Germany pumps N$1 billion worth of aid to Namibia

Germany has pumped over N$1 billion (71.9 million euros) in developmental aid through their different government and Nongovernmental institutions operating in Namibia.

This is in line with the Namibian-German Development Cooperation agenda, which is based on bilateral agreements between the two governments, driven by the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4).

In the last 20 years, Namibia has received close to N$10 billion in funding from the German government for developmental projects by both government and non-governmental organisations.

German terms with Namibia direct that the funds go towards natural resources’ management, transport and sustainable economic development. Sectors outside of the focal areas include fostering renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as financing water.

Speaking to The Villager this week, German Embassy spokesman Ullrich Kinne reiterated that the official development cooperation is based on these agreements between the Namibian Government and the German government. Kinne added that the provisions are discussed at government negotiations taking place every two years.

In the scope of these negotiations, strategies for the future are developed by both governments, and agreements are reached regarding the volume of the financial cooperation and technical cooperation measures commissioned by the German government.

“All the outcomes of the negotiations are recorded in agreements which are binding under international law. The last negotiations were held in Germany on 1 and 2 October 2015. Technical cooperation is always non-refundable. It aims primarily at boosting the performance capacities of individuals and organisations in partner countries from small self-help organisations to government authorities by providing advisory services and teaching know-how and skills,” Kinne explained.

He said technical cooperation embraces projects and programmes agreed on during negotiations between the German government and the government of the partner country. This Official Development Assistance (ODA) is implemented on behalf of the German government by a few specialised organisations.

“Financial cooperation is an instrument involving State bodies only. It can be used, for instance, to finance investments, particularly in infrastructure and financial systems, to finance materials and equipment, or to establish effective structures. The volume of funds is agreed and laid out in a contract between Germany and the partner country,” he noted.

The German government is actively engaged, in close cooperation with international partners like Namibia, in combating poverty, securing food, establishing peace, freedom, democracy and human rights, shaping globalisation in a socially- equitable manner and preserving the environment and natural resources.

Kinne said the importance of skilled labour for development was emphasised by both sides, and is treated as a cross-cutting issue in all focal areas through support to vocational education and training, as well as higher education.

“All of our cooperation is based on common and shared values. A prerequisite for successful development cooperation is, therefore, that all the social forces in a country – citizens, the private sector, State and civil society organisations – need to take on responsibility and cooperate in a constructive manner,” he stressed.

Kinne added that development cooperation is one of the most important instruments for achieving the goals mentioned above, adding that it guarantees a future for people in developing countries.

“Due to the historic connection between Namibia and Germany, their partnership has remained close and Germany pumps N$1 billion worth of aid to Namibia constructive ever since Namibia became independent in 1990. Development cooperation is a key factor in this partnership, and Germany is Namibia’s largest bilateral development partner,” he added.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fűr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), German Entwicklungsbank, German Investment and Development Company, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources and the International Centre for Migration and Development are the German organisations in cooperation with their Namibian counterparts.

Despite the Namibian government pleading for the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) not to come to an end, the German government was adamant that it will come to an end towards the end of 2015.

Thus far, a total of N$286 million has been spent on the NGSIP to improve the social and economic living conditions of communities who have previously suffered under German colonial rule.

In the current financial year, the German government budgeted N$440 million for the NGSIP. The NGSIP was funded by the German Government through the KfW, a German Development Bank in which the initial sum was N$259.6 million (€20 million) and granted to Namibia to implement the NGSIP over four years, and an additional N$142.78 million (€11 million) was granted.

The additional funds have been used to cover up shortfalls in project budgets caused by delays in implementing initial requests.