By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK Namibia is soon to establish a training institute that would serve as an important vehicle in the successful implementation of its Public Service Charter. The Charter is seen as a starting point for Government to make efforts in the improvement of workplaces through committed visionary leadership and innovation in order to meet the challenges of economic growth, alleviate the debt burden, narrow the skills gap, and address HIV/AIDS, amongst other things facing governments in Africa. During a regional conference on the Implementation of the Charter for the Public Service in Africa in October last year, Steve Katjiuanjo, Deputy Secretary to Cabinet, told delegates that Namibia has decided to start an institute that would train public servants as part of its efforts to implement the Charter. He said this was the best way for Government to train its employees as courses offered at tertiary institutions such as the University of Namibia and the Polytechnic were not exclusive enough for public servants, therefore the need to come up with a training institution tailored only to meet the needs of public servants. Last Friday, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Netumbo Nandi-Ndait-wah announced that Cabinet has finally approved the establishment of this institution, the Namibian Institute of Public Management and Administration (NIPMA). A budget of N$44,9 million has been availed to the Office of the Prime Minister for the construction of the building to house the institute. Nandi-Ndaitwah further announced that to demonstrate Government’s commitment to human capacity building, Cabinet availed N$2 million in 2005 to train 323 unemployed youth in ICT to empower them with skills needed by a knowledge-based economy as envisaged in Vision 2030. “The ICT training for unemployed youth will continue until 5 percent of Namibia’s people acquire some form of recognised ICT qualification. The Development Fund of the Social Security Commission is financing the training,” she stated. Among the many pro-grammes to be offered by NIPMA, there is no doubt that customer service training and performance management training will be part of its programmes as they are integral to the Public Service Charter’s objective of an effective and efficient public service.