Namibia has made good progress in achieving MDGs - Clark

05 Dec 2013 09:40am
WINDHOEK, 05 DEC (NAMPA) – Namibia has made good progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Administrator of the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark said here on Wednesday.
“Namibia has a good MDG report, and has definitely made good progress on a lot of things”, she said during a meeting with Prime Minister Hage Geingob.
Clark, who is also the chairperson of the United Nations’ Development Group (UNDG), arrived in Namibia on Tuesday, and her meeting with Geingob was just one of a series of consultations which she will hold with other local government leaders, development partners and representatives of civil society to exchange views on the developmental challenges facing the country, and how the UNDP and the United Nations in general can strengthen its support for Namibia.
The UNDP chief commended Namibia for the good governance and sound macro-economic environment maintained over the past 23 years after independence.
“Namibia also has a strong rule of law, elections are fair and there’s a growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The ruling Swapo Party has also made progressive moves towards gender equality,” she said, adding that the empowerment of women can contribute to the development of the country.
Clark furthermore advised the government to concentrate more on speeding- up the attainment of the human development targets which it wants to meet in order to achieve the MDGs.
Turning to climate change matters, the visitor said the UN is aware of the severe drought which the people of Namibia are facing at the moment.
“However, with the effects of climate change, people cannot except that life will be easy. I wish to advise that Namibia should work closely with the UN on adaptations to climate change,” she said.
Clark also felt that Namibia should work closely with the UN agencies in the area of upgrading water infrastructure in the northern parts of the country.
Furthermore, the World Bank’s rating of Namibia as an upper-middle income country was a concern to here, while the country faces challenges such as income inequality and a very high unemployment rate.
On youth development, Clark noted that the UN is very much engaged with the youth on a global level to make positive investments in various countries.
“The youth are frustrated, and they form part of the high unemployment rate in many countries. I would wish to advise government to give them a feeling that they own a stake in society. This is very important, I think,” she added.
The MDGs still have two years to run, and the various UN country teams have teamed up with government leaderships to work towards an MDG- acceleration plan.
The UN is looking beyond the year 2015 and is busy with an online survey, which more than a million people responded to.
Most respondents expressed concern on the targets of health and education, jobs, effective leadership in governments and water.
“We are here for you. We see so many positive things. Please see us as your partners.
We are not donors, as the UN does not come with a lot of money, but we have the expertise through the various UN agencies in this country to be at your service,” she continued.
On his part, Geingob told Clark that many Namibians now enjoy peace and unity.
“We have succeeded in reconciliation, but we are not perfect. Bigger numbers have accepted reconciliation,” he stated.
The Permanent Secretary in the National Planning Commission (NPC) Leevi Hungamo, Education Minister David Namwandi, Fisheries and Marine Resources’ Minister Bernard Esau, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Rosalia Nghidinwa, Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister Charles Namoloh, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Tjekero Tweya and the Special Advisor to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Naftali Hamata, attended the meeting.