Consultative meeting on the finalization of the Draft White Paper for marginalized communities held
By Linda Machinga
Thirty-eight representatives from the San and Ovatue communities and 27 government ministry representatives met last week for discussions and preliminary validation of a draft White Paper for Marginalized Communities in the country.
This fourth and final round of consultation regarding the draft policy guidance, entitled the “White Paper on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Namibia”, follows on from a similar workshop in Windhoek in April 2017, regional consultations in September and October 2017, and a government workshop in Windhoek in April 2018.
The process is led by the Office of the Vice President, Division Marginalized Communities, with support and co-financing from the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs.
The overall aim of the draft policy guidance are to strengthen institutional frameworks, improve coordination and ensure effective consultation, participation and representation for San and Ovatue communities.
The white paper also makes policy and implementation recommendations regarding: improving access to land and ensure secure land tenure; equal access to quality education and promoting languages; respect for cultures and traditional knowledge; improving health outcomes, gender equality, food security and access to employment.
Following the preliminary validation by government and community representatives, a final draft of the document will be presented shortly for submission to the Ministry of Justice and Cabinet for review.