Namibia will need food aid: Mbumba

WINDHOEK: President Nangolo Mbumba has said that Namibia will need assistance with food, especially in areas where persistent cases of malnutrition among children have been reported.

Mbumba made these remarks on Thursday during a courtesy visit by the United Nations (UN) Climate Crisis Coordinator for El Niño, Reena Ghelani, who visited the Omaheke region where 45 children died of malnutrition and 132 cases were recorded last year.

Mbumba declared a state of emergency on the current drought as a result of El Niño in March 2024.

‘That particular area where you were has a particular problem, especially when it comes to children and their nutrition. We will really need help there, even if that is the only area where we can get help in terms of food, in terms of preparing the food, utensils that the mothers can use… if it moves us up, then it moves the whole system up,’ he said.

Meanwhile, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Hopolang Phororo, indicated that the UN has engaged with the Office of the Pr
ime Minister, where it was discussed that Namibia’s classification as an upper middle-income country has made it difficult for development partners to mobilise resources towards the declared state of emergency on the persistent drought.

‘We said if that is still an issue, as the UN let’s see how we can work with the government and of course appreciating that the government has put a lot of resources into responding to the drought,’ she said.

‘It is our permanent fight,’ Mbumba responded.

On her part, Ghelani indicated her visit follows the declaration of emergency on the drought to see how much the UN Climate Crisis Coordinator for El Niño can do to support.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Home Affairs to construct new Civic Affairs office at Nkurenkuru

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday for the construction of a Civic Affairs regional office in Nkurenkuru of the Kavango West region.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the Civic Affairs regional office to cost N.dollars 70 million was led by Vice President Dr Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Construction is expected to commence on or before 13 August 2024 and will be completed in two years.

In her keynote address, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the regional office is expected to significantly improve the efficiency and accessibility of the ministry’s services including birth and death registrations, national identity cards, passports, and immigration matters.

She said this would reduce travel times and costs, thus promoting inclusivity and better service delivery.

‘The rising population figures of this region at 123 266 tells us that as a government, we have to speed up the infrastructure development that will enable us to serve this fast-growing population,
‘ she said.

The vice president said the construction of the office in Kavango West is critical for active services to be provided to the population.

She said that 13 years ago the Namibia International Demographic Survey reported then that Kavango West had the highest percentage of people without birth certificates which stood at 32.2 per cent.

‘However, I can speak with confidence now that the number must have been reduced as the ministry has been conducting outreach programmes all over the country including in the Kavango West Region,’ she said.

The outreach programmes she added will continue until the backlog has significantly reduced and government has reached its target.

‘It is painful to be undocumented. I experienced this situation when I was a student in Britain. For this reason, Namibia prescribed the United Nations resolution to ensure that citizens of the world must be properly documented,’ Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

Meanwhile, the Vice President also gave a directive to the ministry for the reside
nts of the region to be employed in the construction of the civic office, and gave assurance that she would return to the region in August to witness the beginning of the construction of the office.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Mbumba says international organisations should provide resources, not advice

WINDHOEK: President Nangolo Mbumba has urged international bodies to shift their focus from merely advising governments to providing the resources people need.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative, Alka Bhatia to State House on Thursday, Mbumba said in current times international organisations should identify challenges faced by countries and solve them collectively.

‘All international organisations are ready to give advice… ‘This should be done this way, this should be done this way’… It is good, but we really want all of us as the UN system, ministries and government to concentrate on things people can touch and can see because sometimes everything is a document,’ he said.

Mbumba further indicated that sometimes international bodies advise countries on soft loans, but nobody is really giving anything but loans.

‘We have to help one other, not with advice, but with work,’ he emphasised.

Bhatia echoed his sentiments, noting that the UNDP
aims to be hands-on in terms of the work they are doing in Namibia. She said the UNDP projects that it will over the next five years bring in approximately N.dollars 727 million (US.dollars 40 million).

