Namibia a Good Candidate for Peer Review

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By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK Namibia has adopted most of the standards and codes required by NEPAD, a recent study by NEPRU on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) for Namibia revealed. According to the findings of the study, Namibia has in addition a myriad of policies, regulations and institutions in place to promote the goals of NEPAD. “Therefore, on the level of policies and frameworks that support development goals, Namibia should score well if it were to accede to the APRM,” the report states. “One impact of the existing policies and framework is the stable, political environment that Namibia enjoys, and favourable macro-economy that it has created. Therefore, Namibia should also score well on this measure if it were to accede to the APRM,” it states. APRM is a self-monitoring mechanism voluntarily acceded to by member states of the African Union (AU). Its aim is to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that will lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated regional and economic integration. By November 2004, only 23 out of 53 members states had signed up to the APRM and only three of the 23 were in the process of being reviewed. This independent study by NEPRU, funded by the Hans Seidel Foundation, focussed on four areas of the APRM, namely, democracy and good political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic governance. “If Namibia is to accede to APRM, it will have a rather positive assessment. Acceding to APRM would help to advertise Namibia to development partners and investors,” Maria Deen Swarray, a researcher at NEPRU said at the launch of the report. She reminded delegates that the study was not an official NEPAD mandated exercise, but a preliminary assessment carried out purely to inform the Government on how they may potentially fare, if they were to accede and subject themselves to a more formal review. 1She added that should Namibia accede to APRM, the latter would also assist the Government in strengthening the capacity to implement those principles of good political, economic and corporate governance, which the country has subscribed to. Swarray said Namibia’s challenge was unique on the African continent and shared only by South Africa. Despite its abundant resources and policies and institutions, its challenge is to ensure broad-based economic growth while attempting to address inequalities created by apartheid rule in a peaceful and non-disruptive manner. “One key area that comes across in all the four focus areas is that of a lack of adequate objective information to assess the impact of the many policies and frameworks.” In his acceptance statement of the report, Foreign Affairs Minister Marco Hausiku remarked that the study was a good beginning and that Government would take the discussions of the study very seriously. It will cost Namibia N$600 000 to subscribe to the APRM.

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