WINDHOEK - Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) last week signed a loan agreement worth US$217.8 million, or about N$3 billion, to finance the second phase of Namibia’s Economic Governance and Competitiveness Support Programme (EGCSP II).
EGCSP II aims to strengthen public financial management and improve the quality and efficiency of public sector spending, while laying a solid foundation for industrialisation through reforms to the business environment. The signing follows the AfDB Board’s approval of the second-year programme and budget for the fiscal year 2018/19, at a meeting on July 18.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday, August 14 by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein and Dr Josepine Ngure, Bank Deputy Director General, Southern Africa Regional Development, on behalf of the bank.
The programme will support ongoing fiscal consolidation efforts and a wide range of reforms within national policy and legal frameworks, such as the Public Private Partnership Act, Namibia Revenue Agency Act, Namibia Industrial Development Agency Act and the Public Procurement Regulations. AfDB’s intervention is expected to improve revenue collection, enhance efficiency in public spending, improve debt management and enhance the investment facilitation framework for industrial and MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) development.
The EGCSP, together with other ongoing investment and development projects such as the Namport expansion project, will contribute immensely to addressing emerging challenges, strengthening Namibia’s economic competitiveness and building a foundation for long-term sustainable economic growth and development.
Thanking the AfDB for a speedy response to the government’s request, Schlettwein welcomed the flexibility of the loan and stressed the importance of strengthening institutional capacity for its implementation. Ngure reiterated the AfDB’s commitment to supporting Namibia’s socio-economic development.
Namibia’s EGCSP is aligned with the AfDB’s Country Strategy Paper for Namibia, its Ten-Year Strategy and its High 5s agenda. The signing of this latest agreement brings the bank’s active portfolio in Namibia to 10 operations, valued at US$1.11 billion, making it the second largest portfolio in the southern African region.
•••• Photo: AfDB
New Era Reporter
2018-08-28 11:08:05 4 months ago