Republic of Namibia
Economic inequalities to become a thing of the Past
he country’s economy has been growing steadily over the years. Peace and stability continue to provide favourable conditions to the economic development. The benefits from the SACU and MTC shares and improvement in tax collections have increased revenue earnings in the past financial year. The implementation of transparent policies and programmes in different sectors of the economy has drawn the interests of the donor community to support initiatives aimed at reducing poverty. Over the past five years, Namibia was able to achieve an estimated GDP growth of 4.7% and reduce public debt to 31.4% from 34% in 2005, which is below the 33.1% projected in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). There have been additional funds allocated to priority projects that need to be developed, improved and enhanced to maximise economic development and growth. During the 2007/2008 financial year, the government will embark on various initiatives aimed at developing rural communities. Funds are made available to support small and upcoming towns and villages in their endeavour to invest in infrastructure development and technical
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
As a developing nation, Namibia faces numerous challenges, including a high unemployment rate, a skewed economy with inequalities in income distribution, poverty and high HIV/AIDS prevalence. The government through its various agencies and service providing institutions strives to level the field through the implementation of appropriate strategies and policies. These policies are people centered and aimed at improving people’s standards of living. that they can participate and contribute to the economic growth of the country. The Ministries of Lands and Resettlement and Agriculture, Water and Forestry are providing services for communal land improvement and skills development among the resettled people in the farming sector. Tourism is one of the country’s high income earning sectors. As a tourist destination, Namibia is striving to expand the sector by upgrading facilities and improve services to attract more tourists and investments. A total of N$50 million has been allocated to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to fund the turnaround business strategy for the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR). The budget also provides for the extension of the development of community-based natural resources management. Health and education continue to get the largest financial shares from the national cake. The funds allocated in the 2007/2008 will cater for reform in the education system through the implementation of the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme and for the construction, renovation and upgrading of health facilities, particularly in rural areas.
Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Minister of Finance
services. Presenting the 2007/2008 budget in the National Assembly, Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Minister of Finance, said that the budget put the people at the centre. “We need to improve their standards and, therefore, our intervention must be pro-growth for the poor. Equally we may not allow that what we have achieved so far is eroded away and, therefore, our intervention must be sustainable.” The budget includes funds towards rural infrastructure development projects. In order to level inequalities, the Agribank will provide credit to previously disadvantaged groups so
IN ThIs Issue
Pro-growth economy benefits majority
Home Affairs speeds up work
Local diamond manufacturing to boost economy
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
From the Desk of the Minister Contents T
he 2007/2008 budget is known as pro-poor or pro-growth. It addresses issues of poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth in practical terms. To ease the burden of tax on incomes, the government has taken some measures to address the challenges of poverty among the people. The lifting of threshold for taxable income from N$24 000 to N$36 000 is a welcome move to improve the take-home income and buying power of the people in the lower income brackets.
President Pohamba consolidating national dialogue........ 3 Plan to succeed................................................................. 3
Accountability and transparency vital in performance..... 4 Societal inequalities deter growth, poverty eradication..... 4 Local communities benefit from water and agriculture schemes............................................................................. 5 NDF to provide high level education in the force.............. 5 Bigger money, bigger vision in education......................... 6 Decentralised justice......................................................... 6 Environment and Tourism Ministry receives more money................................................................................ 7 Empowerment of women to contribute to poverty alleviation in communities................................................ 7 Government’s pro-poor, pro-growth budget to benefit lower income groups......................................................... 8 Government committed to aquaculture farming.............. 8 Namibia stands proud among nations of the world.......... 9 Funds to boost communal land reform............................. 9 Early Childhood Development centres to expand............. 10 Namibia close to Abudja 15% African health budgets allocation target.................................................. 10 Home Affairs speeds up work........................................... 11 Development will suffer in absence of ICTs...................... 12 Labour matters to be addressed....................................... 13 Land is cardinal factor of production................................ 13 Local diamond manufacturing to boost national economy............................................................................ 14 Decentralisation - roadmap to regional and local development......................................................................14 Health care, rehabilitation, integration and community service suffers for prison inmates..................................... 15 Criminals in the net........................................................... 15 If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.............. 16 Veterans Affairs tables it’s first budget............................ 16 Road network connects rural communities...................... 17 Government properties worth N$ 18 billion..................... 17 Youth exposure, experience, capacity building vital for nation building..................................................... 18 Anti-Corruption Commission gets more money................ 19 ECN allocated N$25.7 million for its activities.................. 19 National Assembly hosts children’s model parliament..... 20 National Council to strengthen democracy....................... 20
The improvement of social safety nets is also a testimony that the government has the interest of the people at heart. The previous financial year saw the increase in the budget allocation for pensioners. The current budget makes available additional funds for the grants and allowances to orphans and vulnerable children. More funds are also allocated to the hospitals to roll out AIDS treatment so that more people in need of antiretroviral treatment will get access. Education is the power to unlocking economic growth. To close the gap in skills development, additional funds were put aside to improve education and training through the Education, Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP). This move is expected to improve access and outcomes. Poverty can only be reduced when investment is directed to priority areas which benefit the people. Namibia is rich in mineral resources and the benefit from the sales of diamonds is significant enough to stimulate economic growth and development through the creation of jobs. The establishment of cutting and polishing factories to give Namibians jobs and provide them with technical and entrepreneurship skills is a move in the right direction. Namibian citizens will finally be able to benefit from their country’s natural resources, which previously had been exploited by foreigners. The construction of national and rural roads and the rail network is a boost to the economy, as people will have more opportunities to trade and communicate with one another. Goods and services will be exchanged at a faster pace than ever before. The completion of the northern railway line from Tsumeb to Ondangwa last year is a milestone in the nation’s development. The nation is looking forward to the completion of the second phase from Ondangwa to Oshikango, which is the border post to Angola. Feeder roads are being constructed in rural areas, during the 2007/2008 financial year, hence creating jobs for local communities and connecting rural people to trade and business centres. The launching of the second mobile communication license, Cell One/ PowerCom, adds value to the economy, as competition usually brings favourable rates to fit everyone’s pocket. Namibians will be able to share their ideas and experiences with each other wherever they are, regardless of distances. I call on all Namibians, to join hands with the government in rededicating their hard work to nation building.
Government Information Bulletin: Publicising Government
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programmes, policies and activities for the benefit of Government institutions and the Namibian public. All Government institutions contribute towards the Bulletin. The Government Information Bulletin is published monthly by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
President Pohamba consolidating national dialogue
The President’s policy strategy of consultation is aimed not only at promoting democracy, accountability and transparency but also at consolidating national dialogue on socio-economic, political and cultural issues.
n the 2006/2007 financial year, the President continued to engage citizens, from the business community to political leaders, from church leaders to traditional leaders, and from regional and local authority counsellors to trade union leaders and individual citizens. These consultations are strategic in bringing together different ideas, opinions, knowledge and experiences which can be used in making informed decisions in nation building. During the 2007/2008 financial year the President will continue his consultations with the people in the regions. He will tour all regions in order to familiarise himself with the country’s prevailing socio-economic conditions. On the international front, the President continued to advance the interest of the country through bilateral and multilateral forums. On missions undertaken at the bilateral level, the President’s main objective was to promote the economic interests of Namibia. He uses such opportunities to attract investments. His programme included meeting with industry and business leaders in those countries so that they could be informed about investment and business opportunities that Namibia has to offer. In most cases, the President included local business leaders and entrepreneurs in his
Cuba, Africa-China Summit in China and the Africa-France Summit in France. At the bilateral level, the President visited countries such as Congo Brazzaville, the United States of America, Sweden, Luxembourg, Singapore and Ghana. The President extended invitation to his counterparts to further strengthen the relations that exist between Namibia and those countries and also to promote trade and economic ties. They included the Presidents of the People’s Republic of China, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. President Pohamba will continue to honour invitations from his counterparts to cement good diplomatic relations and to promote trade relations between the business communities of such countries. A number of Heads of State and Government of other countries are expected to visit Namibia during the current financial year. The Office of the President requires a total amount of N$230 160 million to fund programmes under its operational and development budgets. The funds requested will be spent on the five main programmes such as the protection and defence of the Namibian Constitution, delivery of services, intelligence, Office of the Founding President and the Cabinet Secretariat.
