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Thematic Areas

Innovation- Led Thematic Areas

These thematic areas have been elaborated to integrate the Green & Blue Economy, Emerging Technology, and Indigenous Knowledge into the developmental trajectory of our National Innovation Systems. We believe building ventures within these thematic areas hold unique and overlapping potential to facilitate participatory developmental processes, foster socio-economic resilience within local communities, as well as enhance economic competitive advantage for Namibia.

 

Our innovative-led thematic areas have been selected as each represent a unique innovative niche with high potential for inclusive and sustainable economic development in Namibia, as well as the larger SADC and SSA. 

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Green & Blue Economy: Transitioning from a Brown Economy to a Blue & Green Economy 

Most modern economies we see today consist of a combination of brown, green, and blue economic activities. However, raising concerns regarding the detrimental impacts of climate change, marine and air pollution, as well as environmental and ecological degradation are the driving force behind the transitioning away from the brown economy towards the blue and green economy. In a green and blue economy, economic growth is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.

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Indigenous Knowledge

Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into national economic and innovative frameworks not only holds the potential to mitigate environmental harm, it also fosters resilient and inclusive socio-economic development, as well safeguard cultural heritage.  Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) are deeply rooted in cultural and social fabrics worldwide, encompassing practices like medicinal plant usage, sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management. This dynamic and evolving nature underscores IKs’ potential to inform and enrich national innovation systems, facilitate participatory development processes, enhance socio-economic resilience, and boosts a countries competitive advantage in the global economy.

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Emerging Technologies

With the recent trend of globalization, it has become abundantly vivid that for any continent, region or country to be actively involved in the global economy, it must adopt competition as a benchmark for progress. Within this context, competitive advantage is derived from a knowledge-based economy (KBE) whereby innovation and technical progress are the long-term drivers for economic growth. This transition towards the knowledge-based economy describes the trend in advanced economic activities towards greater reliance on knowledge capacities - through the establishment of highly skilled labor force as well as the establishment of information, communication, and technology (ICT) infrastructure. In this way, the knowledge -economy puts humans rather than land (agriculture) and machines (industrial) at the center of economic progress.  

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Community Development Led Thematic Areas

While our innovative-led thematic areas aim to facilitate participatory developmental processes and enhance economic competitive advantage within local communities, these activities will not be sustainably absorbed if we do not simultaneously engage with local communities to address the psychosocial barriers that impact productivity and human capital. Therefore, to fully realize our mission to improve livelihoods, a more holistic approach is required. ​ 

Our community development-led thematic areas have been selected as each represent unique and overlapping barriers that impact productivity and human capital at the community level. These thematic areas have been formulated to address multi-dimensional poverty through investing in health, education, and standard of living solutions within low-income communities.

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Healthcare

Beyond individual wellbeing, poor population health adversely impacts national productivity and prosperity, as well as places increased pressure on the healthcare system which are already struggling to cope with the growing demand of an increasingly unhealthy population. To effectively address the increasing diversity and complexity of poor health, healthcare systems require optimal coverage (access and uptake) of integrated and quality care across the life-course.

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Education

Education is a fundamental human right and plays a key enabler for sustainable socio-economic development through driving poverty reduction, improving health outcomes, supporting social cohesion, as well as promoting gender equality, peace, and stability. In order for nations to reach their full economic potential, there is a need to promote societies and individuals’ worldviews, knowledge, skills and competencies, conducive to their ability to recognize, seize, and multiply opportunities that exist.

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Standards of Living

The term standards of living can be understood as the quality and quantity of material goods and services available to a given population. While a country’s economic growth significantly increases overall standards of living, the challenges experienced through poor access to basic services such as clean water, sanitation, energy, infrastructure, and connectivity, adversely impacts population ability to function and thrive at the most basic level. To improve standards of living, as well as mitigate its implications on environmental and population health, countries need to find sustainable and innovative ways to produce everyday goods that are accessible and affordable to persons at lower ends of the socio-economic ladders.   

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