Gender ministry decentralises four of its functions

09 Aug 2018 20:00pm
OSHAKATI, 09 AUG (NAMPA) – Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Lucia Witbooi officially handed over decentralised functions of her ministry to the regional councils during an occasion held at Oshakati on Thursday.
In her handover address, Witbooi said the Gender Equality and Mainstreaming, Income Generating Activities, Integrated Early Childhood Development and Child Welfare Services are the functions to be delegated by her ministry to regional councils.
“These four main functions have sub-functions and activities to which staff members of the ministry were inducted on Tuesday, and the same functions were further presented to the chief regional officers (CROs), directors and deputy directors of planning and finance,” said Witbooi.
She referred to these officials as technical staff members of regional councils, who will be tasked with the responsibilities on a day-to-day basis.
“By now, we all know decentralisation is the transfer of political, financial, administrative and decision-making powers from central government to subnational government bodies in a unitary state,” stated Witbooi.
She indicated the decentralisation takes place in two main phases; the delegation phase and the devolution phase.
According to Witbooi, decision to decentralise the said functions is precipitated by the need to accelerate service delivery at grassroots level.
“This will ensure socio-economic and cultural development as it will provide people at grassroots the opportunity to take part in their own decision-making and, thus, extend democracy.”
She said the delegation to the regional councils will start as from Thursday, the day of the official functions handover.
Speaking at the same event, Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Derek Klazen on behalf of his ministry cited decentralisation as demonstrating the government’s commitment to an important tool for bringing its services closer to the people.
However, Klazen added, decentralisation must manifest itself in the empowerment of people at local level, improve administrative efficiency and effectiveness, inclusivity and responsiveness as well as high quality of services.
Chairpersons of all 14 regional councils in the country were in Oshakati on Thursday to receive and sign for the four functions of the gender ministry on behalf of their respective councils.