The House of Democracy situated in Frans Indongo Street, Windhoek-West provides facilities to House partners and external organisations in order to meet, discuss current social, economic, political and environmental issues and to organise joint initiatives and events. The Economist posted questions to them to find out more about the work they do.
The House said that their goal is to bring together some of Namibia’s dynamic civil society organisations with complementary mandates in the field of democracy and good governance. They emphasised that their main goal for 2015 is to make use of these synergies amongst the House partners and their networks in the Namibian government, the business world, civil society and the media in order to initiate high quality discourse, to develop relevant publications, and to host training events fostering democracy and good governance in Namibia.
The House also emphasised that the implementation of numerous successful joint initiatives that took place in 2015 speak of the success of the House of Democracy. The House hosts a variety of civil society organisations, the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN), the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), the Insight Namibia Magazine and the Namibian Institute for Democracy (NID) as well as its host/landlord the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
The House of Democracy emphasised that what they love most about being under one roof is that they can exchange ideas and identify synergies quite naturally. They added that this is a unique mix that adds value to their work and that their impact is not only seen within the house but through interaction they learn from each other.
House of Democracy encourages the public to visit their offices and talk to them to see what the different partners have on offer, or to pick up one of the partner’s publications, or to visit their partner’s websites and social media channels. They also organise trainings and events open to the public, and some of these initiatives take place outside of Windhoek.
One of their major obstacles is that they are still a young project, but one of the next steps for them is to communicate even stronger on why they exist and what they do in order to give Namibian civil society a stronger democratic voice.
The House of Democracy is one year old and they are confident that they are slowly but surely establishing themselves as a working and meeting place for people who care about the future of democracy and the Namibian Society.