30 Nov 2006
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By Wezi Tjaronda
Human and financial resources, the lack of them, remain the main challenge for the government in its drive to implement key policies, programmes and activities.
Cabinet, which met for two days this week during which it reviewed 47 projects, noted that even though good progress has been made, "certain areas need serious and speedy attention to ensure the nation's overall development".
The meeting found that the lack of appropriately trained and skilled human resources across government institutions and the lack of resources to implement programmes and projects were two of the main problems.
At the start of the meeting on Monday, President Hifikepunye Pohamba expressed concern about good initiatives that were not seen through to the implementation phase.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, told the press yesterday the government will have to adopt strategies to expand the economy for it to generate resources needed for development.
Cabinet agreed to establish an institute called the Namibia Institute of Public Service Administration and Management (NIPAM), which will engage in bilateral and multilateral negotiations not only to improve the existing human capacity but also to build additional human resources. The meeting also greed to formulate a strategic framework for attracting and retaining appropriately skilled and trained human resources in the public service.
Nandi-Ndaitwah noted that people were always leaving the public sector, which was good as long as they remained within Namibia.
As measures to ensure that government programmes are implemented, Cabinet will also finalise strategic plans for all government institutions to enable them to link ministerial objectives with the annual budget and to monitor policy outcomes and strengthen coordination and consultation.
The review was marked by presentations on the important programmes of public institutions focusing on its implementation status, challenges, impact on employment creation and poverty alleviation.
The 47 programmes that were presented by members of the Cabinet to the President covered the four cluster areas of politics and governance, financial and economical issues, social issues, and defence and security. Among the focal issues were the finalisation of the Anti-Corruption, State Owned Enterprise Governance Acts, the performance management system, rural development, administration of justice, trade promotion and facilitation, the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP), upgrading the northern railway extension, domestic and foreign direct investment promotion, domestic market competitiveness and the Millennium Challenge Account.
The review meeting also expressed the need to find a balance between the social and economic sectors, Nandi-Ndaitwah said, noting that while the social sectors which include sanitation, housing, education and others have received a lot of attention, the economy also needs attention for it to generate resources and create employment opportunities.
The government will also have to improve coordination by looking at the government in totality and not just focusing on sectors.
"There was consensus in the meeting that there is still a lack of sustained coordination and cooperation between the implementing ministries and key stakeholders and beneficiaries," she noted.