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close this bookThe Courier N 127 May - June 1991- Dossier 'New' ACP Export Products - Country Reports Cape Verde - Namibia (EC Courier, 1991, 104 p.)
close this folderCountry reports
close this folderNamibia: Meeting challenge of nationhood
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentConsolidating democracy
View the documentAn interview with Prime Minister Geingob: partnership with business to create wealth
View the documentAn interview with Vice-President Marin: the political and constitutional success of Namibia is now a model for change in Africa
View the documentAn interview with Dr Ben Amathila, Minister for Trade and Industry: added value equals greater prosperity
View the documentAgriculture and fisheries - managing the transition
View the documentMining - the economic foundation
View the documentWealth in the desert
View the documentEducation in Namibia - bridging the divide by Dr Ian G. MACFARLANE
View the documentProfile
View the documentNamibia and the European Community
View the documentPlanning for development - a man with a mission

Planning for development - a man with a mission

Dr Zedekia Ngavirue is the Director of Namibia’s new National Planning Commission. As such, he is responsible for coordinating his country’s development strategy, putting into practice the policies which ate required both to increase prosperity and to bridge the gap between rich and poor. When he spoke to the Courier, Dr Ngavirue, who has a private sector background, was at pains to emphasise the modern role of his Commission. Economic planning in Namibia, he stressed, ‘does not mean the old idea of a centrally planned society’. The government must obviously plan its own capital expenditure and provide a framework in which the private sector can operate but as the Director pointed out ‘the private sector itself will remain the real engine of growth’. He spoke of the Government creating an enabling environment, providing opportunities for businesses to do the things that they can do best.

Dr Ngavirue also explained the structure of the body which he heads. The National Planning Commission will draw its membership from representatives of different economic and other interests within Namibia and it will be serviced by a secretariat consisting of three divisions. One of these will deal with the planning of economic development while another will manage the funding from both internal and external sources. The third division will be responsible for information including: the gathering of statistical economic information which is currently lacking and the conduct of censuses. The idea is for this unit to develop into a fully-fledged central statistical office.

The structure chosen reflects the Government’s ‘bottom-up’ philosophy in the field of development. As the Director pointed out, ‘it should not simply be a matter of having some ‘expert’ or technocrat saying how things should be’. Feedback from the people was important, he argued, since this would lead to formulation of policies which reflected the views of different parts of Namibian society.

The Director also spoke about what he saw as the priority areas for development in Namibia. Noting that it was not a question of ‘all-round’ underdevelopment - the country in fact has a well developed infrastructure - he said that the focus should be on adjusting the economic imbalances which had resuited from the previous “system. ‘This is very important for us, because it is at the very core of our stability’. He cited the areas of education and health, where imbalances needed to be tackled.

Dr Zedekia saw an important role for the European Community, in participating in Namibia’s development, through the Lomonvention. He was particularly complimentary about the concrete help which had already been provided by the Community and looked forward to a continuing useful partnership. He was anxious, however, to stress the ‘trade’ component of the Lomrrangement. There was always a tendency, he noted, to concentrate on the donor/recipient relationship. Echoing other prominent Namibians on the same subject, Dr Ngavirue insisted that Namibia only wanted assistance for a transitional period. The Government clearly favours self-reliance and looks forward to the day when commerce is the principal feature of its relationship with the EC.