H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba
delegation to interact with their counterparts in host counties and initiate business-tobusiness contacts. Some of these business leaders have already concluded business deals with Namibian counterparts, as a result of these bilateral contacts. For instance, 12 business deals have been signed with Chinese companies. To further the country’s interests, the President attended the AU Heads of State and Government Summit in Ethiopia, the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit in Tanzania, the UN General Assembly in the New York, the Non Aligned Summit in
Plan to Succeed
The National Planning Commission (NPC) is making headway through the formulation of the Third National Development Plan (NDP3). The formulation of NDP3 is being guided by policy directives such as Vision 2030, Recommendations of the 2005 Special Cabinet Retreat, the 2004 SWAPO Party Election Manifesto and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). uring the 2006/07 financial year, the NPC conducted Participatory Poverty Assessments for ten regions. Regional poverty profiles from the assessment are being finalised and will be disseminated during the 2007/08 financial year. The profiles contain information on the poverty situations in each of the regions and recommendations for poverty reduction. Since Namibia’s economy depends on agricultural production, a feasibility study on the assessment of market for Namibian agricultural products, setting up of cold storage facilities, increasing value addition and improved marketing of Namibia’s marine fish products was carried out. The findings
of the report will assist the government to design appropriate strategies aimed at improving the economic viability in the agriculture and fishing sectors. The NPC continues to engage development partners with the aim to mobilise resources for the national development projects. As a result, resources were mobilised from partners such as the European Union which will be supporting projects in Namibia during the period 2008/2013 to the tune of 83 million Euros, as contained in the NamibiaEuropean Community Country Strategy and National Indicative Programme. The support will address issues of human resources development with emphasis on
Hon. Helmut Angula, Director-General, NPC
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Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Accountability and transparency vital in performance
The Office of the Auditor-General contributes to the national objectives of the government by ensuring best use of public resources, and assisting the audited bodies to achieve proper accountability and transparency through compliance with internationally accepted accounting principles.
he office will use its budget for 2007/2008 to publish three performance audit reports, three follow-up reports and reports on eighteen asset inspections to be carried out country-wide. The agency is expected to table one hundred and fifteen audit reports of institutions such as municipalities, boards, corporations and parastatal bodies from the 2008/2009 financial year. During the 2007/2008 financial year, the Auditor-General’s office will finalise at least three performance audits and three follow-up audits; assist the Public Accounts Committee to enforce the recommendations made in performance
Mr. Junias Kandjeke, Auditor-General
audit reports; continue in-house training for newly recruited performance audit staff and quarterly workshops; and improve the quality of audit reports. In conducting financial audits, the office will strive to obtain financial statements from clients on time in order to decrease the level of outstanding reports; arrange continuous training programmes to improve audit quality; improve the controls implemented through audit recommendations; reduce audit costs per hour by implementing the time recording system in full; and evaluate how the recommendations are implemented. The office of the Auditor-General has requested for approval an amount of N$26 015 000 to enable it to carry out its activities in 2007/2008 financial year.
Societal Inequalities deter growth, poverty eradication
otivating the budget of the Office of the Prime Minister in the National Assembly on 16 April 2007, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Libertina Amathila said the Prime Minister’s Office needs N$115.743 million for the 2007/2008 financial year. A portion of this money would be used for the drafting of the Transformational Economic and Social Empowerment Framework, which should be finalised in the first half of next year. Dr. Amathila informed the National Assembly that N$16.962 million is needed for the implementation of the programme dealing with the constitutional obligations of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The funds would be used to enable the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to continue with their activities to provide support to the president, coordinate Cabinet business and to act as the leader of government business in Parliament. Similarly, the San development project, which is expected to have a significant socio-economic impact over the long term, will continue. Through this project, San students are assisted to start agri-projects and manufacturing. The Prime Minister’s Office also needs N$89.236
Entrenched inequalities in the Namibian society and economy deter growth, economic development, employment creation and poverty eradication in the country. This can only change through the creation of the Transformational Economic and Social Empowerment Framework that will ensure fair, transparent and sustainable future participation of previously disadvantaged people in the economic and social sectors in the country. improvement scheme and a new job evaluation and grading system will be introduced. The Prime Minister’s office is also involved in initiatives related to HIV/AIDS and persons with disabilities in the workplace. An amount of N$18.960 million will this year be used to expand the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM). NIPAM is a dedicated public service training institution and the allocated funds will be used for buildings and infrastructure in Windhoek. NIPAM will soon be created as an agency in terms of the Public Service Act of 1995 and its first training programmes will kick off this year. The governments of France, India and Finland have supported this government initiative. Due to the fact that the Namibian Public Service is highly regarded in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibia has been assigned with the responsibility to organise the Africa Public Service Day on 23 June 2007 in the SADC region. Namibia will also be responsible for the continent-wide organisation and coordination of the Africa Public Service Day in September 2007.
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Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula Prime Minister
million for its programme on public service management and improvement. Apart from the improvements in remuneration for civil servants in accordance with the agreement reached with the recognised trade unions, the Performance Management System will be extended across the public service. The government Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) initiatives will also continue, while a service delivery
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Local communities benefit from water and agriculture schemes
The Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, continues to ensure the development and provision of equitable, and reasonable access to clean and safe water resources for the benefit of the Namibian people, especially those who live in rural areas where water is a scarce resource. from the European Union allocated to the Ministry, in the current financial year, is for the development budget with the remaining 80% going to the operational budget. The Ministry will continue to finance a feasibility study for the joint irrigation project between Namibia and Zambia Agricultural Production Joint Venture in the 2007/2008 financial year. The study is also investigating suitable and high value crops which can be processed and exported to other markets. The Ministry’s funds are also supporting equally Hon. Nickey Iyambo, Minister of Agriculture, important programmes such Water and Forestry as the emerging, resettled and extension services in agriculture training; and affirmative action farmers, under information and advisory services, with the which 1010 newly farmers were resettled aim of encouraging the adoption of improved in the Khomas, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, farming technologies and practices. Hardap and Karas regions; the provision of
he infrastructure development remains a prerequisite in the water supply process to points where populations can access water for their domestic, irrigation and industrial use. In the 2006/2007 financial year, 237 new water points were constructed and 234 boreholes and pipeline off-take water points were rehabilitated while 345 km of pipeline was laid in needy communities. The Otjozondjupa region has benefited from the budget as 138 community water points were converted to private consumer off-takes at the cost of N$73 million. In the 2007/2008 financial year, the Ministry has estimated the cost of pipeline construction in Tsandi South in the Omusati region, Onambutu Pipeline Schemes in the Ohangwena region and the upgrading of the Waterberg - Okakarara and Ogongo - Oshakati rural water supply to N$40 million. Of the total budget earmarked for the construction of pipelines, N$16 million is secured for the community-based water management programme. Only 20% of the total budget of N$652,766 million, including N$41.7 million funds
NDF to provide high level education in the force
his justifies the allocation of a total amount of N$1 682 842 000 billion for the financial year 2007/2008 that the Ministry of Defence will use to fund three programmes, namely operations, international deployments and construction, research and development. Under the operations programme, the Ministry seeks to meet the challenge of human resources development. The force wants to create a knowledgeable pool of service men and women to operate modern equipment and weapon systems as well as taking equitable decisions in a rapid situation required in the 21st century. One of the steps taken to address the education of the staff is the introduction of the master of arts programme in security and strategic studies, in conjunction with the University of Namibia (UNAM). This programme is aimed at qualifying officers in defence and security management aspects. The programme is expected to be inaugurated in May 2007.
The country’s stable, secure and peaceful environment is an insurance enforced by the Namibian Defence Force (NDF). Such an environment contributes to the country’s economic development and direct foreign investments. The army, airforce and navy need qualified personnel in their respective fields to enable them to keep up with technological advancement and constantly review the state of their equipment. Due to the shortage of human resource personnel, the airforce and navy will recruit 400 young people in 2007. The candidates will have completed grade 12 with good marks in English, mathematics, and physical science. Plans are underway to establish a military academy at Okahandja to enhance the defence capacity and reduce dependency. The Ministry is sending some of its officers to training institutions abroad to be trained as trainers of trainers who will run courses at the envisaged academy on their return. The efforts are aimed at having a pool of academically qualified personnel to lead the force and contribute to the development and consolidation of peace and stability in the country.
Plan to Succeed
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education and rural development. The agency is also negotiating and consulting on additional resources, with other development partners such as China, Germany, Luxembourg, France and the United States of America. Through strategic negotiations, the NPC was able to draw assistance for the country in the form of grants and soft loans. Namibia is since 2005 eligible to benefit from the Millennium Challenge Account, a fund set up by the USA government to assist developing countries to reduce poverty through economic growth. A team is set up in the country, under the National Planning Commission, to undertake a study, through a process of “due diligence”.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Bigger money, bigger vision in education
The Namibian government has, over the years, invested in education by allocating the biggest share of the annual budget to its development and progress. The commitment to education is inherent in the ambitious plan to bring quality and equity in education, training and skills development programmes.
he more than N$3,6 billion allocation to the Ministry of Education, in the 2007/08, will be used to improve school pass rates to at least ninety percent, as has been advocated by President Hifikepunye Pohamba at several occasions. The Ministry will ensure the effective implementation of the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP), which is envisaged to lead to efficient use of available financial and human resources as well as injecting a culture of accountability for positive results at all levels of the education system. Through the programme, performance management and result oriented issues will be the main focus. The system aims to reduce contributing factors to the high failure rates at schools, including nonretention of managers whose schools are under-performing. Success requires a formation of alliance among stakeholders in education. Parents are expected to play an equally important
role in the education of children by seeing to it that their responsibilities are met instead of leaving everything to the classroom. In his budget speech, Hon. Nangolo Mbumba, Minister of Education, urged learners to be better disciplined and rededicate themselves towards completing their studies. He also advised Teachers’ Unions to rise beyond the current focus on bread and butter issues and be true partners by assisting the Ministry to decisively tackle issues that impede the provision of quality education. The Minister noted that the education system continues to make strides in implementing a programme to increase the use of information and communication technology in all schools,
Children in the classroom
colleges and institutions of higher learning. Namibia received an international award from the Society for Information Technology for outstanding services to digital equity in teacher education. Minister Mbumba said the award was a notable milestone in the country’s journey to provide ICT at all education and training institutions.
he Ministry has solved the problem of lack of magistrates in its operations. All magistrates courts are currently filled with the exception of the Outjo Magistrate court. Plans are underway to fill the position. The Ministry expanded its services to several areas. Legal aid offices have been opened at Oshakati, Ondangwa, Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Rundu, Otjiwarongo, Gobabis, Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Swakopmund and Katutura.
