Joint Country Strategy Launched

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By Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK

Namibia received N$1.05 billion in aid under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) agreed to at the Africa-European Union Summit in Lisbon last December.

At the launch of the joint Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme for Namibia (CSP/NIP) for 2008 to 2013, Dr Elisabeth Pape of the European Commission said last week that the aid offered was aligned closely with the Namibian Government’s NDP3 [National Development Plan 3], as well as the education sector ETSIP (Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme). The ETSIP programme received 42.15 million euro.

The CSP sets out the EU cooperation objectives, and the NIP defines the Europe Community (EC) support in more detail. Both are a result of joint consultative and participatory efforts by the National Planning Commission and contributors from the non-governmental sector.

The EC said poverty reduction is the overarching goal with the funding. Hence, rural development projects stand to receive support.

Such projects are particularly rural economic activities to benefit from improved market access to regional markets and the EU under the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement, said the EC.

Moreover, funding is also anticipated to go towards land reform, rural water supply, sanitation and road construction. These areas received 45.20 million euro.

Support to human resource development is also envisaged to increase the supply of middle- and high-level skilled labour.

Fifteen percent of the EDF funding is earmarked for “non-focal areas”, which totals 15.65 million euro. This involves civil service efficiency (9 million euro), and areas related to the priority sectors and Namibia’s governance/democratisation agenda (5 million euro).

Pape said the 27 EU members have contributed 22.7 billion euro to the 10th EDF.

She said it is the EC’s aim to significantly increase the share of aid delivered directly to the Namibian Government’s budget.

This, she said, was for “improved effectiveness and efficiency in the use of public funds”, which justifies the use of budget support in the implementation of the EC programmes “rather than an absolute performance level”.

Pape said the EU is committed to strong support for “rapid, ambitious and pro-poor completion” of the Doha Development Round and the EU-ACP [Africa, Caribbean and Pacific] EPAs.

Former Director General of the NPC, Helmut Angula, said the Government still requires substantive external resources to address the pressing challenges of the country.

He said the 8th meeting of the ACP National and Regional Authorising Officers – which took place in January – advised the EU to amend Annex IV of the Cotonou Agreement that deals with general regulations for services, supply and works contracts.

Angula said there was an indication that this is a priority to EU rules.

“This concerns us since it moves away from the Paris Declaration that promotes ownership and using as far as possible the country’s own systems and procedures,” said Angula.

1 euro = N$12.32

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