Alvine Kapitako Windhoek-The German government has availed approximately N$2 billion (133.5 million euros) for technical and financial cooperation projects and programmes. At a press conference on Friday, Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Lucia Iipumbu said 73.5 percent of the money is grant support, while N$60 million is an interest-reduced loan. “This new commitment is in addition to a note verbal commitment made in 2016 and amounted to 3 million euros for technical cooperation projects, plus 28.5 million [euro] for financial cooperation commitments made in 2009, 2012 and 2013 that will now be re-programmed to support other projects,” Iipumbu noted. Cooperation between the two governments focuses on three areas: the management of natural resources, sustainable economic development, and transport. This does not disqualify from consideration other areas of interest mutually agreed on that fall outside the cooperation agreement, Iipumbu added. She was also pleased that Germany’s support to Namibia is aligned to the country’s national development plans. “NDP5 is the vehicle through which Namibia will implement and report on other development tools, such as African Union Agenda 2063,” she said. The prime focus of the cooperation is to support the Namibian government in its efforts to reduce poverty and unemployment, to improve the population’s overall living conditions and to strengthen the country’s infrastructure, as well as to foster economic development. German Ambassador to Namibia Christian Schlaga said the funding cooperation is another confirmation that Germany remains one of the most important and willing partners in Namibia’s efforts to strengthen and hasten its development. “This we do under difficult economic times. It is important that partners not move away and [that they] stay at your side. One of the most salient features of our result is the fact that Germany continues to work also with a high level of grants,” Schlaga said. Whatever has been agreed is rooted in consensus, he added, on the basis of many months of talks, and many months of checks and balances and back and forth to ensure that it is the Namibian government’s input to which Germany is responding, he remarked. “Namibia is the one who is planning, coming forward with project ideas and then Germany and Namibia together try to see that everything is done in coordination,” the German ambassador stressed. He also highlighted some specific areas of cooperation, which by his assessment, are of specific importance, including natural resources management and development. “Natural resources management, conservation of natural resources, biodiversity, eco-stability to make sure that the wonderful biodiversity which Namibia has is conserved, but at the same time managed sustainably and is in sync with the economic injection into the country by fostering the development of tourism,” Schlaga said. One does not go without the other, he added. “If Namibia maintains its high level of biodiversity and wildlife, then tourists will continue to come and tourists will continue to bring money and not only bring money to the state coffers, but in particular money to the local regions.” The ambassador also said they would continue their assistance by supporting the construction of infrastructure in the national parks. “We contribute to the fact that the Namibian government will be able to manage the parks,” he said. Windhoek will also be able to provide more clean and safer drinking water than what is currently available and that will help develop the city, Schlaga said, highlighting one of the key infrastructure projects to benefit from German developmental assistance. “We continue our efforts in reforming the land use of communal areas in the north, a project we decided to continue with another financial injection, because we see the fruitful results,” he said, adding that the education sector would also benefit from the funding.
2017-09-25 09:07:59 11 months ago