16 Oct 2017 16:50pm
SWAKOPMUND, 16 OCT (NAMPA) - Leaders from various local authorities in Africa on Monday convened a first joint annual general meeting in Swakopmund to deliberate on better service delivery mechanisms.
The Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) organised the meeting which also includes the orientation conference for the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders' Initiative for Community Action on Aids at the Local Level (AMICAALL).
African countries represented at the event are Namibia, Zambia, Angola, Malawi and South Africa.
The six-day event is attended by more than 300 politicians and administrators.
Topics to be tackled include mass land service delivery and subsidies for local authorities and ways to reduce HIV/Aids infections.
ALAN is also expected to present its annual report on achievements and challenges faced.
Vice-President Nickey Iyambo, who stood in for President Hage Geingob in keynoting the ALAN meeting, said it is the responsibility of local governments to deliver services to the people and uproot corruption.
Iyambo said local authorities must prepare themselves to design towns where all citizens benefit from the land.
When we see squatters we are not happy. Some people wish they [would] disappear, others wish they find decent accommodation. The truth is they are going nowhere, until we provide them with the best housing.
He said although it could be tough for local authorities to deliver serviced land and water because there is no money or expertise, it does not justify a lack of services because there is always a way out.
All of us have contracts with the people of Namibia, therefore we need to raise the bar of performance. I wish the performance contracts signed by ministers can also be given to councillors.
The vice-president noted that the country is at the point where citizens have lost trust in leaders, hence leaders must win back that trust through good governance and service delivery.
ALAN President and Oshakati Mayor Katrina Shimbuli said challenges such as rising land prices and land grabbing hinder land delivery progress.
Such challenges, she said, cannot be overcome in isolation, but through sharing of ideas and resources by both Government and the private sector.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa said that now is the time for hard work to provide efficient services to citizens.
We are not here to warm chairs in offices but here to work, so let us do exactly that.
AMICAALL Namibia Chairperson and Katima Mulilo Mayor Georgina Mwiya-Simataa said the aim is to reduce HIV infections in all local authorities to zero.
This can be done through creating awareness, testing and circumcision.