Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi has reminded members of parliament of their constitutional mandate of empowering people as elected representatives.
Katjavivi noted lawmakers have the power to use their legislative and oversight mandate to improve people’s livelihood.
He made this appeal when he addressed an online seminar organised and hosted by the National People’s Congress of China on Wednesday.
Lawmakers from three other parliaments, namely Liberia, South Africa and Zimbabwe also attended the virtual meeting.
According to the speaker, the seminar came at an opportune time when countries are struggling to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and when there is great expectation for MPs to lead key policy interventions that will allow for socio-economic growth.
“This event provides us with an opportunity to strengthen the already existing excellent relations between our parliamentary institutions and countries. The Covid-19 pandemic has had immense effect not only on the health sector but the overall global efforts to create sustainable growth and foster socio-economic development. This meeting therefore takes place at a time where members of parliament are expected to lead key policy interventions that will allow for socio-economic growth in our various countries,” noted Katjavivi.
Katjavivi stated during the meeting that in Namibia, parliament has been making serious interventions aimed at managing the already limited resources, particularly in the current economic climate.
“During our recent budget debate, we have taken drastic steps in the curbing of public expenditure, while making considerable fiscal efforts to accelerate growth through state intervention. This is necessary in the current economic climate, which requires innovative thinking, to design policies that will lead us towards a sustainable growth trajectory,” said Katjavivi.
The speaker further revealed that Namibia was steadily winning the fight against poverty and under development.
“Namibia has made great strides in our war against poverty. Between 2001 and 2011, Namibia recorded a 41% reduction in absolute poverty from 37.9% of population to 26.9%, while severe poverty was reduced from 23% to 15.8%,” noted Hon. Katjavivi.