By Petronella Sibeene
Completion of the third National Development Plan (NDP3), the blueprint that is supposed to give economic direction for the country, has been delayed.
The official launch of NDP3 will now only take place next year.
In an interview with New Era, Director of Development Planning at the National Planning Commission Secretariat, Sylvia Demas, said NDP3 is the first plan where an attempt has been made to illustrate practical links between medium- and long-term development planning.
Work on NDP3 started in mid-2006 and the launch was expected in August this year.
However, the introduction of new strategies on the planning approach involving linking activities and programmes to Vision 2030’s key target areas demanded that thematic groups understand the new strategy. Thematic working groups comprise representatives of the stakeholders that design the programmes and activities to achieve the NDP3 goals.
Because of the new approach, the secretariat thus engaged stakeholders in sensitisation and training activities.
Demas said there was also need for an integrated result-based management approach where institutions working on related programmes were expected to come together to avoid duplication and resource wastage.
The 10 thematic working groups subsequently delayed in submitting their drafts citing lack of cooperation among participating members and lack of understanding of the process.
“We were expecting all groups to submit all drafts by the end of May 2007 but the first group only submitted towards the end of June,” said Demas.
These factors, she said, resulted in a delayed process of drafting and finalising the document.
The draft guidelines for the formulation of NDP3 were prepared last year, and approved by Cabinet in December.
Despite the delays, the director said the compilation of a draft document of
NDP3 has reached an advanced stage.
The National Planning Commission is preparing for a national consultative conference to take place before month-end. The conference would scrutinize the document before it is submitted to the President Hifikepunye Pohamba through Cabinet.
Namibia’s Vision 2030 sees national development plans as the main vehicles for achieving its objectives. The medium-term development plans enable stakeholders to monitor how the country is performing and strives to achieve the objectives stipulated in the Vision 2030 blueprint.
NDP3’s theme is “Accelerated Economic Growth through Deepening Rural Development.”
The National Planning Commission is coordinating the preparation of the Third National Development Plan (NDP3), which will cover period 2007/08 to 2011/12.
The broad thrusts and goals of NDP3 derive from Vision 2030, the 2004 Swapo Party Manifesto, directives from the November 2005 Cabinet Retreat, the Millennium Declarations (including the MDGs), and lessons learnt from implementing NDP2.
Demas described NDP2 as having yielded mixed results. She said in the area of economic development, the target was 4.3 percent but the outcome was 4.5 percent.
With regard to poverty reduction, there was a reduction of 10 percent while extreme poverty was reduced from nine percent to four percent.
“We have seen problems in the area of unemployment that moved from 32 percent to 37 percent,” she revealed.
There has also been a slight increase in the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS. When NDP2 was introduced, the prevalence rate stood at 20 percent and in 2004 dropped to 19.7 percent, and then rose again in 2006 to 19.9 percent.
“These are the major worrying areas in terms of performance,” she said.
Tertiary industries and secondary industries performed well while primary industries performed poorly.
The poor performance had negative effects on employment creation.
Participating stakeholders working on NDP3 hail from the public sector, civic organisations, the private sector, international development partner institutions, and the general public.