Namibians under-represented at AU commission

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WINDHOEK- The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation is there to ensure that Namibia fills its job quotas at the AU Commission when vacant positions are advertised by the continental body.

The current job quota system stands at eleven, and only three positions are occupied by Namibians at the AU Commission.
Although a number of Namibian nationals are working for regional and international organizations, it is still far below the desirable range. 

This is despite the fact that the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation continues to encourage qualified Namibian citizens to consider applying for, and taking up employment in regional and international organizations.

Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa last Thursday revealed that Cabinet directed Namibia set up a national sectoral steering committee on the implementation of the AU decisions. 
He noted this committee should be coordinated by the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation and also that Namibia fills the quota at the AU Commission whenever vacancies are advertised. 

He disclosed that even at the level of the United Nations (UN) very few Namibians are keen to apply for positions.
However, he said at the SADC Secretariat, there is a reasonable representation of Namibians who filled the quota.
“We need to ensure we fill these quotas. It appears that in Namibia, we don’t have the appetite to be able to work in these organisations. We can’t continue to pay our subscription-membership fees but we are not deriving from the benefits we are supposed to. We encourage those with expertise to apply for those positions when advertised,” he encouraged. 
He rubbished the perceptions that government is biased as it allegedly only motivates certain application forms of “comrades” for some of these key positions – leaving others feeling left out.

“Perceptions will always be there. Even when you read the Bible from the beginning. But I say let’s be careful. Perceptions are never credible predictors of truth. Perceptions can be misleading and may have prejudice. When it comes to these positions, you don’t have to be my relative, it’s irrelevant. You need to meet the requirements and we will see how government can support you,” he said.

Simataa said regional and international bodies such as the UN and the AU have their own requirements hence there is no room for favouritism.

“It doesn’t imply that you have to be a member of the ruling party. As long as you meet the requirements, please we encourage you to apply. If you need support of government, then we will not shy away,” he clarified. 
Furthermore, he said Cabinet has also directed the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development to promote trade and investment between  Namibia and China for the preparation of establishing a pharmaceutical processing factory for traditional Chinese medicine.

These medicines once the factory is realised will range from cattle kidney stones and seals, which have the potential for creating about 500 employment opportunities and skills transfer for Namibia.