She further noted that currently the UNDP is working with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism on six projects, including the trans-boundary water management of the Kunene and Cuvelai rivers valued at about N.dollars 145 million (US.dollars 8 million), while other projects included building 16 boreholes.

‘Our country programme document is completely aligned with the national development plans of the country. We have been working mainly with the ministries. We also mobilise along your side… there are enough documents…but how do you move from strategies to the implementation?’ she queried.

Bhatia further indicated that for the past several years, UNDP has been advocating to reach out to the ministries and support in terms of fully utilising development expenditure due to the lack of implementatio
ns or absorption capacity.

‘We are not here to replace the government but to support and work alongside the government… Those are some of the things we can help and deliver on, which will accelerate the development trajectory of the country,’ she said.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Hardap governor reflects on late Hanse-Himarwa’s legacy

Hardap Governor Salomon April has described former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa as the epitome of a leader who served with distinction.

Hanse-Himarwa, aged 57, died on 14 July 2024 in a local hospital.

The governor on Wednesday said ‘As Namibians, we have lost many great leaders, and one of them was Katrina Hanse-Himarwa. She was the epitome of a leader who served with distinction.’

Former mayor of Mariental, Billy Mensah who described the late Hanse-Himarwa as a sister, said she was an open person, and sometimes people did not like the fact that she was a straight talker. ‘There were times she was not right in certain situations, but she always admitted when she was wrong. That’s how our friendship was; we constantly shared advice,’ said Mensah.

Mariental entrepreneur Maria Boois, who also served as a secretary at the Swapo office when Hanse-Himarwa worked from the office, fondly recalled, ‘She was like family to everyone and treated me as her own daughter. She was friendly, always ready to h
elp where necessary, and served as a steadfast role model for women in the Hardap Region.’

Altagracia Kheibes, a teacher and close friend of Hanse-Himarwa’s, recalled the significant contributions she made to the development of the people of the south and Namibia in general. She served as a teacher, principal, councillor, governor, and minister of basic education and had a significant impact on Namibia’s education system.

Kheibes further emphasised that the former education minister was known for her compassionate yet disciplined leadership.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Simataa urges public servants to focus on policy implementation

WINDHOEK: Cabinet Secretary George Simataa has urged accounting officers and implementers in public service delivery to reconsider their positions and recognise that their primary focus is on implementing government policies, plans, and projects.

Speaking on Wednesday during an engagement meeting hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology with chief regional officers from all 14 regions in the Oshikoto Region, Simaata said they should remember that they are not policymakers.

‘We advise and assist in the policy formulation process,’ he said.

He emphasised that the success of policy development and management is heavily reliant on the effective, meaningful, and functional relationship between the political head (minister, council chairperson, or governor of the region) and the administrative head (the ED or CRO) in the public sector.

This interface, he said, should be viewed in light of the functional behaviour, attitudes, mindset, power relations, and abilities of elected and appoin
ted officials in the performance of their official tasks.

Simataa emphasised the need of role clarity in this interaction. The political head is meant to be a policymaker rather than an administrator, whereas the administrative head is expected to carry out the policies formulated by the political head. However, the political head will eventually become involved in administrative matters with political connotations and content, he said.

While politics and administration are formally distinct, in practice, there is a fine and sensitive line that both administrators and politicians can cross, he noted.

‘Unfortunately, there are no standing rules and procedures which guide the behaviour of either of them and which clearly define their respective roles and expected behaviour to each other. In the absence of such rules, the personalities of the two become a major factor in the success or failure of the interface in managing the public services as an instrument of the State machinery,’ he said.

He went on to sa
y that in ministries or regional councils when the political head and the administrative head communicate frequently, issues and concerns facing the ministry or council are more likely to be addressed openly. When there is a lack of trust and respect between the two parties, relations can deteriorate dramatically, giving rise to the ‘betrayal theory’ and fears of ‘bureaucratic sabotage’ as politicians refer to it.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Voter education outreach and registration faring well in Kunene

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is conducting an education outreach initiative in the remote areas of the Kunene Region to education people on why they have to register as a prerequisite to voting in elections.

