The German Federal government mobilised additional resources of approximately N$256 million as grant aid to support Namibia in mitigating the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in the conservation and tourism sector.
The conservation and tourism sector has been significantly affected by the loss of income during the pandemic. Although local and international tourism seems to have started recovering during the last months, substantial financial gaps in the sector remain and continue to deteriorate countrywide employment, vital conservation activities and the survival of local communities, wildlife and protected areas.
This latest grant is an addition to N$250 million committed in 2020, and implemented to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19. The funds will be provided through the German state-owned investment and development bank KfW Development Bank to the tourism ministry.
The signing of agreements between the two governments took place this week in Windhoek. Furthermore, this most recent grant is meant to further develop friendly relations between the two governments and strengthen economic and technical cooperation.
At the signing, the tourism ministry’s executive director Teofilus Nghitila said the support is significant, and will be put to good use. He noted that activities are picking up in the tourism sector, which is a good thing for overall economic recovery.
Some funds will be earmarked to support communal conservancies and the local tourism sector with securing the ongoing employment of game warders, locals working for conservancies, and general conservancy tourism businesses.
“The resilience of communal conservancies will be strengthened through supporting the implementation of human-wildlife conflict mitigation and prevention measures,” he added.
Also, it will be used for measures aiding national parks and protected areas to minimise detrimental ecology and the economic impacts of Covid-19.