By Irene !Hoaes
The Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, says it is imperative that citizens participate in development efforts in order to ensure that public services and projects are implemented in response to locally defined needs.
Ekandjo made the remarks at a seminar on Initiating Decentralised Cooperation Partnerships between Namibian and French Regional Councils, yesterday in Windhoek.
The seminar is aimed at sharing a common understanding of regional decentralization reforms in France and Namibia, and to facilitate the building of personal relationships between elected councillors from the two countries.
The one-day seminar is also to share issues, expectations, potential constraints and key factors of success for the establishment of cooperation partnerships.
“Decentralisation is also about making local leaders responsive and accountable for the services to be delivered and the resources used to implement these services,” Ekandjo told the gathering consisting of French representatives and Namibian regional council representatives.
Ekandjo said decentralisation is about empowering people to improve their living conditions.
The minister however noted that this can only be achieved if participation of communities are maximized in planning for development, decision-making and the running of government affairs that affect their lives on a daily basis.
“I therefore expect that through innovative partnerships with outside regional governments, our regional councils will get opportunities to develop and implement tangible development programmes for the benefit of our communities,” Ekandjo said.
The French Ambassador to Namibia, Phillipe Bossi?