New unit set up to pursue diversification objectives

By Business Reporter — MUSCAT: Dec 24: The newly-established Implementation and Follow-up Support Unit has held a series of meetings with the ministries commissioned to oversee the implementation of 121 projects and initiatives, proposed in five sectors earlier this year by the National Program for Enhancing Economic Diversification, Tanfeedh.
As part of these meetings, and to ensure that implementation is conducted within a firm structure, the unit formulated a steering committee co-chaired by Tanfeedh minister to coordinate with a delivery unit within each relevant ministry, which is the direct focal point with sectorial working groups and clustered groups of project owners. In addition to identifying the roles of stakeholders, these meetings aimed at establishing KPIs tied to the overall sector targets, while ensuring status is reported monthly to the unit, detailing progress and potential challenges.
These efforts followed a community participation stage during which Tanfeedh held a public exhibition to gain people’s insight on 121 projects that fall under three main economic diversification drivers as well as two economic enablers. The Implementation and Follow-up Support Unit will operate as vehicle to ensure implementation processes are streamlined starting from the delivery units within each ministry down to working groups and project owners.
Tanfeedh is one of the national efforts towards economic diversification, a programme that was established in line with Oman’s Ninth Five-year Development Plan. It came to address the urgent need to translate strategic plans into detailed roadmaps and to find the best ways to move away from dependency on oil revenue, boost private sector contribution and provide jobs for local talents. 8-steps were introduced to tackle challenges facing each economic sector, all of which are based on a Malaysian economic methodology.
The Tanfeedh programme held intensive 6-week long workshops, bringing together stakeholders, business leaders, professionals, and academics to identify the challenges that need to be addressed in order to grow each sector, keeping in mind a set of over-arching objectives such as increasing the gross domestic product, reducing the cumulative budget deficit and encourage investment.
Since inception, Tanfeedh aimed to increase Oman’s GDP in three focus sectors from RO 4.9 billion in 2015 to RO 6.6 billion in 2020, to ensure that 80 per cent of suggested initiatives are financed by the private sector as opposed to full dependency on government, and to generate around 30,000 jobs for local talents throughout implementation upon gaining all necessary permits.
As a fourth step, the programme now gears up for issuing a book that gives in-depth details about the project roadmaps, with insights on the bodies assigned to implement.
The book is expected to be out beginning of 2017.