A total number of 125 contracts valued of US$60.9m (approximately N$620m) were awarded between October 2012 and September 2013, states the 2013 Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) annual report.
These contracts were in respect of goods, services and work done in the education, tourism and agriculture-related projects, as well as for monitoring and evaluation purposes.
MCA-N CEO, Penny Akwenye, notes in the past year, one of the biggest contracts to build infrastructure was awarded to Etosha National Park for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET).
“As part of MCA-N’s support to MET, we have committed ourselves to build 98 houses for park staff and have serviced land for 54 more houses at Galton and Ombika/Anderson gates to the tune of over US$30m (approximately N$306m),” Akwenye says.
The latest annual report, which was released last Wednesday states during the year under review, Namibian companies/consultants were contracted for a total amount of US$50.1m (N$511m), representing 82.4% of the value of all contracts concluded. South African service providers were awarded 7.6% of the value of all contracts and the remaining 10% went to the service providers from other countries.
MCA-N’s latest report adds in part; “In comparison to the two previous financial years, this is a significant shift in favour of domestic businesses due to the awarding of two large construction contracts to the combined value of US$31m (N$316m) at the Etosha National Park to Namibian companies.”
Since inception in 2009, MCA-N has given out a total of over US$279m (N$2.8b) in contracts (commitments), which have been signed and are at various stages of execution. At least 92% of the compact funds have since been committed.
The commitment target for the financial year ending September stood at US$73.3m (N$747m) while US$75.5m (N$770m) worth of contracts were signed.
With just less than a year to go before the completion of the MCA-N project in Namibia, Akwenye says, “Namibian businesses have benefited greatly from the compact. The total cash spent has so far been US$184.5m (N$1.8b), which represents 61% of the compact amount. Although we have been experiencing occasional delays in procuring furniture and equipment for very large infrastructure projects such as regional study and Resource Centres and Community Skills Development Centre (COSDEC), I am confident we will soon handover these buildings, fully-furnished and equipped.”
MCA-N board member chairperson, Tom Alweendo also notes the year under review brought a number of challenges in commitment and creativity areas, paving way to full use of the US$304.5m (N$3.1b) for its intended purpose and to the benefit of Namibians.
“Most of the funds have been disbursed and committed while the produced goods and services are being finalised, as the compact enters its final stages,” he says.
MCA-N country director, Steven Dobrilovic, calls on all stakeholders involved in the project to take ownership of all activities under it.
“This would require Government planning to ensure appropriate financial and human resources are available to continue key activities. It requires that private citizens respect communal assets and safeguard them with a sense of scarcity. In some cases, it might require that Government secures additional support from other donors to ensure proper training and that capacity-building continues in support of key norm initiatives,” Dobrilovic explains.