• September 28th, 2020

Opinion: Is South-South cooperation an antidote to the realisation of Agenda 2063

In today’s turbulent world, a lot has changed as a result of technology that has globalised the world.
The demand for healthy living, equal distribution of the resources, sharing of technology, skills, knowledge has risen and become an integral determinant in international relations. Such resources are unevenly distributed between developed and developing countries with a better endowment in the developed world.

Like many developing countries, Namibia underwent colonialism. During the colonial period, limited economic development occurred due to restrictions and bottlenecks created by imperial governments who limited the use of resources to colonial masters. Education, for instance, could not be realized at the full scale in many countries since it was a privilege reserved for colonial settlers. 

For the realisiation of the equitable global village, South-South Cooperation was initiated as a modality to enhance the optimal utilization of the resources in developing countries and to promote sustainable development. 

This is cemented in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially the goals for partnerships that advocate that all the SDGs can only be realised with strong global partnerships and cooperation.

Namibia as a partner in south-south cooperation has been a beneficiary of developmental initiatives. 
For instance, in Namibia, the national strategic plan of the Republic of Namibia is the guiding document on all national priorities. In her plan Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) food security is prioritized. 

What is more appealing, is the fact it emphasizes the notion that no Namibian citizens should ever die of hunger. Elaborating further, the HPP plan has five pillars that entail effective governance, economic advancement, social progression, infrastructure development, and international relation. 

South-South cooperation touches all these aspects, which enhanced the international outreach of Namibia— a very vital element for development. On the impact of South-South Cooperation in Namibia, there is a compelling need to look at the contribution of China and India. 

In 2015, China as part of SSC trained a significant number of Namibians in the agricultural sector. 
Forty employees of Etunda and Mashare farming project were trained on modern farming practices as well as agribusiness.  Such capacity building yielded a remarkable impact as outputs surpassed inputs compared to prior experiences. Small scale farmers have appreciably benefited as well. Their harvests exponentially increase due to better knowledge of best farming practices. The trainees who attended the workshop further trained other farmers and that dissemination of knowledge sent a ripple of change in the Namibian agricultural sector. Knowledge sharing has resulted in a great improvement in farm management in rural areas.  

On the other hand, the contribution of India to South-South cooperation in Namibia is momentous. Like other partners in SSC, India bases technical assistance on national priorities- education and economic advancement being the cardinal Namibian national interests. 

Currently, the Government of India provides 22 scholarships per year to deserving Namibian citizens to pursue studies in the different fields at various universities in India. 

Owing to capacity building through education, Namibia has realised an increasing number of academics and researchers in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Is this not a strong element that all developed countries prescribe too? Indeed, it is. 

It not only enhances the bilateral relationship but also reinforces South-South Cooperation and its mandates stipulated by its principles. Education comes with knowledge and skills that are essential for the development of any countries as famously stated by Nelson Mandela: “education is the most powerful tool you can use to change the world.” Because of the education assistance offered by India, Namibian has become a beneficiary of knowledge, as the scholars actively participate in research, in the medical fraternity and other scientific fields. 

As we are aware, the success of any country in its pursuance of development depends heavily on the active consumption of knowledge produced in research. It is through research that new insights are brought forth, which results in innovation.

Scholarships offered by the Government of India as part of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programs have been impactful on Namibian human resource development.  It is indisputable the scholarship assistance has helped Namibia in terms of capacity buildings. Many scholars who benefited from the scholarship came back home with new sets of skills and perspectives that positively impact on the nation.

In conclusion, it is self-evident the developed, western countries tremendously cooperated in sharing resources, skills, technologies and human capital to foster sustainable economic development. This accelerated economic prosperity as it is seen today. Such a symbiotic relationship should be adopted by global African countries if agenda 2063 is to be fully realised. It cannot be contested the countries of Africa are interdependent--intertwined by shared colonial history. The existing relationship should be utilized to tighten cooperation to promote sustainable development. The time is due for Africa to stand her ground and believe in herself by intensifying dealings in a comprehensive cooperating manner with each for the betterment of her people and referent objects in the developmental issues. 

*The author of this article Kennedy Kaumba Mabuku is holder of Master of Policing Practice and A student of Master of Arts in Security and Strategic Studies. He can be contacted at, kennedymabuku@yahoo.com or 0814173100

Staff Reporter
2019-11-04 07:39:18 | 10 months ago

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