The Ministry of Justice sought approval for a budget allocation of N$246 071 million for the 2007/2008 financial year. The amount is needed to fund activities pertaining to justice such as administrative justice, legal Aid, protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms, law development and drafting, international cooperation, deceased estates, guardian fund, trusts and prosecution of crime. The Ministry in 2006 spent close to N$7 million, through the Legal Aid programme on state sponsored defense teams for the Caprivi treason trial. A total of N$39 253 million was allocated to the Guardian Fund for the payment of benefits to minors and other beneficiaries while N$1 389 million was incurred by the Government Attorney for costs to legal practitioners, advocates and other legal matters.
Minister of Justice, Hon. Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana making a point
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Societal inequalities deter growth, poverty eradication
enterprises. The third area of responsibility of the Prime Minister’s office is that of disaster recovery and emergency services. An amount of N$9.545 million is allocated to enable the office to manage disasters and emergencies. Previously, resources have been allocated from the Contingency Fund to allow for decisive action to minimise the effects of disasters and emergencies. As from the 2007/2008 financial year, annual allocations of N$5 million will be made to supplement the disaster and emergency fund. Major emergencies, however, will still be funded through the Contingency Fund after Cabinet authorisation.
The funds allocated under this programme will also be used for the implementation of the provisions of the State-owned Enterprises Governance Act, which was promulgated late last year. The implementation of the Act will result in a number of initiatives to improve the governance of state-owned
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Environment and Tourism Ministry receives more money
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has received substantial overall budgetary allocation increase of 98.4% for the 2007/2008 financial year. This increase was made on its operational and development budgets. There is an increase in the operational budget from N$139 846 000 in 2006/2007 financial year to N$197 610 000 in the 2007/2008 financial year, which represents 41.3% increase and the development budget has been increased from N$11 303 000 in 2006/2007 to N$102 307 000 for the 2007/2008 financial year, representing an increase of 905.1% for capital and development projects. he bulk of the increase in the operational budget, N$50 million, is earmarked for the Namibia Wildlife Resorts Ltd (NWR) as part of the turnaround strategic plan, as earlier agreed by Cabinet to make it meet the demands of the market. The development budget is envisaged to cover long-standing infrastructure development backlogs in office and staff accommodation. Part of the funds will be used to complete the work being done to the Troskie Building, which is to become the new headquarters of the Ministry and the rest of it (N$75 million) is going to special projects aimed at employment creation through tourism. Introducing the budget for MET in the Parliament, Hon. Willem Konjore, Minister of Environment and Tourism, emphasized the importance of the tourism sector to
the country’s economical growth and development potential, adding that tourism must get the attention of everyone, including all government agencies, and the entire service sector of the economy. He said: “More than any other economic sector, it is the total package of what a country offers that counts in tourism. It is the sum of our policies, regulations, services, infrastructure, international image and our natural attractions and environment that will determine our success.” Hon. Konjore saw the challenge to pull efforts together strategically to develop the sector as it is one of the industries that could be more sustainable and less vulnerable to uncertain climatic conditions and unfair global competitions which are a threat to other sectors such as manufacturing and trade. This year, the Ministry will develop “a tourism growth strategy for Namibia”
– efforts which will require the participation of all stakeholders to make the most of the strategic opportunity. Tourism is one of the country’s fastest growing economic sectors whose value has been recently estimated at between N$1 and N$2 billion per year. With the increase in budget allocation, as a government investment, the sector is expected to play a bigger role in reducing unemployment in the country, especially among the rural poor who would be involved in both wildlife and nature conservation, from which they would earn a living. The budget will be allocated to the wide range of sections that the Ministry is managing and administering. Apart from the tourism sector, MET caters for the environment sector, protected areas, wildlife resources and the regulation of gambling and lotteries.
Empowerment of women to contribute to poverty alleviation in communities
In view of the fact that the majority of women are marginalised and are living under poverty conditions, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) is empowering women with skills in order to alleviate poverty among them. Some of the methods used are education and awareness creation on how members of communities can be involved or participate in activities that would help them to raise their standard of life.
n order to combat poverty among women, the Ministry is providing small grants to support community initiatives and innovative ideas of generating income at community levels. The Ministry initiated and staged mobilisation and sensitisation meetings aimed at boosting people’s participation in income-generating programmes that would improve their financial status. During the 2006/2007 financial year, 191 mobilisation meetings were held in 13 regions, reaching out to 4770 people. As a result of these meetings, the Ministry received 958 project proposals, submitted from people seeking for financial support, - a substantial increase in the number of proposals submitted in the previous years. Out of the number of project proposals received in the 2006/2007, the Ministry
was only able to support 75 projects, eight of which benefited the San communities in Caprivi, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omushati, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and oshikoto regions. According to a fair and transparent assessment process conducted by the Regional Assessment Teams, before the allocation of grants to applicants, many of the proposals were viable for support but the Ministry could not raise enough financial resources to support all of them. As part of the grant incentive, the budget of the Ministry is also used in supporting projects with human resources development, in terms of training of members in basic skills on business management and leadership. During 2006/2007, 150 people were trained in basic financial management such as bookkeeping, marketing and customer care
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Hon. Marlene Mungunda, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Government’s pro-poor, pro-growth budget to benefit lower income groups
The Ministry of Finance has tabled a budget of N$2 744 374 billion for the 2007/2008 financial year, excluding the statutory expenditure, in the form of interest payments, loan repayments and guarantees. The budget is allocated on the basis of pro-poor and pro-growth principle. The pro-poor budget is to benefit the economically disadvantaged members of the Namibian society in terms of funding activities that would alleviate poverty in communities. The funds are intended for the building and improvement of infrastructures such as schools, clinics, and the creation of job opportunities in rural communities.
he budget targets the improvement of education and skill acquisition of the disadvantaged people. The government has made additional resources available to improve educational outcomes while broadening access to education. To reduce the tax burden on lower income groups, the Ministry of Finance shifted the non-taxable threshold from N$24 000 to N$36 000. Deductions allowable for retrenchment contributions will be increased
from N$30 000 to N$40 000 with the aim to lessen the burden on the government, in the long run. The government also made available resources to benefit the orphans and vulnerable children, including resources to be put towards the roll out of AIDS treatment programmes so that Namibians in need of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment will have access to the services. Namibia already provides treatment to about 50%
of people in need of this. The pro-growth budget allocation is aimed at unlocking the productive capacity of the economy. Under this policy, the Government aims at investing in the rural infrastructure development, especially extending the road and railway network. The funds provided through the Development Bank, Nampower and the Agribank are aimed at accelerating economic growth to benefit poor communities.
Government committed to aquaculture farming
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is making progress in infrastructure development for its Aquaculture farming programme, especially with the completion of the first phase of the Epalela fish farm that was recommenced in 2005. The construction included 29 earth and concrete ponds and fencing of the farm. As a result, the farm received fish seeds, totaling approximately 132 824, excluding the small ones, as its first supply of fingerlings, tilapia and catfish in its 14 ponds by the end of December 2006. Harvesting of the fish is expected to take place in November 2007. During his budget motivation, Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Dr. Abraham Iyambo, announced that the fish farming project along the Zambezi/Chobe Systems has resumed its operations after fishing was halted, following a high bacterial contamination, which was detected in fish and water samples from the Zambezi River and its tributaries last year. Another set back in the fish farming was this year’s floods in the Caprivi and Kavango regions, which had caused devastating damage to three of the six co-operative fish farms in the two regions, in which an estimate of 1.6 million fish was grown. Currently the Ministry requires an amount of N$2, 538, 000 to rehabilitate the farms including the integration of horticulture into aquaculture. Said Minister Iyambo: “Government is committed to rural development and necessary repairs will be made to these farms.” The Ministry’s total budget allocation for 2007/2008 financial year is an amount of N163 705 000. The budget will cover some of the programmes such as the implementation of the monitoring, control and surveillance Programme, the development of fisheries inspections, operational and maintenance of surveillance equipment, logistics, Fisheries Observer Programme, human resources development and development of Aquaculture sector.
he Ministry has embarked on the second phase of the construction at the Epalela fish farm, in March this year, which is expected to be completed within the next seven months. The work will concentrate mainly on the construction of housing, office block, processing plant and a storage room for which N$4, 100, 000 will be made available in the 2007/2008 financial year budget.
