Geingob raring to go in 2018

By  Timo Shihepo

Windhoek – Namibian President Dr Hage Geingob has directed his ministers to implement what was agreed on in 2017 during Cabinet deliberations in order to accelerate economic emancipation, as from 2018.

Cabinet has held 21 deliberative meetings and 21 decision-making meetings since February this year. This totals 42 Cabinet meetings, resulting in 240 Cabinet decisions issued to respective offices, ministries or agencies for implementation.

Briefing the media after the last Cabinet meeting of the year on Tuesday, Geingob called on all Cabinet ministers to ensure that respective ministries expedite the implementation of Cabinet decisions.

He said the ability to work in unison, driven by the common purpose of developing a Namibian House, has been the driving force behind the successes they have achieved during the Cabinet sessions of 2017.

“Policy making is therefore an integral tool in terms of strengthening our governance, macro-economic and socio-economic architectures. I have stated the importance of improving the efficiency of our processes, systems and institutions as well as the need to increase transparency and accountability in government, since these two variables connote trust,” he said.

Geingob added that due to the hard work of the various Cabinet committees, who have applied their respective expertise to provide much-needed insight to support the process of policy formulation, Cabinet had deliberated on several policy initiatives during the course of the year.

Some of the major policy initiatives considered and adopted by Cabinet during the period (February-December 2017) are found in the economic and financial sectors, social sector, public service governance, health sector, information and communication technology sector, regional and international relations and legislation bills.

Under the economic and financial sectors, some of the policies agreed were the introduction of the National Competition Policy for Namibia, Draft of the Fifth National Development, National Policy on Prospecting and Mining in Protected Areas, and the Tax Recovery Incentive Programme.

Under the social sector, some of the major policy initiatives include Namibia Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report, Revival of the National Food Security and Nutrition Council, Integrated Early Childhood Development Strategic Framework and the Implementation Plan of the Blueprint on Wealth Distribution and Poverty Eradication. In the health sector, Cabinet agreed to the accreditation of regional hospitals as training hospitals for medical interns and their resourcing.

The Cabinet Handbook is explicit in its description of the responsibility, which Cabinet holds in terms of policy making.

“Success in administering and executing the functions of the government depends very much on the effort that goes into the formulation of policy and implementation mechanisms. In this context, therefore, success or failure depends on the work of the Cabinet and the support staff within the administration,” said Geingob.

These policy initiatives are informed and guided by the major policy documents, Vision 2030, National Development Plans, SWAPO Party Election Manifesto 2014 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

Geingob said the SWAPO Party government had made a promise to the Namibian people through the party’s manifesto and that their promise was clear; to deliver prosperity by improving the quality of life of all Namibians.

“On the evidence provided by this year’s Cabinet meetings, I am confident that we have not wavered on this promise,” he said.

Geingob added that like any noble cause, challenges and obstacles would always litter the path to success, but together, the ministers have what it takes to persevere, overcome and succeed.

He said next year was the year of reckoning.

“As we prepare to draw the curtain on 2017, I encourage all of you to ponder this statement. Don’t be defined by the challenges you face but be lifted up by them. The SWAPO Party government will not be defined by the challenges it faces but it will be lifted up by them.”

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