By Catherine Sasman
The Finnish Embassy has come out in support of the Namibia Institute for Democracy (NiD) Civil Society Support Programme for a period of one year to the tune of N$2.2 million.
Director of NiD Theunis Keulder said the funding would be used to continue the organisation’s ongoing programme to strengthen the advocacy and organisational capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs), aimed at equipping them on policy, legislative and developmental issues.
“The planned activities represent a continuation of the NiD’s current USAID-funded programme through which Parliament’s legislative outreach capacity was supported by way of technical assistance and training, and a network of 65 mainly rural based CSOs were assisted with capacity skills training to engage Parliament on public matters,” Keulder said.
Part of the programme involves 750 representatives from civil society trained in advocacy skills during 32 workshops.
He said the programme was built on the premise that citizen participation in elaborating and adopting public decisions is an essential condition for democracy building.
The Finnish Embassy has been supporting democracy programmes of the NiD since 2005, previously granted to the three-year Zero Tolerance for Corruption campaign that runs until 2009.
“Finland’s development policy is based on the universal nature of human rights. The emphasis is on sustainable development which depends on stability and security, progress towards democratic governance based on the rule of law, the consolidation of human rights – especially the rights of women – and support for the civil society,” said Charg??????’??