The Minister had announced, in the previous season, to the public that fish in the Zambezi River was contaminated with bacteria and there were occurrences of deformed fish and infestation of fish with worms, which was not conducive for human consumption. “For health reasons a closed fishing season was declared pending the outcome of further laboratory tests,” noted Minister Iyambo. The incident was a set back to the fish farming project in the area. Subsequently, the fishing activities were resumed in February 2007 following the clearance from the laboratory tests of the water of the Zambezi and its tributaries.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Namibia stands proud among nations of the world
he Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to implement Namibia’s foreign policy and to facilitate interaction between Namibia and other governments and institutions. Namibia emphasises economic diplomacy, focusing on investment promotion, trade, tourism and security. In this, the Ministry continues to cement cooperation thereby expanding and deepening Namibia’s efforts towards sustainable development, in keeping with the national development plans and Vision 2030. The cooperation is demonstrated in the number of official and state visits in the past financial year. Namibia hosted official and state visits by HE Mr Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and HE Mr Festus Mogae of Botswana in 2006. The Ministry also facilitated the official and state visits by HE President Hifikepunye Pohamba to Sweden, Luxembourg, Congo Brazzaville and Singapore during the 2006/2007 financial year. In 2007, Namibia welcomed HE Mr Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China, HE Mr Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, HE Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, President of the Republic of Zambia, Rt. Hon. Mikhail Fradkov, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Rt. Hon. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia and HE Mr Sellapan Rama Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs motivated a total amount of N$272 843 000 for its activities in the 2007/2008 financial year. Of its development budget of N$38 583 000, N$4 million will fund the completion of the United Nations (UN) House in Windhoek. The UN house is expected to be completed in August 2007. The house will accommodate all UN agencies based in Namibia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to monitor and advise the government on developments within regional and international organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), the UN, the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth, the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of 77 and China which affect Namibia’s interests. Presenting the 2007/2008 financial year budget in the National Assembly in April 2007, Hon. Marco Hausiku, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said these interests should not be viewed only in the context of financial terms but also in ensuring peace, justice and security for humanity. Namibia continues to play significant roles in regional and the international organisations. The country served as Chair of the SADC organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation from August 2005 to August 2006. Apart from having hosted SADC meetings in 2006, the country attended meetings of the AU and UN, at which economic integration, peace and security decisions about the African continent and the world were taken. The country is a member of the AU Committee of ten on the UN reform and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has worked tirelessly to popularise the common African position on the organization’s reform by soliciting support from permanent member states of the UN Security Council and other member states.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Marco Hausiku consulting with President Hifikepunye Pohamba
During the visits, Namibia sought to strengthen cooperation in a number of areas including industrial development, science, technology and human resources development. Various agreements were concluded between Namibia and the visiting delegations. In the 2007/2008 financial year, Namibia will receive Heads of State and Governments from Angola, Congo Brazzaville and South Africa. President Pohamba is invited to visit the UK and Japan.
Funds to boost communal land reform
he assessment is to ensure that land maintains its status of continuous production and also for its quality to be managed carefully. For this, an amount of more than five point two nine million Euro (E5.29) is earmarked for the improvement of infrastructure on small scale farms in communal areas. The agreement was signed towards the end of last year between the Namibian Government and the KfW Bank on behalf of the German government. A Plan of Action to determine how to spend the funds is underway and is expected to be completed in due course. Motivating the budget expenditure of the 2007/2008 financial year, Hon. Isak Katali, Deputy Minister of Lands and Resettlement noted, “This funding provides a much needed boost to improve farming in communal areas.” He was confident that if all stakeholders supported the Government to bring those
The Government is committed to the improved management in the communal areas and in this financial year, the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement will provide funds for the production of Land Use Plans for the Hardap and the Karas regions. The effort is aimed at assessing the capability and sustainability of the land and the integration of farmers’ needs and aspirations, as well as conservation measures. who were previously excluded from land ownership, the goal to use the land sustainably and contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could undoubtedly be achieved. The Namibian Government received support to address land management and land reform, under the current Medium Term Expenditure Framework (METF) from the European Union, Kingdom of Spain and the Cuban Government.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Early Childhood development centres to expand
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) needs N$24 577 000 00 to expand both vertically and horizontally its programme of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) to all 13 regions in order to ensure quality service delivery. aced with the reform in terms of the implementation of the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP), under which the pre-primary education is to be mainstreamed into the general education programme, the MGECW is working together with the Ministry of Education to ensure that modalities for the transfer and provision of universal preprimary schooling are in place.
The pre-primary education of the 5 – 6 aged children will continue to be under the MGECW’s ECD centres countrywide until modalities are worked out to ensure shared responsibility with the Ministry of Education. The Ministry continues to construct, manage and care for the ECD centres and ensure the registration and accessibility to even the less advantaged communities. A total of 2878 ECD centres were registered in all 13 regions in 2006 and 8566 children have been
enrolled out of which 4286 are girls and 4274 are boys. In addition, 1214 orphans and vulnerable children, of whom 593 are boys and 621 are girls, were also enrolled at the centres. The funds will also be used to train caregivers. Three hundred and seventeen caregivers were trained in different ECD related courses, including child care, toy making, methodology in child teaching and management of the ECD centres in the past year.
Namibia close to Abudja 15% African health budgets allocation target
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) receives the second largest share of the annual budget allocation from the State Fund Revenue after the Ministry of Education. The share to health development represents 10.12% of the total national budget. This amount is close to the Abuja target of 15% allocation to the African national health budgets. The target was set at the Africa Heads of State and Government in Abuja, Nigeria, during their Summit on 25 April 2000. total amount of N$1 682 916 billion is allocated to the Ministry, for the year 2007/2008, of which N$1 569 252 000 (93.25%) is for the operational budget and N$113 664 000 (6.75%) is for the development budget. Programmes to be covered under the operational budget are Tertiary Health Care, Regional and District Health Services, Disease control, Special Programmes and Social Protection. The development budget will cover activities such as Primary Health Care, health systems development and the capital projects.
in the past year. The Ministry financed the renovation and upgrading of hospitals in Khorixas, Omaruru, Andara, Nyangana and
“Health development gets 10.12% of the national budget”
Eenhana; health centres in Ongwediva, and Ongha; clinics in Fransfontein, Otjokavare, Otjimuhaka, Okaku, Omboloka and Stampriet; and anti-retroviral (ARV) clinics at Katutura Intermediate Hospital, Outapi, Katima Mulilo hospitals and mortuaries in Koës and Mpungu Vlei. In addition to the
renovated and upgraded health facilities, twelve other facilities, mostly clinics and two mortuaries, were inaugurated during the previous year. In a combined efforts with development partners, the business community, faith-based bodies, nonegovernmental organisations and individuals, the Ministry carried out a successful nationwide campaign against polio, last year, achieving 102% coverage. More than N$8.6 million, additional to the funds provided for under the operational budget, was spent on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria. Development Partners have pledged to further support the Ministry with N$333, 145 000 (74.6%) of the total development budget to be used in combating HIV/AIDS, development of physical and human resources, strengthening of health systems management mechanisms and other Primary Health Care programmes.
The development budget consists of two sources, namely; the State Revenue Fund and funds from the development partners, which are channelled outside the State Revenue Fund. Apart from the ongoing work, the Ministry was able to score some achievements
Empowerment of women to contribute to poverty alleviation in communities
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so that they would be able to manage their income generating initiatives profitably. Apart from formal training, other methods are used in sharing information and skills among the people. To employ a holistic approach, a video on income-generating projects was produced. The video
provides information on success stories and best practices of small scale business initiatives aimed at combating poverty and unemployment among the communities. Groups from Erongo, Oshikoto, Omaheke and Khomas regions were accorded opportunities to visit projects in other areas such as Tsumkwe and Otjozondjupa region, while some groups were sponsored to attend
Trade Fairs in Ongwediva, Rundu and Windhoek shows. These efforts are aimed at providing opportunities for people to learn best practices from different places. With the allocation in the 2007/2008 financial year budget, the Ministry will sponsor exhibitors to attend the Global Summit of Women to be held in Berlin, German, in June 2007.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Home Affairs speeds up work
otivating the Ministry’s budget in April 2007, Minister Hon. Rosalia Nghidinwa, said she was confident that her Ministry would be able to announce a budget surplus during the current Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), as soon as the programmes were implemented. The Ministry is requesting funds to finance programmes such as civil registration, immigration control, citizenship, national forensic services and refugee administration. Hon. Nghidinwa said her Ministry resolved to increase the production capacity with less or the same human and financial resources in the shortest possible period of time. The Ministry has devised strategies which are bearing positive results. To finance the civil registration programme of births, marriages, deaths and identities of Namibians over the age of 16 years, the Ministry is requesting N$69 250 000 to enable it to provide quality service to citizens and to facilitate the smooth running operations of corporations, government economic planning and resource allocation. Since 1 April 2006, the Ministry has reduced the waiting period for identity cards from two years to 24 working days, hence reducing the number of complaints from the public. As a result, the Ministry received a bronze medal from the African Professional Management Review. This award is awarded each year to Namibian leading institutions. The waiting period for issuing of passports was reduced from 100 to 10 working days. The Ministry also intends to issue express passport services, after the current system has been upgraded, for those who can afford to pay for delivery in a day or even in an hour. The Ministry undertook a mission to all regions to register and facilitate the provision of national documents to learners at combined senior secondary schools. A total of 50 000 learners were registered. A total of 189 748 identity cards were issued and 114 946 IDs were collected during the 2006/2007 financial year. In consultation with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry has finalised and upgraded the national population register with the aim to allow the integration and linkages between various records. The register dates back from 1894. The Ministry will convert the existing paper based records into the electronic database. Plans are underway to register newborn babies at maternity wards. To make the work easier,
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration not only consumes public funds but equally contributes to the public revenue fund with funds generated every year. During the financial year 2006/2007, the Ministry collected an amount of N$69 586 118 50 from services to the public as compared to the operational and capital budgets of N$119 057 000 requested for the financial year 2007/2008. the Ministry is seeking advice from all regional governors on the establishment of regional offices countrywide. The Ministry is in the process of purchasing ten, fully equipped mobile vehicles to enhance civil registration and take service to the most remote areas. In view of the upcoming events in the SADC region, including the implementation of Free Trade Area in 2008, the World Cup and the African Cup of Nations to take place in South Africa and Angola in 2010 respectively, the Ministry will face challenges in terms of controlling and facilitating movements of people visiting and leaving Namibia. To start the process of establishing measures to curb crime during the period, Hon. Rosalia Nghidinwa, Minister of Home Affairs the Ministry is requesting N$47 943 000 to finance research on modern border control systems in addition to the introduction of Namibia is home to 7 322 asylum seekers e-gates at major entry points that would from African countries such as the Democratic enhance the speed of clearance of people Republic of Congo and Angola, most of who and goods. Apart from building border post are accommodated at the Osire Refugee facilities such as houses for staff members, Camp and continues to spend money on the the Ministry will continue to issue permits deportation of those who enter the country and visas. illegally.
