Key Note Address by Obeth Mbui Kandjoze, MP, at the Development Finance Assessment Policy Seminar, 30 October 2019

Key Note Address at the Development Finance Assessment Policy Seminar_ 30 October 2019

Director of Proceedings;

Hon Minister of Finance – Calle Schlettwein;

Hon Ministers & Deputy Ministers present;

Your Excellency, Ms. Rachel Odede, UN Resident Coordinator;

Your Excellency, Dean of the Diplomatic Corp;

Your Excellency, Ms. G. Sauer – German Embassy Counselor for Development Cooperation;

Your Excellencies – members of the Diplomatic Corp;

Senior Government Officials;

Captains of Industries;

Members of the Media;

Ladies & Gentlemen

I,indeed, immensely cherish this honour and privilege to join others who extended warm words of welcome before me. I am humbled by your presence and acceptance of our invitation. I am aware of your busy schedules and that your choices to be here it is not a matter we take for granted. This only testifies the fact that we are “comrades in arms” for development. The quest for development of humanity supersedes our individual ambitions.

Today, as National Planning Commission,in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, supported by the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) deemed it profoundly necessary to have invited you as valuable stakeholders in the development for an exchange and discussion on Development Finance Assessment (DFA) for Namibia and the Integrated National Finance Framework (INFF).

Building on the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, the 2008 Doha Declaration, Paris21 and Millennium Development Goals, Heads of States and Governments in July 2015, affirmed their political commitment to address the financing challenge as well as creating an enabling environment at all levels for sustainable development in the spirit of partnership and solidarity.

This global action has come to be known as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA). It’s main objective is to end poverty and hunger while achieving sustainable development in all its three dimensions through promoting inclusive growth, protection of the environment and promoting social inclusion.

This is tailored for the promotion of peace and inclusive societies and fully advancing an equitable global economic system in which no country or person is left behind, a system that is enabling decent work and productive livelihoods for all, while preserving “mother earth” for future generation.

By its design, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda was to be an ambitious, credible implementation action, holistic and forward looking framework to commit concrete actions that will deliver on the Agenda 2030 promise. Recognizing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals, challenges brought by the 2008 financial crisis and emerging challenges, solutions were to be found, including through the strengthening of public policies and regulatory frameworks and finance at all levels, unlocking the transformative potential of people and the private sector, incentivizing changes in financing as well as consumption and production patterns to support sustainable development.

Consequently, cohesive nationally owned sustainable development strategies, supported by integrated national financial frameworks wereto be at the heart of these efforts – this being the genesis of the Development Finance Assessments and Integrated National Frameworks.

Master of Ceremonies

Ladies and Gentlemen

Quite rightly so, Namibia has developmental ambitions as articulated in the medium and long-term development plans, which includes among others to develop Namibia as a developed and prosperous country by 2030, eliminate poverty by 2025, reduce inequalities as measured by Gini-Coefficient to 0.3 by 2030 and improve the standard of living of the Namibian people comparable to those in the developed countries. Namibia’s Vision 2030 and NDP5 both are anchored on the principle of sustainable development; thereby encompassing the three development spheres of economic, social, environment including good governance.

The latter is regarded as a binding “force” of the three spheres of development. By implementing goals, objectives and strategies under these spheres Namibia will inevitably achieve a natural alignment of national goals to regional and global goals.

It is without embellishment that Namibia has made great strides in her development endeavours. The Namibian economy registered an average growth rate of around 4% over post-independence period, with the country’s GDP per capita increasing from US$2,392 in 1980 to US$5,231 in 2017 according to the World Bank. Human Development in Namibia as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI) has improved over the years growing at 0.41% between 1990 and 2017 to reach a value of 0.647 in 2017. The high per capita GDP and high human development index value places Namibia into an upper middle income and medium human development country respectively.

However, notwithstanding all these achievements,Namibia is still facing major challenges in her developmental quest. The levels of poverty (especially when one uses the multi-dimensional poverty index) and income inequalities are still significantly high in contrast with the status of upper middle income country and a medium developed country.

The high level of unemployment especially among youth of 46% is not only a greater challenge but risk reversing the achievements of the three decades and dampens the hope to achieve the promise of Vision 2030 and SDGs. Additionally, the huge service infrastructure gap in water, energy, housing and logistics calls for integrated approach to maximize benefits from synergies across these infrastructures.

Henceforth,there lies a need for Namibia to devise coherent policies and strategies including the integrated financial frameworks to reinvigorate and sustain economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection for current and future generation.

Director of the Program

Ladies and gentlemen

Namibia has joined other nations to embrace the concept of “Development Finance Assessments and Integrated Financial Frameworks” which puts forward a set of strategic recommendations for leveraging finance from all sources to achieve national goals including sustainable development goals.

It promotes the principle of partnership enable the Government to engage diverse sectors of society striving to ensure that the domestic system of policies and institutional structures work towards an efficient management of resources and an adequate channelling of all types of financial flows towards national goals. It is for this reason that we invited you all to deliberate on the recently conducted study on the Namibia Development Finance.

The overarching objective of this DFA Study was to provide Government with an overview of current development finance flows; identify ways to fill the financing gap; and assess the institutions as well as policies that align this finance with our national development goals and priorities.

The DFA Study provides recommendations for the establishment of the Integrated National Financing Framework while the Addis Ababa Action Agenda assumes that countries will deploy their own national development strategies and plans to respond to the SDGs and calls for the adoption of Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs).

These Frameworks provide a structure and consequently necessitates the need for Governments to assess their financing frameworks in a comprehensive manner. Ultimately these assessments of the Frameworks need to be undertaken with a view to guide thinking around reforms that are required to implement a strategic, holistic and results-driven approach to financing countries’ developmental agenda.

Director of the Program

Ladies and gentlemen

As I conclude I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the results of the assessment for Namibia are not something new at all, but what is crucial is what are we going to do about it. The value of development financing assessment lies in the fact that it provides for an opportunity to have a holistic view with regards to development finance and how same could be aligned to national objectives and policies to maximize outputs and outcomes.

That said, it provides an opportunity for closer and coordinated collaboration involving a broad constituency of actors from across government, the private sector and financial institutions, development partners and other non-state stakeholders including the academia to align resources and prioritize funding by taking into account comparative advantage for each finance flow.

It is pleasing to note that Namibia through practice, to some greater extent, satisfies the Integrated National Financial Framework (INFF) components which include Vision, Financing policies, Financing strategies Monitoring and Evaluation and Accountability and dialogue though with shortcomings as identified in the report. It is consequently crucial that going forward we address the identified shortcomings and consolidate integrated national financial framework.

The National Planning Commission is gearing up for the review of the current Vision 2030 (which will include NDP5) and possibly put forth recalibrated and prioritized strategies, programmes and targets which can be costed, around which Integrated National Financial Framework (INFF) will be anchored. Similarly, the same will be done for NDP6 (the successor to NDP5).

Some of the important areas for potential increased resource mobilisation and policy reforms include the Public Private Partnerships; improving the business and investment environment and the establishment of a Project Development Facility(PDF) aimed at attracting investment in critical areas of national  development.

I am convinced that together we can make Namibia a better place to live in, because policies and actions matters. Finally, let me thank GIZ for the support rendered in conducting this study and making this policy seminar possible. I too wish to thank each and every one of you for accepting the invitation and support shown in our quest for development.

It is now my distinct honour to declare this policy seminar officially opened.

I thank You All