GRN, EU Signs € 15 Million Financing Agreements

The European Union and the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN), represented by the National Planning Commission (NPC), signed three Financing Agreements on 01 December 2015 in Windhoek. These agreements are part of a first financing decision under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) in favour of Namibia. The combined value of the three Financing Agreements signed today is € 15 million (N$ 225 000,000) for Vocational Education and Training, a support programme to the National Authorising Officer, and a Technical Cooperation Facility. These support programmes have been identified and formulated in line with Namibia’s own development priorities as outlined in the 4th National Development Plan (NDP4) and corresponds with the Joint EU Response Strategy for Namibia.

The three programmes will cover the following:

Support to Vocational Education and Training (€9 million): The programme will contribute to increasing access to and improving the quality and relevance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Namibia. The Namibia Training Authority will be the main beneficiary and implementing agency. The programme is set to establish a training hub, comprising a cluster of existing vocational training centres in the north of Namibia, namely Valombola, Eenhana and Nakayale. The project is complementary to the GRN’s existing vocational education and training interventions, “Promotion of Vocational Education and Training project (PROVET)” financed by Germany and implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Support programme for the National Authorising Officer/National Planning Commission (NAO/NPC) (€4.5 million) addresses key capacity constraints confronting the NAO/NPC. The NAO has a key role in EU cooperation under the European Development Fund, as the partner country’s nominated entity for co-signing and overseeing the implementation of programmes. The NPC is in charge of the development, monitoring and evaluation of national development plans and of all official development assistance to Namibia in the form of grants. The programme will aim at strengthening the capacity of its officers to undertake the tasks associated with programme implementation. Moreover, the EU will assist the NPC in its overall responsibility of monitoring and evaluating multiannual national development plans.

Technical Cooperation Facility (€1.5 million): The specific objective of this facility is to provide technical assistance for studies, analysis and other activities, including the organisation and facilitation of conferences, seminars, workshops and trainings. With these, the EU funding will support the preparation and implementation of the actions financed under the 11th EDF.

Background
In March 2013, in line with the objective of enhancing the effectiveness and impact of European development cooperation, the EU partners in Namibia agreed on a Joint EU Response Strategy for Namibia, which EU and Member States adhere to when preparing bilateral programmes.

The EDF is the main instrument for EU development cooperation with African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries (ACP) and is funded with contributions from the EU Member States. The National Indicative Programmes (NIPs) represent an important step in the programming of EU aid under the EDF. Preparations are done in close cooperation and consultation with the partner countries to ensure that NIPs support national priorities where the EU can add value.

The NIP for Namibia was signed between the EU and the GRN earlier this year in May. It foresees two focal sectors, namely: agriculture and education and skills. The NIP also foresees an allocation to support civil society and other support measures.