Members of the Namibian Defence Force distribute ID’s at the Zoo Park, Windhoek
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Development will suffer in absence of ICTs
To create a knowledge-based society, a multi-faceted media environment is needed to direct education, information and entertainment to communities in need. As technology advances, there is a need to decentralise the media to reach remote communities who usually lag behind in the use of communication and information tools. The use of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) play a significant role in the transmission of information to communities, educating, informing and mobilising them to participate in the development of their localities. As a result, Cabinet declared the development and establishment of ICTs as one of the national priorities. The funds were also used in the renovation of the Ministry Head Office and in the installation of digital equipment at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) radio broadcast studio in Windhoek and the Otjiwarongo and Keetmanshoop contributing centres. The NBC completed the transmitter network at Okongo, Gam, Windhoek, Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Buitepos, Aus, Aranos, Rundu and Oshakati, while the Oshiwambo and Otjiherero language services were expanded to Mariental. New Era improved its generation of revenue from N$7 562 339 in 2005/2006 financial year to N$11 825 832 in the 2006/2007 financial year due to its increased popularity, price and improved marketing strategy. The newspaper’s advertising income has also increased from N$6 194 373 in 2005/2006 to N$9 427 589 in 2006/2007 financial year. Achievements have been recorded in the performance of other media such as the Namibian Press Agency (NAMPA) and the Southern Times, a joint venture between Zim (Zimbabwe) Papers and the New Era Publications Corporation. On the entertainment part, N$170 million was spent on the production of feature films and television commercials. In addition, the country generated more than N$2,4 million from the production of 82 documentaries by foreign nationals, using Namibian locations. Payment for work permits for film makers generated N$200 000 while 97 Namibians had temporary jobs in the production of films. Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah cited challenges facing the Ministry as the lack of accommodation for staff, saying that for more than ten years the staff of the Ministry has been scattered over the city, which makes proper control, coordination and management difficult. The Ministry suffered a heavy blow when the Turnhalle Annex, that houses two directorates of the Ministry, was flooded, forcing staff to share offices and find accommodation elsewhere in different parts of town. The Ministry is in need of additional funds to enable it to operate efficiently and effectively and redouble its efforts to meet its mandate under Vision 2030.
Information & Broadcasting Minister, Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah watching how electronic media works
he Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Hon. Netumbo NandiNdaitwah emphasised the power of ICTs in national development when she motivated the 2007/2008 budget of the Ministry in the National Assembly recently. She noted that due to lack of skills and equipment in the country, access to ICTs is still beyond the reach of a major proportion of the Namibian population. The Minister said the role that the electronic and the print media can play is immeasurable, hence the need for adequate financial support to enable it to contribute towards the realisation of Vision 2030, citing the positive contribution the media made during the polio immunisation campaign in 2006. To close the information gap between rural and urban communities, the Ministry, through the Audiovisual Network Consolidation
Programme, donated ICT equipment such as computers, solar equipment to areas without electricity, plasma screen television sets and multi-media projectors to schools in Kavango, Kunene and the Omaheke regions. The equipment will enable centres and schools to screen educative and informative films and documentaries on best practices from within the country and elsewhere. In the 2006/2007 financial year funds were used to print the Government Information Bulletin which is aimed at sharing government information with the public, especially marginalised communities to improve their living standards. Through a multi-media strategy, the Ministry reached more than 24 000 people who were mobilised to action and informed of various issues on HIV/AIDS. More than 103 video shows on HIV/AIDS were shown in various regions.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Labour matters to be addressed
The unemployment rate in Namibia stands at 37% and poverty continues to persist among the working force. Discrimination on the basis of race, gender and disability still persist in companies and institutions of employment. In order to address issues of unemployment, labour, poverty and discrimination, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has requested the approval of a budget of N$786 276 000 for the 2007/2008 financial year. Hon. Alpheus G. !Naruseb, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, presented the budget of the Ministry in the National Assembly on the 16 April 2007. must implement the Act. For the process to function, the Ministry requires funds for human resources and for the purchase of equipment. The Ministry received over 10 300 labour complaints in the 2006/2007 financial period. Of these 6 500 were amicably resolved with assistance of labour inspectors. Despite the shortage of personnel, occupational health and safety investigation were carried out at a number of companies. To deal with problems facing labour in the country, two labour market surveys, Child Activities Survey, and the Namibia Occupational Skills Assessment Survey, were conducted during the 2006/2007 financial year. The Ministry faces constraints and obstacles in its efforts to address labour problems. Currently, the compliance with the minimum wage agreement and basic conditions of employment in the construction industry is not implemented fully. Efforts are being made to improve communication and cooperation between the Ministry and its social partners and stakeholders. The Ministry will organise a labour conference in 2007/2008 financial year with the aim to promote harmonious labour relations and social dialogue as part of its national development strategy. The Ministry is concerned about the problem of exploitative labour hire practices. At present the policy and regulative framework is inadequate. This makes it difficult for the Ministry to take action against labour brokers whose practices avoid adherence to the Labour Act. The new Labour Act is expected to give greater protection of employees employed by labour hire companies.
Hon. Alpheus Naruseb Minister of Labour and Social Welfare
he Ministry is addressing the issue of affirmative action through the Employment Equity Commission, which has a legal basis to enforce it. The Affirmative Action coverage was lowered since July 2006 from employers with 50 employees to employers with 25 employees with the aim to capture broad-base companies, which
Land is cardinal factor of production
n line with its mandate, the Ministry has purchased 45 farms of more than 319 000 hectares, at a cost of N$60 million, in the past financial year, as compared to 19 farms valued at N4144, 630 in the 2005/2006 financial year. Out of the 45 farms acquired, five of them were expropriated. Currently, there are 70 families resettled on 35 farms, measuring 379 921 hectares. The families require enormous assistance in the management of their newly acquired properties. The majority of them are to be assisted in acquiring knowledge, skills and resources in order to exploit the land in a productive and sustainable manner. The Ministry’s role is to enhance capacity among the resettled beneficiaries and improve support programmes to ensure sustainability for them to contribute meaningfully to the overall agricultural production. The Ministry has commissioned studies to assess the economics of land use in resettlement and the results are being assessed before suggestions for improvements are made. Infrastructure development in the farms is also considered to support efforts, especially, to the San communities. Fourteen houses were built at resettlement projects in Okongo and Tsintsabis, in the last fincial year, in efforts to alleviate accommodation shortages in those communities. The Ministry is also planning to resettle the Hai// /om group around Etosha. Since the programme of land reform and resettlement requires huge financial resources before it becomes a success, tax collected from the commercial agricultural land continues to benefit the resettlement programme. For
The Ministry of Land and Resettlement has sought a budget of N$140 million for the 2007/2008 financial year to finance its activities related to land reform, resettlement and survey. During the last financial year the Ministry has surveyed 16 resettlement farms to establish boundaries for the resettlement allotment units for each beneficiary to know exactly the limits of their farming units. The Ministry is to step up the process of surveying to keep pace with increase in farm purchases. instance, in the 2006/2007 financial year N$29 million was collected to supplement the N$50 million, the annual Government contribution to land purchase and infrastructure improvements.
