UNDP Administrator offers support
An administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark assured Namibia of her organization’s strong support to the country.
“Namibia is a well-governed nation” Clark said. “We align our focus with the Fourth National Development Plan and we trust the country can get more value for its very important industries, and maximize the benefits for its population. Namibia continues to grapple with poverty in some parts, the challenges posed by its upper-middle income status, and the current drought which has a devastating impact on cattle and wild life, and threatens the livelihoods of many communities.”
The United Nations Development Chief discussed Namibia’s vision to bridge livelihood gaps to create income balance with senior government officials. She further drew attention to the allocation and utilization of natural resources for a more diversified economy with H.E President Pohamba, who said “our upper-middle income status is not cognizant of the country’s historical background and its unique circumstances, exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Currently, almost half of our 2 million population is affected by the drought.”
At a meeting earlier this week with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Theo Ben-Gurirab, Clark discussed the need to emphasize local value in job creation and natural resources allocation, to utilize extractive resources for a more diversified economy geared towards human development and the attainment of demographic dividends.
During a cluster ministerial working session, Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob emphasized the President’s position on the classification of Namibia as an “upper-middle income” country, stating that the justification on economic merit does not address the deep rooted income disparities among the population. The cluster meeting was held to discuss Namibia’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), STGs and the Post 2015 Development Agenda. “Namibia’s voice in the Post 2015 Global Dialogue needs to be heard, and the country needs to be supported in fulfilling its objectives as outlined in its Fourth National Development Plan 4,” Clark said. The UNDP Administrator applauded the Government of the Republic of Namibia for fostering a peaceful environment and focusing on areas where it can sustain economic growth and wealth distribution, such as the fisheries industry.
Clark met officials of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism on Thursday and traveled to the Erongo Region for a meeting with the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) in Swakopmund. The Commission serves as a vehicle for SADC countries Angola, Namibia and South Africa to jointly and sustainably manage the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). This initiative is supported by UNDP to promote trans-border and South-South collaboration in the conservation and management of natural resources, through ocean governance policy, and the environmental aspects of marine mining.