By Hilary Mare
FOLLOWING the last Intergovernmental Negotiations on Development Cooperation between Namibia and Germany, Tom Alweendo, Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission and Christian Matthias Schlaga, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany have signed a financial and a technical cooperation agreement between Germany and Namibia totalling 71.9 million Euro( N$1.1billion).
At said negotiations in October 2015 both governments agreed to continue the successful cooperation in the three focal areas of management of natural resources, sustainable economic development and transport/logistics. The importance of skilled labour for development was emphasised by all partners and is treated as a crosscutting issue in all focal areas, through support to vocational education and training as well as higher education.
Tom Alweendo emphasised that the focal areas of the cooperation are to support the Namibian Government in its efforts to reduce poverty and unemployment, to improve the population’s overall living conditions and to strengthen the country’s infrastructure, as well as to foster economic development. He said that all of Germany’s support is fully aligned to the Harambee Prosperity Plan and to Namibia’s national development plans. Ambassador Schlaga reiterated Germany’s commitment to remain a reliable partner despite Namibia’s status as an upper-middle income country. The agreements include grants of 30 million Euro for projects to be financed through the German Development Bank (KfW). Individual projects to be funded include the extension and maintenance of the Namibian road system as well as infrastructure support to the extension of the Unam campuses in Ongwediva and Katima Mulilo. A new project will improve solid waste management in Namibia’s protected areas. Additional funding was provided for the finalisation of the ongoing projects of the Namibia-German Special Initiative. The project will officially be closed at the end of the year.
A total of 39.9 million Euro will be implemented through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) for programmes such as the Promotion of Vocational Education and Training, Support to Land Reform, Sustainable Use of Namibia’s Mineral Potential, Strengthening of Institutional and Management Capacity of the Road Sector, Biodiversity Management and Climate Change, Groundwater Management in Northern Namibia and Support to Conservancies.
Due to the historic connection between Namibia and Germany, their partnership has remained close and constructive ever since Namibia became independent in 1990. Development cooperation is a key factor in this partnership and Germany is Namibia’s largest bilateral development partner.
The next bilateral Negotiations on Development Cooperation are envisaged to take place in Namibia in 2017.
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