Land for the people
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Local diamond manufacturing to boost national economy
Namibia is set to establish a diamond cutting and polishing hub. An agreement was reached between the Ministry of Mines and Energy and De Beers recently, agreeing to supply diamonds to local factories in order to grow and establish diamond cutting and polishing factories in the country. This move disregards the belief, in the diamond circles, that Namibia should not “dare go into diamond manufacturing” because the country cannot compete with countries such as China and India with low labour costs. diamonds. Namibia refuses to keep the status quo of continuing exporting all raw materials and has opted to do the manufacturing of its minerals, goods and services so that their quality would be enhanced to be competitive in both the local and the international markets for profitable incomes. In the age of improved technologies, knowledge and skills, Namibia cannot afford to lag behind and keep its economy dependent on others for survival due to unfair deals and conditions in the world market where they are currently sold. Speaking at the celebration of De Beers Marine Namibia, marking the recovery of 1 million carats worth of diamonds from the Atlantic Ocean, President Hifikepunye Pohamba reiterated that as a custodian of the natural heritage on behalf of the Namibian people, the state has a duty to ensure that benefits from the natural resources are used for the benefit of all Namibian
n his budget speech, Hon. Erkki Nghimtina, Minister of Mines and Energy said that the Ministry has been encouraged by the idea that with the unique high quality diamonds, Namibia can produce premium quality cut diamonds for niche markets. With the cutting and polishing diamond industry in the country, Namibia is ready and is on the verge of taking up its rightful place in the international diamond fraternity. “We will not stop there. Our strategy is to go as further downstream as possible – into jewellery manufacturing and into branding of Namibian diamonds and share in the value addition throughout the pipeline,” said Hon. Nghimtina. Namibia will do what it can to protect the diamond patrimony and the image of the diamonds which represent love, beauty and commitment from the threats of smugglers, unscrupulous elements and conflict
citizens. Local manufacturing of diamonds will provide the people with jobs, knowledge and skills, which will carry the country’s development aspirations forward. The recent consultations and negotiations between the government and De Beers has culminated in the establishment of the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC). “It is our hope that this new agreement will boost the performance of local cutting and polishing factories, increase the skills levels of Namibians in this crucial field and improve the profitability and competitiveness of the local mining industry in general,” noted president Pohamba. Another agreement with NAMDEB allows 16% of the company’s production of cuttable diamonds mined in Namibia to be sold to local diamond cutting and polishing factories. The Ministry requested for the approval of a total amount of N$96 439 000 for the financial year 2007/2008 to meet its objectives in line with all the national planning tools, including Vision 2030.
Decentralisation - roadmap to regional and local development
In order to make its goals of Vision 2030 a reality, the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, through its programme Regional and Local Government Coordination, has embarked upon various activities aimed at establishing and developing effective regional, and local governments that will bring government closer to the people, capable of delivering services to the satisfaction of all communities through the processes of decentralisation.
y doing this, the Ministry has decided, in addition to the old structures, to proclaim new second local authorities, in communities where there is only one local authority, in order to address imbalances in accessing municipal services in the regions. In this effort, Ruacana , Oshikuku and Okahaho were proclaimed as local authority areas in the financial year 2005/2006 and the Ministry is currently assisting with the establishment of the administrative structures of the council in the newly proclaimed local authority of Nkurenkuru. The Ministry will proclaim Otjinene in the Omaheke and Omuthiya in the Oshikoto regions respectively as local authority areas during the 2007/2008 financial year and is busy with the building of urban infrastructures in the two settlements. Plans are underway to proclaim areas such as Bukalo in the Caprivi region, Divundu in the Kavango region, Oranjemund and Assenkerhr in the Karas region as local authorities. The
Ministry’s budget will also be earmarked at building regional capacity to provide services in the declared settlement areas on cost recovery principle to ensure the balancing of their operational income and expenditure. Currently the Ministry is assisting weak local authorities which are unable to meet their financial obligations with a range of initiatives. In all its efforts, the Ministry is striving to meet the challenges of poverty reduction and equity provision by addressing the current high unemployment rates in most settlements and local authority areas. It is currently assisting in the implementation of community based income-generating and employment creation activities, the training of staff, the formulation of a new subsidy policy, the revamping of dilapidated infrastructure and undertake comprehensive assessment of financial operation and the infrastructure status in the areas before the process of proclamation is started. The Trust Fund for Regional and Development
and Equity Provision is also playing a vital role in the infrastructure development of the areas. The fund has been financing major capital projects such as the rehabilitation of the municipal infrastructures, including sewerage systems, oxidation ponds, construction of municipal roads and other services aimed at promoting municipal services in local authorities and settlements. Some of the major projects financed by the fund were the construction of the Warmbad Tourist Centre in the Karas region and the rehabilitation of the Ondangwa Sewerage System in the Oshana region during the 2006/2007 financial year to the tune of N$32, 000 000. During the same financial year the Ministry provided funds towards the construction of two traditional authority offices namely; Ondonga and the Vaalgras Traditional Authorities, including installation of
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Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Health care, rehablitation, integration and community Service for prison inmates
The Ministry of Safety and Security has sought approval for a budget of N$212 million to fund activities of the Department of the Namibian Prisons Services for the financial year 2007/2008.
he Namibian Prison Services wants N$194,7 million for the safe custody of offenders, out of which N$125 3 million will go to personnel expenditure. It also requested N$21,2 million for the construction of projects such as Farm Scott Open Prison Farm, the Namibian Prison Service Training College in Omaruru, upgrading of Elizabeth Nepemba Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre and renovation activities. The Rehabilitation programme will receive N$14 697 000, of which N$5 272 000 will be spent on specialized personnel and N$6 268 000 on transport, training workshops, materials and gratuities for offenders. A total amount of N$484 000 is allocated to the reintegration programme under which the Department will embark on public awareness campaigns to make the public understand its work and services. To render the services efficiently and effectively, the Department will identify and assess core services and support in the community to form part of the programme. Training workshops on risk assessment for conditional release decisions will also be conducted for the members of the various release boards. The Department will also allocate N$2 313 000 to personnel to run the Poverty Reduction
Currently Namibia has more than 4 000 prisoners, with overcrowding of 5%, making it difficult to manage prison institutions. Other things that fall short are clothing, bedding and medication. The Deputy Minister emphasized that health care services in prison are costly as some prisoners arrive with existing health problems such as TB, HIV/AIDS, diabetics, asthma, hypertension, skin diseases and malaria. More than 1 500 inmates had been referred to state hospitals for treatment in 2006. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a major concern. Although the exact figure of HIV/AIDS cases in prison is not known, by March 2007 there were 339 people living with HIV/AIDS. One third of these prisoners is on antiretroviral treatment. Since the burden of medication cost lies wholly on government, the Ministry needs their budget allocation to cater for the health of the inmates. The Ministry is training trainers of trainers to impart skills to inmates on various fields, enabling them to join the working force upon their release. Some people who were released from prisons have started businesses and are providing jobs to community members.
The Namibian Police
Programme, while N$875 000 will be spent on agricultural inputs and N$120 000 allocated to the maintenance of farming and workshop implements and other equipment. Presenting the budget in the National Assembly, Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, Hon, Gabes Shihepo, noted that the prison services have many responsibilities and there is a need for more funds to finance the activities and meet obligations in health care, rehabilitation, reintegration and community service.
Criminals in the net
Out of 84 497 crimes reported in 2006 only 28 162 cases were dealt with in court, 17 482 were withdrawn, 35 832 were unresolved and 382 were closed as false. The account was reported by the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, Hon. Gabes Shihepo, when he presented the budget of his Ministry in the National Assembly on 18 April 2007.
n 2006, the police arrested 31 765 suspects all of whom appeared in court. A total of 71 411 people were victims of crimes, 1 268 less than in 2005. Theft topped the list of crimes committed in 2006. There were less serious crime cases, 12 725, in 2006, than the 12 904 cases reported in 2005, with housebreaking at residential premises remaining the most committed serious crime cases recorded countrywide. Of the 12 725 serious cases reported, 5 848 were committed in Khomas, 1 402 in Erongo and 1 121 in Oshana regions. An increase of 41 out of 383 cases, involving armed robbery, were reported in 2006 compared to the previous year.
The police investigated 50 cases of illegal possession of unpolished diamonds, seized 766 carats, with a value of N$4 289 825 and arrested 76 persons as a result. The police have uncovered a motor vehicle syndicate operating mainly in the Khomas region. As a result, all routes through which the vehicles are smuggled were identified and investigated. A total of 592 cases of vehicle theft were recorded in 2006, and seven Namibian vehicles were recovered in Angola through a cross-border operation “Palanca Negra”. This project targets motor vehicle theft in Angola and Botswana. The vehicles are about to be repatriated. From October 2006 to February 2007 138,
cases of motor vehicle theft were reported in the Khomas region alone. Only 30 vehicles were recovered and 17 suspects arrested. The Deputy Minister also reported commercial cases of fraud, tax evasion, VAT, passport, ATM, electronic transfer of funds fraud cases and contravention of the Bank of Namibia Act of 1998 (Act No. 2 of 1998). Of the 57 arrests made, including 19 foreign nationals, only 17 persons have been convicted. The Deputy Minister sought approval for a budget of N$976 466 000 for 2007/2008 financial year, of which N$924 576 000 is for operational and N$51 890 000 for development projects of the Department of Police.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it
Plans are at an advanced stage to conduct the first ever business establishment census in the country to enable an insight understanding of the business industry for better planning and development facilitation. year the Ministry identified several areas for development in different economic sectors such as agro-based processing, hospitality industry, handcrafts, leather products and gemstones cutting and polishing. Since there is high interest in investing and developing these sectors, feasibility studies will be undertaken to determine the financial, economic and technical viability of these resources. The in-depth sector specific feasibility studies will be aimed at determining development opportunity areas for exploitation and to produce sectoral profiles with appropriate information for efficient and speedy decisionmaking by existing and prospective investors.
he Ministry of Trade and Industry sees it important to drive viable business projects in order for them to yield profitable incomes. Statistics and database are the catalysts of development. They are the indicators of economic viability, validity and relevance. They inform developers and industrialists of focus areas. The Ministry, in collaboration with the Bureau of Statistics, provides industrial statistics database as tools to direct planning and make informed decisions for development On its road towards the attainment of Vision 2030, the Ministry has identified resource-based areas with economic growth potential. During the 2006/2007 financial
It will also look at development planning at central and regional government levels. Presenting the budget in the National Assembly on the 24 April 2007, Hon. Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Minister of Trade and Industry, narrated the developments that took place in the trade and industry sector during 2006/2007 financial year and highlighted the programmes to be financed in the 2007/2008 financial year. The Ministry requested approval for a total amount of N$126,4 million to fund interventions to promote business activities, in view of the provisions of creating an industrialised nation by the year 2030.
