N$19billion received in foreign aid to date

April 15, 2015, 7:58am

N$19billion received in foreign aid between 2004 and 2014

Namibia has received N$19 billion from foreign aid to fund development projects between 2004 and 2014. This was to assist with Namibia’s development over the years and assist the Namibian economy grow as it was premature at the time.

Over the past 10 years, in terms of grants, the development partners ranked in accordance with the aid provided to Namibia on average starting with countries like the United States of America (USA), Germany, European Union (EU), China, and the United Nations (UN).

Meanwhile, Namibia’s Official Donor Assistance (ODA) contributed around 20% of gross fixed capital (GFC) formation in the 1990s but in the years, the GFC has fallen to under 5%. However, the best scenario is that ODA flows have not weakened revenue collection efforts.

In addition, due to the reduction in ODA, Namibia as an Upper Middle Income Country has come to terms with the fact that most of its development partners have withdrawn aid support from the country hence demonstrating that the country can manage its own development.

However, Namibia still appreciates the support it receives from few development partners that are still with it.

In recent years, Namibia’s main interest is not grant aid but technical assistance in terms of skills development or transfer in order for the Namibian people to have the required capacity that will bring the development it needs and can be able to sustain it.

The Ministry in the Presidency Responsible for National Planning’ Public Relations Officer, Fillemon Nangonya said the above mentioned Development Partners provided their support by sector such as the USA’s Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-N), President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Health, Education, Environment, Tourism and Agriculture.

The Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) spent a combined value of approximately N$600m by renovating, upgrading, and equipping 48 schools in 10 out of the 14 regions.

Germany supported sectors through Land Reform, Environment and Tourism, Education, Roads, Transport, Public Finance Management, HIV/Aids, Special Initiative, Water Resource Management, National Parks and Capacity Building.

In addition to Germany’s contribution, its government has contributed equipment worthN$353 million to Namibia since it joined the Military Equipment Aid Programme as a recipient country in 1992.

The first Equipment Aid Programme agreement between Germany and Namibia worth approximately N$311.6 million (€24 million) was signed in 1992.

In mid-2013, the sixth agreement was signed between Namibia and Germany, this agreement is worth N$41.5 million (€3.2 million) and will run until late 2016; in addition, all projects were co-funded by the Namibian government by up to 50%.

Nangonya noted that the EU supported Rural Development, Education, Support to Non-State Actors (Civil Society Capacity Building), Public Finance, Public Sector Reform (Performance Management System), Parliament, Agriculture, Trade, Environment, Capacity Building, Water Supply and Sanitation and Rehabilitation of Roads in Northern Namibia.

The European Union (EU) reserved roughly N$483 m (€35m) to assist the Namibian government in the development of water supply and sanitation, a move that was aimed at aiding in the National Sanitation Strategy implemented five years ago.

In addition, from the EU Namibia’s agricultural sector will receive financial support to the tune of N$954 million (68 million Euros) for the period 2014 to 2020 among other bilateral support initiatives of which the funding is primarily targeted at the livestock and communal farming areas.

“China supported sectors like Aquaculture, Construction, Capacity Building, Defence and Equipment while the UN supported sectors in Agriculture, Housing, Education and Training, Safety & Security, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, Child Protection and Welfare, Health (including  HIV/AIDS), Research, Culture, Tourism, Statistics, Emergency Preparedness and Impact Mitigation, Immigration and Refugees Affairs, Volunteerism, Social Development, Governance, Capacity Development, and Environment,” said Nangonya.

Nangonya noted that in terms of the benefits of Foreign aid to the Namibian Economy, aid is mobilised to augment local resources to implement priority programmes of the country. “This is in the form of funds to implement priority projects or capacity building for the required skills that would contribute to the realization of national development goals and ultimately vision 2030,” noted Nangonya.

He however reiterated that Namibia is not an aid dependent economy as it can perform many of the core functions of government, such as operations and maintenance, or the delivery of basic public services, using government funding.

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue