Namibia banks on the success of NDP5

By  Timo Shihepo

WINDHOEK – Namibia’s ministry of economic planning has expressed confidence that the 5th National Development Plan (NDP5) will have a higher success rate compared to its predecessors.

The ministry, which is mandated to plan national priorities and chart a course for national development, noted that the soon-to-be-launched development plan is informed by global, continental, regional development and national development frameworks.

These include the Global Sustainable Development Goals, African Agenda 2063, and Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s Regional Integrated Strategic Plan.

It is also under NDP5 that the country plans to transform into a SADC logistical hub by investing in Trans-Kalahari, Trans-Kunene and Trans-Zambezi transport corridors.

Since independence, Namibia has formulated four national development plans, from NDP1 to NDP4. Although they were hailed as catalysts for economic development they rarely achieved the anticipated results.

According to the ministry, this is because with the previous plans there was a little buy-in from the respective stakeholders, who usually pointed to the NDPs as only the economic planning ministry’s plans.

This translated into less interest and necessary synergies in the implementation of the plans.

The first NDP helped the country achieve an economic growth rate of 3.5 percent on average in the first decade of independence, 4.6 percent in the second decade and 5.7 percent in the first four years of NDP4.

All the growth rates were below the projected growth rates.

The ministry has acknowledged that the development process entails continuous improvement on past performances.

It indicated that the achievements so far are not to say Namibia has reached the apex of development, adding that the ministry still has a lot to do and past achievements should serve as an incentive to do more.

Now, the country is pinning its hopes on the new five-year NDP5 that will be launched next month when the current NDP4 concludes this month.

The ministry said NDP5 will be informed by the recent experiences to ensure that priorities are on projects that would have a bigger impact on development in the country’s journey towards Vision  2030.

NDP5 has four key goals, namely; achieving inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth, building capable and healthy human resources; ensuring sustainable environment and enhancing resilience; and promoting good governance through effective institutions.

The ministry’s public relations officer, Fillemon Nangonya, told The Southern Times that the NDPs for too long have been perceived as government plans and the private sector was not really into it since perhaps they could not identify themselves in them.

He said these perceptions have since changed from NDP4 and were even improved during the development of NDP5.

This is attributed to the fact that consultations were quite wide and ongoing even after the production of the working draft.

In the NDP5 draft, President Hage Geingob said, priority should be given to addressing energy and water shortages as these were variable inputs in the production process.

“In accordance with Vision 2030, our vision is that Namibia becomes a developed country. This should be realised through economic transformation and industrialisation. This ambition is central to NDP5,” he said.

Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo, also said that the principle of sustainable development permeates NDP5.

As such, the plan frames the achievement of progress within a framework of ensuring the ability of future generations to thrive.

“NDP5 was developed through extensive consultations with stakeholders, including community members at the local level, regional and national representatives, members of civil society at large, the private sector and input from Namibia’s development partners,” he said.

March 2017
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