Veterans Affairs tables it’s first budget
Minister of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Ngarikutuke Tjiriange tabled the first ever budget of N$22.986 million for the newly created Veterans Affairs Ministry in the National Assembly on 16 April 2007.
otivating his budget in the National Assembly, Dr. Tjiriange said Namibia had been trying since independence to address the needs of its veterans. Due to the considerable resource constraints and economic difficulties with the reintegration of veterans, the need for an institution to continuously address their needs had become apparent. The Ministry of Veterans Affairs was, therefore, established on 4 October 2006 to provide clientcentred services and benefits that respond to the needs of veterans and their families. This is done in recognition of their services to Namibia, and most importantly to keep the memory of their achievements and sacrifices alive for all Namibians. The Ministry is still busy putting up its structures and developing a strategic plan, which will give the necessary direction to enable it to implement its programmes. Therefore, its budget of N$22.986 million is only for operational activities. Once its structures are in place, the Ministry will be able to determine its development priorities for submission to the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance for funding. In the mean time, the Ministry has identified three major operational
programmes. For its programme on social welfare, human resources, training and skills development an amount of N$6.914 million is needed for the administration and management of the social welfare benefits
and needs of veterans. The funds will also be used to initiate income generating programmes and projects to support the social welfare of veterans, while a training needs assessment will also be carried out to enable trainable veterans to set up self-help projects. For its identification, registration and regional control programme, the Ministry needs N$9.070 million to compile a register of all veterans and to maintain a National Register and also to conduct a proper needs benefit analysis and grouping of veterans according to their specific categories. Documenting the important history of the national liberation struggle is an activity that will be addressed under the Ministry’s programme of history information and project research, for which an amount of N$7.002 million is needed. To properly document the history of the liberation struggle, research must be done to collect primary date through personal interviews with those who were physically, psychologically and emotionally affected by the war. According to Dr. Tjiriange, the documentation of the liberation struggle will help to improve the understanding of the history of the liberation struggle by veterans, as well as the citizens of the country.
Hon. Dr. Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, Minister of Veterans Affairs
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Road network connects rural communities
To meet the challenges of linking people, Namibia has embarked on infrastructure network development, which would enable the country’s citizens to connect with each other and be in contact with neighbouring countries and the rest of the world.
he Namibian government has invested heavily in the development of various transport corridors such as the Trans Kalahari, Trans Caprivi, and Trans Kunene with the aim to create linkages between Namibia’s economic centres and harbours to its neighbouring countries, as part of the SADC economic integration initiatives. These initiatives are to promote economic investments and growth, including tourism both within the country, in the region and beyond. Apart from the regional connectivity with other SADC states, the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication (MWTC) has been developing road infrastructure in the rural parts of the country. The construction of roads and the improvement in the safety of transportation of goods and people are also seen as important components in value addition to the standard of living of the people. The construction of road infrastructure in the rural areas also helps to reduce poverty among the people through the provision of jobs and the boosting of food supply from one place to another. Currently, the MWTC
is busy constructing feeder roads to connect rural communities to district roads - a sure way to enable people to transport their produce to the market centres with the aim to improve trade network and relationships among communities. During the 2007/2008 financial year, the Ministry will concentrate on the construction and rehabilitation of the 204 km KamanjabOmakange, Rundu-Siko-Nkurenkuru-Elundu, Okahandja-Karibib and Gam-Eiseb-OtjineneEpukiro roads, which will require government spending of N$288 490 000. In order to meet the country’s needs in this regard, people, as private or individual contractors, are also encouraged to participate in the construction of roads. The Ministry is conducting training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to equip people with information on how they can participate and benefit from road construction projects and they are also enlightened on how to tender for and run profitable businesses. The provision of infrastructure also requires efforts to maintain them, ensure their proper
Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Hon. Joel Kaapanda
utilization in order to enhance road safety on the country’s road network. Therefore, the MWTC is also investing money in the construction of vehicle and driver testing centres, to ensure safety to lives and proper maintenance of the life-span of roads. The current financial year will see the construction of Vehicle and Driver Testing Centres in Oranjemund and Lüderitz and the upgrading of those in Windhoek, Okahandja, Outjo and Grootfontein.
Government properties worth N$ 18 billion
his resulted from a survey that was undertaken countrywide to compile information and records on government properties. The Ministry has been instructed by Cabinet to enlist the services of an IT expert to set up the Asset Register System which would be linked to the Ministry of Finance to monitor and control the deductions of rentals from civil servants occupying government houses and flats. The Ministry has recorded success in the recovery of government flats and houses from illegal occupants and will leave no stone unturned in further recovering all government properties from illegal hands. The Ministry has been authorized by the Tender Board to purchase the software that is compatible with other systems, to which the Ministry would be linked for integration of the data on properties. The approval was effected, following the recommendation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee of IT experts from the Office of the Prime Minister and line ministries. To start the process in 2007/2008 financial year, the Ministry has made progress to introduce a system through which tenants in the government houses would be charged at new tariffs of N$400,00 (4% of salary)
As a custodian of Government assets, entrusted to manage and be accountable for all the properties of the government around the country, the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication has now taken measures to establish a reliable Fixed Asset Register, This will enable the Ministry to manage Government properties efficiently and to stamp out the current illegal occupation of government houses and flats. to be concluded between the government and the tenant. The agreement will oblige the tenant to care and look after the property, failure of which will result in the eviction of the tenants from the quarters. The Ministry will fight tooth and nail to discourage the deeply rooted habit of illegal transfer of keys between officials. The government owns properties worth a total of 18 billion Namibian dollars and it is a challenge to maintain them with the current annual budget allocation to the MWTC. To reduce this burden, the Cabinet gave directives for some of the properties to be sold out. Through the Housing Alienation Scheme, 579 houses have been sold and earned the government a revenue of N$143 million. Under the “Operation Clean up”, that makes it possible to get rid of redundant, abandoned, disused, worn-out, and damaged items and vehicles, more than N$25 000 000 00 was realized from 70 auctions conducted so far
“Ministry earned N$143 million through alienation of 579 government houses”
for single quarters and N$600,00 (6% of salary for 2 – 3 bedroom house or flat) or 8% of salary for family quarters comprising 4 bedrooms. To be considered for accommodation in a government house or flat, an agreement has
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Youth exposure, experience, capacity building vital for nation building
There is a wise saying that says that the nation without the youth is lacking a future. Equally so, if the nation does not care, protect and prepare its youth for the future then it is lacking continuity. The Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture is responsible for the empowerment, encouragement and support to the youth to ensure their full and effective participation in national development. ut of the total proposed budget, N$205 869 000, for the 2007/2008 financial year, N$173 191 000 is for the operational and N$32 678 000 is for the development projects, with an overall increase of 8.41% on the allocation of the previous financial year. The money for the 2007/2008 financial year, as in the previous year, will be apportioned to various areas of development priority programmes, such as youth development, youth opportunities, sport, arts and culture, in which areas the Ministry is currently boasting achievements. Under the youth volunteerism, the Ministry employed twenty five youth volunteers at Berg Aukas to assist with the debushing of 355 hectares of an agricultural farm and another 34 volunteers were spread all over the thirteen regions, in the last financial year, to participate in different assignments. The programme has helped the volunteers to raise and generate money which they have invested in self-employment activities. The youth involved in programmes of the Ministry are accorded opportunities to join training workshops and seminars where they are being empowered with life skills in areas such as reproductive heath, family planning, HIV testing, pre-testing and post-counseling that affect them in their daily lives.
The youth also receive training in environmental education through awareness workshops and seminars. They are trained on sustainable utilisation of natural resources. Unemployment is a big problem among the youth. To address the problem, the youth are allowed to take part in initiatives that would improve their financial status. Under the programme, Youth Credit Initiative, 732 unemployed youth were trained since the start of the programme in 2005 with 820 of them receiving loans for self-employment initiatives. To find solutions to the unemployment rate among the youth, a pilot programme was designed and implemented in the Oshana, Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions. An amount of N$650 000 was disbursed to the youth, in a form of small loans, to enable them to start up businesses and income-generating projects. As a result, the recipients of these small loans have created employment for between 1500 and 1800 unemployed youth through 379 businesses. The small loans have helped the recipients to
The youth in action
set up businesses ranging from retail shops tailoring to hawkers and mahangu milling. With regard to the success of these pilot initiatives, the programme will be replicated in the Kavango, Kunene and Caprivi regions with effect from the current financial year. The programme is supported financially by the government, Social Security Commission and the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Opportunities are also offered to the youth to participate in business innovations and entrepreneurs in agriculture, fish farming and aquaculture. The exposure, experience and capacity building have made it possible for most of the youth to secure jobs.