The civic and voter education campaign, which is underway concurrently with the voter registration process, is aimed at all eligible voters in the Kunene Region, as well as ensuring that all residents understand their rights and the voter registration procedures.

Santos Muhenje, ECN’s Kunene regional voter education officer, told Nampa on Wednesday that the region is on track with its voter education campaign to educate citizens on the voter registration procedure and what is required of them to register to vote.

‘This process started at the beginning of the year and as always, preceding every election or voter registration, ECN embarks on voter and civic education to educate the general public on the various aspects of the election and what is expected of them,’ stated Muhenje.

, voter educators are in hard-to-reach mountainous sections of the Kunene Region, engaging residents on the voter registration process before registration officers begin next week.

‘We must prepare voters before the registration officials get to their venues and I must say that the team has been doing a good job so far,’ remarked Muhenje.

According to Muhenje, the continuing campaign aims to attain universal electorate coverage, which includes reaching out to underprivileged groups and internally displaced people, as well as young individuals who are voting for the first time.

Muhenje noted that ECN is using Namibian Air Force helicopters to conduct these engagements and provide education in hard-to-reach places.

ECN has four teams in the Kunene Region, with 12 voter educators covering the Epupa East, Epupa West, and Opuwo Rural constituencies, including the Kamanjab, Outjo and Khorixas districts.

Through these efforts, the region has registered 37 000 voters in the last six weeks.

Mike Nganjone, the re
gional elections officer in Kunene, told this agency in a recent interview that the region aims to register more than 80 per cent of eligible voters.

According to the most recent Census, the region contains approximately 50 000 eligible voters.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

PPP, NVM, others unite to contest 2024 elections

The Progressive Peoples Party (CPP), New Vision Movement (NVM) and eleven other smaller groups have united to contest the 2024 elections.

The group intends to present one Presidential Candidate and common parliamentary aspirants at the polls to compete fiercely with the two dominant parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

This was made known at the press conference organised by the Roundtable Dialogue (RTD) in Accra.

The RTD, a social purpose think-tank, is facilitating the formation of an alternative political group to compete with the two major political parties in the 2024 elections.

The eleven other groups are: Ghana Deserves Better, Osagyefo Youth Movement, Yere ko Kaan, Political Youth Advocacy Movement (PYAM), Action for Change, Moving Africa, GCP, GDM, CanYou, AISS and PANYMO.

Until joining the RTD, the PPP had been to the polls on three consecutive times.

The first was in 2012 where Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Founder of the party, polled 64, 36
2 votes to become third in a field of eight contestants. In 2016, Dr Nduom still represented the party and placed third again with 106,092 votes.

The party went to the polls again in 2020 but with a different candidate in the person of Madam Bridgette Dzorgbenu, who polled 6,849, placing nineth.

In all these elections, the party could not win any of the 275 parliamentary seats and as such did not have representation in Parliament.

The NVM is a movement founded by Mr Kofi Koranteng, a disqualified Independent Presidential Candidate, in the 2020 elections.

In December 2018, Mr Koranteng declared his intentions to contest the 2020 elections as an independent candidate.

However, he and six other candidates were disqualified by the Electoral Commission (EC) due to forged signatures and manufacture of endorsees.

The EC found out that 19 signatures endorsing Mr Koranteng were fake. This was confirmed by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.

Nonetheless, Mr Koranteng declared his
intention to contest again in the 2024 elections in 2021.

A member of the Convention Peoples Party was also at the RTD meeting.

But the GNA cannot confirm if the CPP is lacing its boots to join the 13 groups or it would contest separately.

Meanwhile, Mr Ofosu Barko, Secretary, RTD, has encouraged all like-minded people to collaborate with the RTD and share their thoughts, resources, skills and strengths so that voters can be presented with a third alternative.

