… As education, agriculture projects get N$1bn each
By Business Reporter
THE Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) this week approved funding for the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (NAMSIP) and the Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) program, to the tune of N$1 billion each.
The funding is part of Namibia’s N$10 billion AfDB loan, to finance its budget deficit and infrastructure projects.
The NAMSIP was approved by the AfDB board on Monday in Abidjan, and aims to enhance agricultural productivity, in order to reduce the annual importation of staple cereal crops/grains.
It also aims to facilitate job creation and enhance household incomes, which will improve the lives of rural people.
The project’s two key components comprise value chain improvement, with agricultural mechanisation and certified seed systems as sub-components, and institutional support, through capacity building, and project management.
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry over a period of five years, in all 14 administrative regions of Namibia.
It will directly benefit 294 500 crop farmers, and 10 000 livestock farmers. In addition, the project will fully support 111 smallholder farmer cooperatives and indirectly benefit about 800 000 people, along the cereal crops and livestock value chains.
The project is estimated to cost N$1.42 billion.
The AfDB loan will finance 70.5 percent of the total project cost, while the government and the beneficiaries will contribute the remaining 25.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
The project is aligned to the bank’s High-5 priorities of Feed Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa; the Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022); the Namibia Country Strategy Paper (CSP: 2014-2018) and the Gender Strategy (2014-2018).
The project is also in line with Namibia’s Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the Growth at Home strategy for industrialisation, which identify agriculture as a priority area with enormous potential to contribute to economic progression, social transformation and environmental sustainability. The TVET program is designed to deliver an efficient effective and sustainable TVET system in Namibia, which is aligned with the current and future skills needs of the labour market. Specifically, the project will help to increase access to equitable and quality TVET training and basic education in the country.
It will also support the development of basic education and TVET infrastructure in 11 regions, and strengthen the TVET and basic education systems, through institutional capacity building. On completion, the project will help reduce youth unemployment, estimated at 34 percent (2016).
The project will enable the government to reduce poverty and youth unemployment, which are national goals specified in Harambee Prosperity Plan, NDP5, the Strategic Plan for the Basic Education Sector (2017-2022), and the TVET Transformation and Expansion Strategy (2016-2032).
It is aligned to the AfDB Country Strategy Paper (2014-2018) – Private sector development through skills development and improving the regulatory environment necessary to drive the transformation of the Namibian economy.
The project will be implemented in 60 months with the N$1 billion AfDB loan and counterpart contribution, estimated at N$300 million, from the Namibian government.
Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein highlighted in May that the N$10 billion AfDB loan would be distributed over a two-year period with N$6 billion allocated for budget support, while N$4 billion will be used to finance infrastructure in sectors such as transport and renewable energy.
Prior to this, the AfDB had in recent months approved a N$3 billion loan to finance the Namibia Economic Governance and Competitiveness Support Programme (EGCSP).
The loan injection is the bank’s maiden policy-based operation in Namibia.
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