Swakopmund, Namibia, 5th – 9th April 2022, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) convened a training workshop on the finalization and harmonization of Namibia APRM National Programme of Action (NPoA) with the support of the African Development Bank, the National Planning Commission (NPC), the National APRM secretariat and the National Governing Council of Namibia. The aim of the workshop was to finalize as well as streamline the NPoA towards incorporation into the Namibian National Development Plan and strategies for implementation.
Welcoming remarks for the meeting were presented by the Governor of the Erongo Region in Namibia, Hon. Neville Andre on his behalf and that of the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of the National Planning Commission. The remarks emphasised Namibia’s commitment to APRM processes and more specifically the implementation of the National Plan of Action. The Governor also reiterated the importance and value of progress reports on the implementation of NPoAs in providing an invaluable opportunity to improve effective governance on the continent.
The Republic of Namibia in November 2020 completed its first targeted review report which focused on Youth Unemployment at the 29th APR Forum Heads of State and Government for Peer Review. Namibia further undertook a self-assessment and country review in 2021 from September 2020 to March 2021. Recommendations were made by both the Targeted and Country Review for implementation. A commendable effort was taken to harmonize recommendations from the two (2) reviews towards integration of the key issues into the National Development Plan.
The workshop brought together all relevant stakeholders across the Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDA’s) and Civil Society in Namibia which prioritise and ironed out all the eight-five (85) recommendations in the Country Review Report. During the working group session, the experts agreed on a standard and robust methodology to develop the NPoA aligned with the National Development Plan. Highlighted was the pertinent timeliness of the exercise at a time when the government of Namibia is currently developing the sixth National Development Plan (NDP6). The director of the National Planning Commission, Mr. Roux Sampati, emphasised over and over again that the Current NPoA will form the basis of the NDP6.
Representatives from other Member States participated, thus affording Namibia an opportunity to learn from other African countries that have developed NPoA. An overview of how they reported, involved stakeholders in the process and engaged in mapping exercises as well as alignment exercises, with other national development efforts were highlighted. Three representatives from the Republic of Kenya, Egypt and Uganda made presentations to share lessons learnt. It was noted that following the review of the Republic of Kenya, key elements of the NPoA were incorporated into the third medium-term plan (MTP III) which feeds into the Kenya National Development Plan Vision 2030. The Republic of Uganda presented on systems that have been put in place to facilitate coordination between the National Planning Authority and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) National Secretariat for mainstreaming of APRM recommendations. Also noted were government actions to streamline development efforts such as the ‘Programme based approach to planning’ which aims to brings together related programmes to allow for coordinated planning and implementation.
Lastly, for peer-learning purposes government efforts by the Republic of Egypt to integrate the recommendations of the country review into existing development programmes were highlighted. The presentation also outlined legislative initiatives put in place by the government to support the implementation capacity of local administrations. Similarly, the Republic of Kenya they also undertook an exercise to identify programmes that are interlinked for efficient use of resources.
Towards the end of the workshop, Namibia presented an overview of the consolidated draft of the Namibia APRM NPoA document to the meeting. Key issues for implementation were highlighted across the various thematic areas. These include, among others, legal provisions related to addressing challenges faced by people with disabilities; value-chain development strategies for certain strategic minerals and the need to put in place reforms to support SMEs in the country; the need to enhance public sector performance management systems; and the need to increase sanitation facilities as well as enhance the capacity of healthcare facilities in rural communities and fast-tracking the implementation of renewable energy as an alternative source of energy.
The next steps towards the finalization of the NPoA would include further active engagement with the stakeholders such as the private sector; civil society as well as various MDA’s in government for their final comments and inputs which will be submitted to the National Planning Commission. The development of the Namibia APRM NPoA was accomplished according to the guiding principles of APRM on national ownership and leadership. The various Sectors and MDA’s owns the various activities identified to address the issues in the country review and targeted review reports. The Chief Executive Officer and the Focal Point of the National Secretariat, Amb. Lineekela J. Mboti, assured the continental secretariat his commitment to produce progress report this year and submit for peer review by H.E Hage Gottfried Geingob during the 32nd APR Forum of Heads of State and Government.