Decentralisation roadmap to regional and local development
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ECN allocated N$ 25.7 million for its activities
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computers at thirty-five offices of the 42 recognised traditional authorities. Efforts are being made to provide computers to the remaining 7 traditional authority offices. Training will be provided to these authorities during the 2007/2008 financial year.
The N$4.727 million allocated for voter education will be used to educate voters and to share voter information to increase citizens’ awareness and understanding of the electoral processes and to ensure their participation in these processes. The conducting of countrywide voter education is in line with the election requirements in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to which Namibia also subscribes.
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
Anti-Corruption Commission gets more money
The government’s political will to fight corruption has been demonstrated through the allocation of N$11.258 million to the Anti-Corruption Commission, which represents an increase of N$4.679 million from the previous year. his view was expressed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Libertina Amathila, when she motivated the budget of the AntiCorruption Commission in the National Assembly on 16 April 2007. The budget of the Anti-Corruption Commission is considered separately because of the statutory requirement that its operations should be independent.
In also engaged in the countrywide Anti-Corruption Song Project together with Women’s Action for Development and other corporate partners to raise awareness on corruption and to ensure that the Namibian public reports corrupt practices and strive towards an anticorruption culture nationwide.
In fulfilling its public education function, the Commission addressed several organisations and institutions, In terms of the Anti-Corruption Act, such as the Namibian Employers’ 2003 (Act No 8 of 2003) the two main Federation, the National Institute objectives of the Commission are to for Educational Development, the Adv. Erna Lorrain van der Merwe, Deputy Director and ensure that allegations of corrupt Polytechnic of Namibia, De Beers Mr. Paulus Noa Director of Anti-Corruption Commission practices are properly investigated Marine Namibia (Pty) Ltd and the and to establish and implement Commission recruited some administrative Patrick Iyambo Police College during the measures to prevent corruption. staff and junior investigators. In the current previous financial year. financial year, the Commission will recruit An amount of N$6.755 million has been more staff for its newly approved structure Staff of the Commission also attended allocated to the Anti-Corruption Commission and acquire additional office space to special training in Swaziland and Botswana, to ensure the investigation of allegations accommodate the additional staff. It will while it also received a grant from the United of corruption, while N$4.503 million will be also appoint special investigators to conduct Nations Democracy Fund to strengthen the used to implement measures to prevent special operations and establish one or more capacity of the Anti-Corruption Commission corruption and to conduct public educational offices in the regions. to fulfil its mandate in terms of the enabling campaigns on corruption. legislation. Members of the Commission also In the previous financial year, the attended various meetings of anti-corruption The public education campaigns are Commission embarked on Namibia’s Zero authorities in Austria, the United Kingdom, necessary to enlist public confidence and Tolerance for Corruption campaign together Mauritius, China, Guatemala, Zambia and support in fighting corruption in Namibia. with the Namibia Institute for Democracy. South Africa. During the 2006/07 financial year, the
ECN allocated N$ 25.7 million for its activities
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) received a budget allocation of N$25.709 million for the 2007/08 financial year to hold elections and to conduct voter education. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab motivated the ECN budget in the National Assembly on 17 April 2007. n his budget motivation, the Speaker said that due to financial constraints facing the country, the ECN had submitted a rather conservative budget in the National Assembly. The Electoral Commission will use N$20.982 million for the holding of elections, including by-elections, continuous voter registration, updating of the voters register, computerisation of ECN logistics and local authority elections. Another N$4.727 million will be used for voter education. The holding of regular elections in accordance with the Electoral Act, (Act No 24 of 1992) is the main programme of the ECN to ensure good governance and concretise democracy. The budget provides for the holding of by-elections in the event of the
updating of the registers of both national and local authorities is also important to ensure that they contain reliable and correct information. The computerisation of the ECN logistics will enable the Commission to keep track of all election material, while also indicating when replacement of material is necessary. The ECN will also spend N$6 million to buy electronic voting machines (EVMs) to be used during future Presidential, National Assembly and Regional Councils elections. More EVMs will be purchased in the next financial year. It is envisaged that the EVMs will speed up the voting process and the determination of results, thus greatly improving the electoral process in Namibia.
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Voting, People exercising their demoratic rights
resignation or death of a member of a regional council. Continuous voter registration also takes place to capture information on persons who have turned 18 and those who have changed their names or relocated from one constituency to another. The continuous
Government Information Bulletin June 2007
National Assembly hosts children’s model Parliament
“Learning is a continuous process and it is imperative that we should harness, nurture, support and develop provision of knowledge by utilising best practices from others”, Dr. Gurirab said on the holding of the Children’s Model Parliament. According to Dr. Gurirab, the N$68.425 million allocated to the National Assembly will be used to implement the Assembly’s programmes on the enhancement of the Parliamentary Process and the Consolidation of Democracy. An amount of N$1.098 million on the Assembly’s capital budget will be used to make the parliament building and its facilities accessible for members of the public, especially people living with disabilities. Under the enhancement of the Parliamentary process, the National Assembly will oversee the administration of the House and carry out its activities at the national, regional and international levels. It will also ensure the enactment of legislation, facilitate the work of Portfolio Parliamentary Committees, promote regular consultations between Parliament and other branches of the State and intensify Parliament’s outreach programmes throughout the country. The overall goal of the programme on the Consolidation of Democracy is to facilitate the work of members of the National Assembly when they consider policy objectives and public interest. This is done by organising and coordinating all activities relating to the sessions of the National Assembly and its Portfolio Committees, and other events, ensuring also that the public is well informed. According to Article 63 of the Namibian Constitution, the primary task of Parliament is to enact laws to ensure peace, order and good governance. During the previous financial year, the approved budget for the National Assembly turned out to be inadequate on account
The National Assembly has created a platform for children. The Children’s Model Parliament session took place from 13 - 19 May 2007 in Windhoek. The platform is aimed at exposing today’s children to the workings of parliament for tomorrow’s world leadership. Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly, first made the announcement when he motivated the National Assembly budget on 17 April 2007 and opened the session on 14 May 2007. of the ever increasing requirements of Parliamentary oversight, electoral observer missions and voter education in the region. The work of Parliamentary Portfolio Committees has increased significantly, while the number of motions referred to Parliamentary Portfolio Committees has also increased. This resulted in resources being exhausted before the end of the financial year. Its active involvement in regional parliamentary relationships, such as the SADC Parliamentary Forum, the Pan African Parliament, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and ACP-EU also put strain on the budgetary resources of the National Assembly. The National Assembly’s ICT infrastructure, which hosts the Parliament website dates back to 2001 and has come close to its capacity. Resources are needed to replace the current platform.
National Council to strengthen democracy
To enhance Parliamentary processes and strengthen Parliamentary democracy, the National Council has been allocated N$31.627 million for the 2007/08 financial year.
nder its programme to enhance Parliamentary processes, the National Council will use N$15.431 million to get quality input from the public into the law making process and to improve the quality of parliamentary debates in the Chamber. The programme includes the acquisition of recording equipment for the timely production of the Hansard, Parliamentary reports and minutes of proceedings with the ultimate aim to ensure the timely passage of Bills that are brought before the National Council for review. Under this programme, research, information and technical support will be given to members of the National Council to ensure their debates are informed. The programme will also allow Council members to attend to international and regional obligations, such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Inter Parliamentary Union and the Pan African Parliament. The programme will also allow for the availability of National Council debates
in sign language and the printing of the Hansard in Braille. To create awareness and generate public interest in the National Council activities, the Council embarked on a programme to strengthen Parliamentary democracy. An amount of N$16.196 million has been approved to among others facilitates public participation in the law making process through public hearings on Bills by Standing or Ad Hoc Committees. The public is, furthermore, educated on the work of the National Council, while awareness is also raised on the dangers posed by HIV/AIDS as part of the Council’s national response to this pandemic. The distribution of Parliamentary publications, the mobile training unit, conducting of Parliamentary tours and participating in trade fairs are also used as tools to strengthen Parliamentary democracy. The National Council aims to enhance the capacity of its members to effectively review
Bills referred to it by the National Assembly. It also strives to increase the public’s interest and participation in Parliamentary activities and to improve interaction between the National Council and Regional Councils. In the 2006/2007 financial year, the National Council reviewed the Appropriation Bill, the Local Authorities Fire Brigade Service Bill, the Additional Appropriation Bill, the Biosafety Bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill and the Financial Intelligence Bill. The National Council also considered the Report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security on the Combating of the Abuse of Drugs Bill and subsequently passed the Bill with amendments as recommended by the Committee in its Report. Human capacity building also received attention and National Council members attended a Legislative Training Workshop and computer training and participated in various regional and international training workshops.