He said the presence of several splintered political parties and independent candidates signaled that many people were disappointed in how the country had been ruled over the past 32 years.

However, he noted that individual groups could not win the elections against the NDC and NPP hence the need for collaboration.

Source: Ghana News Agency

CSOs urge AU to spearhead safer nuclear energy development

A group of Ghanaian, South African, and Ukrainian civil society organisations (CSOs) at a day’s seminar in Accra, have called on the African Union (AU) to lead the way for safer nuclear energy development.

The CSOs advocated for better protection of children, especially during wars, and fewer opportunities for nuclear-armed states to threaten disarmed nations, through the reform of the United Nations Security Council.

The seminar was organised by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), a regional civil society organisation in collaboration with the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Democratic Institute Foundation (DIF), and the Ukrainian Association of South Africa.

Dubbed: ‘The African Peace Mission and Ukraine Peace Formula: Strategic Engagements on Regional Security, Nuclear Safety, and Human Rights,’ the seminar is being organised ahead of the African Union Mid-Year Coordination Meeting, which will be taking place from 18-21, July, in A

The CSOs underscored the fact that nuclear energy was one of the decarbonised options for sustainable development on the African continent.

The experts called on the AU and African states to initiate UN reform to reduces the power of the veto-right.

This means empowering the United Nations General Assembly to overrule a veto with a 2/3 majority.

According to the experts, Ukraine’s experience showed that while the majority of countries condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine (over 141 states), Russia could block any UN action to defend Ukraine by using its veto at the UNSC.

They reiterated that changing the veto power distribution would help ensure global peace if any veto-holding country starts military aggression against another state.

The mechanism for a provisional review and amendment of the UN Charter is also built in Article 109, which enables a special ‘Charter Review Conference’ to be convened by a two-thirds majority of the UN General Assembly and a single vote from the nine-member Secu
rity Council.

Such a vote cannot be vetoed by the permanent members and would be democratic, since Article 109 states that ‘each member of the United Nations shall have one vote’.

Professor Olexity Haran, Research Director at the Democratic Initiative Foundation, speaking to the Ghana News Agency, described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as illegal and further called for an immediate end to the war.

He commended Ghana’s diplomatic support for Ukraine in the ongoing Russia war in Ukraine.

He called for more international solidarity with the people of Ukraine in support of the country’s self-defence against the Russian Federation’s aggression.

Professor Tim Murithi, Head of Peacebuilding Interventions Programme at the Institute of Justice, and Reconciliation, noted that in 2023, a group of four African heads of State led by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa were in Kyiv and Saint Petersburg, as part of the African Peace Mission, aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Ukraine and Russi

He said both President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine agreed to continue to engage with the African Peace Mission, by which the African initiative was welcomed.

He noted that should be acknowledged as an important contribution to laying the foundation for peacemaking in this very challenging conflict that was affecting children, women, and many displaced communities in Ukraine.

‘The African Peace Mission is an example of Africa’s Agency in global affairs, and we should as Africans celebrate this intervention and acknowledge that Africa also has something to contribute towards international relations,’ Prof Murithi said.

Dr Festus Kofi Aubyn, Regional Coordinator, Research and Capacity Building, WANEP, in his welcome address, said the Russia-Ukraine war had brought devastations, loss of lives, displacement of civilians, violations of human rights and huge sufferings to civilians; stating that its impact on Africa, especially when it comes to food and energy securit
y could not be easily underestimated.

He said the African Ukraine-Russia Peace Mission, led by South Africa represented African states collective commitment to finding a diplomatic solution to the war; but more importantly it was also a great milestone for the continent as it was the first time African states were intervening to resolve a conflict outside of the continent.

‘However, the situation today is a stack reminder of the urgent need for a negotiated diplomatic solution to end the war through an innovative and a common strategic approach and political engagement,’ Dr Aubyn said.

Source: Ghana News Agency