay Urban Constituency Delivery Unit he wants to establish.

“Such a unit will ensure that a strategy and promises made to the citizens remain the main focus and are kept on track. This unit must meet regularly to assess implementation targets and to iron out hurdles. Its members must also come up with new strategies for problems that may arise.”

‘Participatory democracy’

Ipinge regards advocating for participatory democracy and bringing government closer to the people as the most important task he has be allocated. He encouraged residents of the Walvis Bay urban constituency to become more involved in the affairs of his office and the Erongo Regional Council.

“It is of critical importance that regional councillors frequently provide platforms for residents to participate in discussions to collectively come up with solutions.”

He added that residents have the full right to demand that he listen to their problems, provides feedback on issues concerning them and ensure that burning issues are put on the agenda for consideration at Constituency Development Committee (CDC) meetings.

Ipinge lists access to funding as the number one problem for many youth and aspiring business people in Walvis Bay. “There is no shortage of ideas. What lacks is capacity and the means to turn the ideas into reality. Armed with this knowledge, the Delivery Unit will go about identifying corporates and approach them for short term funding to be allocated through their Corporate Social Responsibility budgets.”

Ipinge says the Delivery Unit will also be responsible for introducing an Economic Barometer.

“The idea is to measure trends and economic activity of the most significant sectors in our community. The identified economic indicators will be consolidated in a Walvis Bay Economic Barometer (WEB) and will be produced on a monthly basis by the Constituency Development Committee (CDC).”

Creativity

Ipinge also intends to host creativity workshops on a quarterly basis to create an environment that is conducive for new ideas and businesses to emerge.

“It is important that we offer life changing opportunities to our youth. The envisioned thinking and creativity workshops are meant to unleash the ability to dream, imagination and innovation. This way we can tackle employment creation effectively."

“The general public office bearers across Walvis Bay have been focused on hand-outs that are useful for electioneering and not on the empowerment of the populace to capacitate them in freeing themselves and families from poverty. Our poverty alleviation drives require a holistic approach and should not be looked at from the begging bowl mentality.”

The constituency council office also intends to set a mentorship program.

“All humans have been blessed with a particular talent. It is unfortunate that very few parents and guardians take time to identify, develop and nurture the individual gifts and talents embedded in the youth. With the advent of the internet and social media, it has become easy to reach different parts of the world and create a demand for one’s talent or gifts.”

Technology and Innovation Hub

According to Ipinge, the establishment of a technology and innovation hub will bring about new and improved ways of doing things and will also assist in the fight against poverty.

“The hub will work hand in hand and provide project support to creatives who have the desire to showcase their talents. We can facilitate this via a Walvis Bay Film, Fashion and Music Week.”

In conclusion, Ipinge emphasised that he was accountable to himself.

“Feel free to ask, share, complain, praise or criticize me as much as you want. I don’t have bodyguards who will restrain you from reaching out to me. I am a normal guy from Kuisebmond who stepped into this position because of all of you, and I will always remain one of you.”

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