The Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) through the National Planning Commission (NPC) touched the hearts of 52 members of the San families in the Aminuis district by donating 175 head of prized cattle to help ease poverty.
The handover ceremony took place recently at Corridor 13 settlement auction pens in Aminuis Constituency.
A thorough analysis of the grazing assessment combined with livestock training for the beneficiaries was provided before the handover.
This livestock distribution is one component of the NGSIP that is aimed at developing community-driven projects in rural areas.
At a special ceremony, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Frans Kapofi, and his delegation were welcomed at Corridor 13 by cheering and ululating San, clad in a mixture of traditional and Western attire.
Aminuis Constituency is a cluster of small settlements in the remote eastern part of the Omaheke Region, located about 500km east of Windhoek. Aminuis is the district capital of the constituency.
“This morning we witness yet another practical step taken by our government and the German government to combat poverty and empower our communities,” Kapofi said.
Kapofi said although the Namibian government has declared an all-out war against poverty, popular participation remains a key imperative in the collective efforts to bring about social prosperity and sustainable livelihood for those at the periphery.
The minister warned the beneficiaries to refrain from selling or disposing of the livestock without the due processes having been followed.
“I urged the members of the communities and the veterinary department to keep a close eye on the livestock and to give technical advice to the beneficiaries in support of this worthy undertaking,” stressed the presidential affairs minister.
He also advised them not to fight over the donated livestock.
Most of the beneficiaries were present, and they walked away with their livestock after signing a soft contract with the !Xoo San Technical Committee.
According to the Deputy Minister of Economic and National Planning, Lucia Iipumbu, an assessment done by the NGSIP on the projects indicates that there is potential for farmers to reap the benefits as envisaged.
“This is but one project among many that attests to the importance of the bilateral cooperation we have with the government of Germany,” said Iipumbu.
Iipumbu further thanked the German government for the assistance rendered to date through various projects under NGSIP.
“The GRN is committed to making sure that such assistance is put to good use in an effort to make a difference in the livelihoods of the community members in the regions aforementioned, social and economic living conditions of the Namibian populace and any other challenges being faced by our country,” she said.
The event was also attended by Annegret Al-Janabi, the Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
She expressed her wish that Namibians and Germans “together find a common language of remembrance and a way forward to shape a Namibian-German future in dignity and cooperation”.
Al-Janabi went on to say: “The project we are here to witness at Corridor 13 in the Aminuis Constituency is one of many NGSIP projects that have been selected to benefit members of Namibia’s San community.”
“I hope that it is through projects and events like this that Namibia’s rural communities will be supported,” Al-Janabi added.
Councillor of the Aminuis Constituency, Erwin Uanguta, said NGSIP’s support to the constituency should be seen as an effort to bring development closer to the people.
“I would like to see a scenario where the recipients of this generous assistance utilize it as a stepping stone for the betterment of their livelihood in order to break the shackles of poverty that confront us in Aminuis,” he said.
Beneficiaries were reminded about the contract they all signed with NGSIP. In terms of the contract, the cattle are part of a revolving scheme, whereby each beneficiary is required to pass on at least one offspring to the next beneficiary to sustain the programme.
According to Uanguta, NGSIP provided 330 goats to the same community in the past.
At the same occasion, an Aminuis stud breeder, Nichklas Mbingeneeko, donated a young Boer goat ram from his Skuilhoek stud farm to Chief Henrik Martin. Chief Martin is the designated person to succeed late Chief Sophia Jacobs, who passed away earlier this year.
“If you empower the chief, ultimately we empower his followers too,” Mbingeneeko said.
According to the NGSIP programme manager, Matthew /Goagoseb, this is not the first time NGSIP donated livestock to the San community. San communities at Skoonheid, and in the Corridors have already benefitted from the livestock revolving project.
“Moreover, those in Otjinene, Gam and Eiseb Block are still to benefit soon,” he confirmed.
Background information on NGSIP
NGSIP was conceptualized and designed by the Government of the Republic of Namibia in 2006 by the then deputy prime minister, Dr Libertina Amadhila. Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba instructed Amadhila to consult communities that had suffered during the German colonial period on how best to utilize a sum of 20 million euros, which the German government had granted towards a special initiative for improving the social and economic living conditions of those communities.
The amount was later topped up to 31 million euros.
The result was a uniquely participatory rural development programme with more than 200 small-scale projects identified and managed by the selected communities. These communities are among the most disadvantaged in the country in terms of access to economic and social welfare resources.
They are located in 24 constituencies of the seven regions of Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa. Communities were able to select projects in any economic and social development sector, according to their own assessment of priorities.
The implementation of the NGSIP is undertaken by the National Planning Commission (NPC), which has formed a programme management team for this purpose.
The German development bank KfW finances the programme on behalf of the German government. In addition, the Namibia Planning Commission selected technical advisors that were charged with the preparation and implementation process of the projects.