President Hage Geingob in his final cabinet meeting this week has applauded cabinet for a job well done in considering and adopting some major policy initiatives during the period of February – December 2017.
The president said cabinet has held 21 deliberative meetings and 21 decision making meetings since February 2017, totalling 42 meetings, resulting in 240 cabinet decisions issued to respective offices, ministries and agencies for implementation.
“It has been a challenging year, but together, we have risen to the occasion, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to achieving our objectives, and as we close off 2017 and prepare to take a well-deserved rest, we can do so with the conviction that we continued to stay on course in terms of implementing Namibia’s development agenda,” said the president.
He said cabinet has managed to live to the clarion call of not failing the people and embracing the ethos of hard work.
In the financial sector, cabinet has managed to introduce the National Competition Policy for Namibia, revise the Namibia cooperative policy as well as operationalise the Namibia National Single Window Environment among other things.
In the social sector, cabinet came up with, inter alia, the Namibia Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report; revival of the National Food Security and Nutrition Council; as well as the Youth Status Report in the Republic of Namibia.
In the public service governance space, an action plan to implement strategies for containing the size of the Wage Bill was mooted while taking feedback on the Implementation of Cabinet Decisions for the period 1st of April 2016- 31 August 2016.
A country review report of the republic of Namibia for the 2010-2015 Review Cycle was also drawn together wit the assert management policy framework among other things.
The health sector saw cabinet accrediting five regional hospitals as training hospitals for medical interns and the resourcing thereof.
In the information and communication technology sector, the cabinet also approved the social media use policy, a government communication plan and revised the information technology policy for the public service among other things.
Within the region and the international relations space, a report on the 28th African Union Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government was drawn, Namibia’s draft policy on international relations and cooperation approved as well as a report on the special meeting of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) Council of Ministers, held on 31 March 2017.
Cabinet further adopted the Namibia Property Practitioners Bill, 2017, amended the Bill of Wildlife Control Products and Trade Act, 2017, adopted the Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holding (NPTH) Dismantling Bill, 2017 as well as a Mental Health Bill, 2017.
“Our ability to work in unison, driven by the common purpose of developing our Namibian House, has been the driving force behind the successes we have achieved during the Cabinet sessions of 2017.”
“Due to the hard work by the various Cabinet committees, who have applied their respective expertise, to provide much needed insight to aid the process of policy formulation, Cabinet has deliberated on several policy initiatives during the course of the year,” the president said.
He said the cabinet handbook is explicit in its description of the responsibility which it holds in terms policy making.
“Policy making is therefore an integral tool in terms of strengthening our governance, macro- economic and socio-economic architectures. I have stated the importance of improving the efficiency of our processes, systems and institutions as well as the need to increase transparency and accountability in government,” he said.
Cabinet has considered major policies such as the Prevention and Combating of Torture Bill, 2017, Vehicle Mass Bill, 2017; and the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) Judicial Management Bill, 2017.
Geingob said these policy initiatives are informed and guided by the major policy documents, Vision 2030, National Development Plans, SWAPO Party Election Manifesto 2014 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“I would like to thank all of you, together with your technical staff in your respective ministries, for the effort you have put into conceiving, formulating and actualizing these policy initiatives. Through your laudable endeavours, you have given further credence to the Harambee spirit.’’
“Like any noble cause, challenges and obstacles will always litter the path to success, but together, we have what it takes to persevere, overcome and succeed. As the saying goes: We are not defined by our challenges but lifted up by them. As we prepare to draw the curtain on 2017, I encourage all of you to ponder this statement. Don’t be defined by the challenges you face but be lifted up by them,” he said.