Good Governance: Part 1
Windhoek-The Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), which was launched earlier this year by President Geingob is the 5th NDP in the series of a total of seven National Development Plans that are to implement and achieve the objectives and aspirations of Namibia’s long-term vision, Vision 2030. In sequence, NDP5 will be the fifth five-year implementation vehicle towards Vision 2030 and will be implemented from the financial year 2017/18 up until 2021/22.
The NDP5 framework is organised around the four interconnected pillars that are founded on the principle of sustainable development namely: economic progression; social transformation; environmental sustainability; and good governance. These pillars are aligned with Namibia’s commitment to eradicate poverty and inequality as outlined in Vision 2030, the Harambee Prosperity Plan (2016), and the SWAPO Party Manifesto (2014). Additionally, the pillars support the global and continental development frameworks to which Namibia is committed. These include Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Paris Agreement (CoP21); African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).
Within these contexts, Namibia commits itself to enhancing growth and economic diversification while addressing challenges that include a high degree of regulation and a mismatch between the skill levels in Namibia’s work force and the skills demanded by the labour market.
NDP5 identifies five game changers that will move Namibia from a reactive, input-based economy towards a proactive, high performing economy. The game changers are; Increase investment in infrastructure development; Increase productivity in agriculture, especially for smallholder farmers; Invest in quality technical skills development; Improve value addition in natural resources; Achieve industrial development through Local Procurement.
Good governance, responsive institutions and an engaged citizenry are the bedrock of democracy and sustainable development. Namibia’s economic, social and environmental future rests on its ability to put people at the centre of decision making. This is why ‘Working Together Towards Prosperity’ is the theme of NDP5.
Peace, Security and Rule of Law
Where We Are
Over the last 26 years, the country has maintained peace, stability and rule of law. All elections were declared free and fair. The 2016 Global Peace Index ranked Namibia 55 out of 163 countries in the world. Namibia ranked eighth out of 44 nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, and second among the five nations in the South African Customs Union. In terms of rule of law, Namibia’s score has improved on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance from a score of 81 in 2012 to a score of 83.9 in 2016. This places it as the nation with the 5th highest score in good governance out of 54 African nations.
By 2022, Namibia continue to be safe, secure, peaceful and upholding the rule of law
Low case docket clearance rate leading to an increase of backlog of criminal cases due to lack of infrastructure and limited stakeholder’s relation management and lack of experienced legal professionals. Further, there are inadequate offender and victim rehabilitation programs leading to high rate of re-offending. Illegal migration and border crossing leading to unregulated immigration could open up the country to transnational organized crime, increased cross border crimes, transboundary diseases for animals and other epidemics for humans. It could also deprive the country of revenue through unpaid customs duties and related charges.
Accountability and Transparency
Where We Are
Namibia conducts free, timely and fair elections and has a free press. The international organization Freedom House awarded Namibia the status of “free” with a score of 77 out of 100 on the 2016 Freedom on the World Index. Namibia is recognized as the third most transparent country in Africa and ranks 53 out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index. Nevertheless, there is a perception among many citizens of government corruption. In 2015, 65% of Namibians surveyed expressed the opinion that the government was doing badly in fighting corruption, while 34% felt that the government was doing well.
By 2022, Namibia is the most transparent and accountable nation in Africa.
High corruption prevalence perception resulting from inadequate responses to high corruption cases which could lead to diversion of developmental resources, and poor service delivery. Furthermore, there is voter apathy resulting from inadequate voter education, and poor service delivery.
Public Service Performance and Service Delivery
Where We Are
Public services are managed to a high degree through the central government which is suboptimal for speed and accuracy of service delivery. Public service performance is most efficient when individual departments and local authorities have the autonomy to operate nimbly and responsively to public service needs. Therefore, a certain amount of decentralization is required for optimal public service delivery. Effective decentralisation enables the devolution of functions from central government to Regional and/or Local Authority (LA). It is designed to enhance participatory democracy; sustainable development; and the capacity of regional and local government councils to manage and monitor delivery of services for their constituents.
By 2022, Namibia has improved service delivery to the satisfaction of citizens.
Slow pace of the decentralization process, which could be attributed to limited understanding and appreciation of the process and its benefits mostly among the affected staff members and Ministries; as well as inadequate support infrastructure at the regional level. Limited understanding of how to achieve decentralization and therefore limited support for it.
Collaboration among departments is weak resulting in many decisions being escalated to the level of Cabinet committees which makes resolution of issues unacceptably slow and needlessly bureaucratic.
Where We Are
The state of statistics as measured by the World Bank Statistical Capacity Indicator, has not improved since 2005. According to the World Bank Statistical Capacity Indicator, Namibia’s average score for the past 13 years was 55.1% with the minimum of 47.8% in 2015 and maximum of 58.9% in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2016. Not only is the Namibia score on the World Bank Statistical Capacity Indicator low and lower than the average score for Sub-Saharan Africa but has been declining over the period. This low score is largely due to inadequate development of administrative data in sectors. Such national state of affairs does not augur well for informing evidence based policy, planning, decision-making, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of national development plans, programmes and projects at every level.
By 2022, Namibia has an integrated statistical system providing quality and sound data and statistics for national development.
There is a general society-wide phobia for data (low levels of numeracy) that limit data usage among planners, decision-makers, and legislators. Furthermore, inadequate infrastructure and resources for statistical production affects timely production of statistics. There is further limited usage of administrative data as they do not meet the requirement for data soundness and “fit-for-purpose”.