Namibia cannot continue to export minerals in raw form: minister

WINDHOEK, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo on Thursday said the southwestern African nation cannot continue to export minerals in their basic raw form.

"We must insist that critical raw materials are not exported without value being added locally," Alweendo said at a stakeholder meeting in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. "We need to insist that processed minerals are used as inputs into locally manufactured goods, such as batteries, allowing us to export manufactured goods," he said.

According to Alweendo, mining is a major contributor to the Namibian economy and stands at the forefront of the country's sustainable national development agenda.

"It is through mining the resources that we can provide employment opportunities to the unemployed Namibians. It is through mining that we can provide a livelihood to the Namibian people, making the mining industry a beacon of light in the national strive towards prosperity," he said.

Alweendo believed that it is through this that Namibia has a clear window of opportunity to transform the economy and effectively address the triple social ills of unemployment, poverty, and inequality.

Currently, Namibia's biggest socioeconomic challenge is unemployment, especially youth unemployment.

"We, therefore, need to do what is necessary to offer more employment opportunities," he concluded.

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