07 Oct 2013 10:50am
SWAKOPMUND, 07 OCT (NAMPA) - President Hifikepunye Pohamba officially opened the 16th annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders here on Monday.
The week-long meeting will, amongst other things, discuss matters pertaining to rural electrification and communal land rights.
Speaking during the opening, Pohamba indicated that the annual meeting has served as an instrumental platform where Government and traditional leaders share ideas and exchange views on issues of nation building.
He said the meeting also provides an equal opportunity for traditional leaders and representatives of Government institutions to deliberate on critical issues affecting Namibian communities.
He went on to say traditional leaders form an important link between Government and the communities under their respective jurisdictions, an also assist in nation building.
Your input in relevant Government initiatives and activities will ensure that resultant policies and programmes are effective and responsive to the needs of the citizens. In this manner, we will ensure that public services and social amenities offered by Government reach all our people and most importantly, that they produce the desired outcomes, the President said.
He further stated that the impact and effectiveness of Government policies and programmes, or the lack thereof, is felt directly at grassroots level. He therefore called on the traditional leaders to be actively involved in supporting the socio-economic development agenda.
These are indeed important issues that require the active involvement of our traditional leaders in consultation with the relevant stakeholders for the sake of fairness and social justice, the Head of State indicated.
The President further mentioned that the council is tasked with advising the President on the control and utilisation of communal land.
The duties of traditional leaders amongst others also include assisting the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and cooperating with Government through regional councils.
I therefore urge our traditional leaders to encourage our communities to participate and cooperate with relevant authorities in matters related to the development of settlement areas and also the establishment of new local authorities, Pohamba said.