Fostering a conducive environment

The Namibian Employers' Federation promotes public policy and works to change laws and regulations to advance labour relations and the Namibian economy.
Jamie-Lee Loss
As the oldest and largest employers' organisation in the country, having been reformed in 1994, the Namibian Employers' Federation (NEF) is acknowledged by government as one of Namibia's largest employers. Over 500 independent direct employers are represented by NEF today.

“Direct members, associational members and small and medium entrepreneurs are our levels of membership. The Chamber of Mines of Namibia, the Hospitality Association of Namibia, the Construction Industries Federation, the Security Association of Namibia, the Agricultural Employers’ Association and many others are just a few examples of the diverse industries represented among the associational members,” Shona Ngava, communications and marketing coordinator at NEF, said.

“Our vision is to be the most sought-after employers’ organisation when it comes to all the needs of employers within Namibia, and to represent as many employers in the country,” he added.

NEF’s mission is to create and maintain an environment for sustainable socio-economic growth and to advocate for plausible, viable and sustainable job creation.

The federation is committed to acting with integrity and seeing that the requirements of its members are met promptly and with the utmost respect, he said.

The company's culture is based on opportunities for advancement for both its members and the NEF itself, as well as a growth mindset and stakeholder engagement.

Run by a board elected annually at an annual general meeting (AGM), the NEF’s body then elects an executive committee and a chairperson to look after the daily running of the operation.

The executive committee appoints staff to run the office, including the secretary-general. Its previous presidents include celebrated industry titans in the world of business in Namibia like the late Harold Pupkewitz, who was president from 1998 to 2007; the late Advocate Vekuii Rukoro (2007 to 2016) and Elia Shikongo (2016 till present).

Tim Parkhouse was the former secretary-general from 2004 to 2019, while the current secretary-general is Daan Strauss.

To launch the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Namibia, which advocates for and promotes the hiring of apprentices in Namibia by Namibian companies that are members of NEF, the federation teamed up with the Global Apprenticeship Network in Switzerland in 2018.

The Namibia Training Authority (NTA), which facilitates and supports the network in its duty to encourage the uptake and training of apprentices in Namibian businesses, included GAN Namibia in the national apprenticeship programme.

The first-ever Namibia Apprenticeship Week was held in 2021 by the NEF, GAN Namibia and the NTA from 8 to 11 November 2021.

By focusing on the advantages of apprenticeship programmes to industries, society and the economy, Apprenticeship Week raised awareness of the significance of apprenticeships among employers, training organisations and potential apprentices.

NEF maintains various stakeholders through internal and external communication mediums about the development of the industry they operate in and beyond.

“We host our AGM to communicate and engage our members directly about the industry and what is happening at the NEF. We also host special breakfast meetings and lunch, if need be, to discuss relevant issues with our members and stakeholders,” Ngava said.

Modern and traditional mediums of communication are also employed to touch base with their members, the public and their immediate stakeholders. Facebook, LinkedIn, radio, newspaper interviews, YouTube and Twitter are used to communicate with their members and to respond to queries regularly.

In 2022, the NEF held membership visits and tours with their member businesses and stakeholders. They did this to learn how they might enhance their services with them, how they could better serve them and to gain a much more thorough understanding of how they work.

The NEF enjoys a harmonious and beneficial tripartite relationship with government and employee unions, which enables them to speak up for the interests and concerns of their members.

The federation benefits from free technical and legal advice when needed because it is a member of various international organisations, he added.

These subscriptions also give members access to numerous foreign training programmes.

The International Labour Organisation, the International Organisation of Employers, Business Africa (formerly known as the Pan African Employers' Confederation) and the SADC Sector Forum are the federation’s international partners.

Representing employers on numerous statutory bodies, including the board of the NTA, the Social Security Commission and the Labour Advisory Council is one of NEF's most significant responsibilities.

This activity is a crucial component of what an employers' organisation does as part of the tripartite strategy to preserve labour relations with the help of workers and government representatives. The representatives' mission is to examine economic growth and job creation from the perspective of employers, Ngava explained.

NEF has various departments. The training department handles training on human resources issues, occupational safety, health and general office administration and offers tailor-made training as requested by members and other stakeholders.

The marketing and communications department handles all queries and media engagements regarding the NEF. “We handle the public relations arms of the organisation and plan stakeholder events, manage social media and much more.”

The labour law committee reviews labour legislation regularly and advises NEF members accordingly. Members of this committee are available to NEF members for direct consultation and assistance for more complex labour matters or where representation at conciliation, disciplinary hearings or arbitration might be required. The secretary-general oversees the day-to-day running of the company and ensures that the organisation is performing at its best consistently.

The federation works to ensure that national labour and social policy fosters an environment that is conducive to the survival of businesses and the creation of jobs.

“The NEF is a significant economic agency since it offers sectorial public goods like representation for different employers across the nation, training, and collective bargaining,” he said. They also give sectors a unified approach to interact with the government and legislative bodies regarding national policies that have an impact on the nation's many industries. “Through GAN Namibia, we support youth employment and promote training for young Namibians so they are marketable in the labour market.”


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-05-28

Zu diesem Artikel wurden keine Kommentare hinterlassen

Bitte melden Sie sich an, um einen Kommentar zu hinterlassen