Deputy prime minister and international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said Monday that the 78% her ministry received for 2020/2021 is for the foreign missions programmes
Nandi-Ndaitwah said this during her budget motivation speech for her ministry. The ministry was allocated N$1 010 617 000 under Vote seven of the 2020/2021 budget.
This percentage retranslated into N$784,622,278.00 (Seven Hundred and Eighty-Four Million, Six Hundred and Twenty- Two Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Eight Namibian Dollars)
The minister added that in pursuit of expanding Namibia’s diplomatic representation abroad, the ministry intends to open new embassies in the Republic of Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Both countries are strategic for our economic diplomacy
She said 11% of the total budget which is N$109 million is earmarked for expenditure that is developmental in nature which will be utilized for capital projects at headquarters and at diplomatic missions and posts abroad.
“I wish to reiterate that the Ministry’s focus continues to be on the acquisition of properties as a priority area, in order to reduce the ever-escalating rental costs,” the deputy prime minister said.
Rally for Democracy and Progress MP Mike Kavekotora questioned Nandi-Ndaitwah whether the existence of all the Namibian high commissions in foreign countries contributes to economic diplomacy.
In response, deputy prime minister said this is terms as the “cornerstone of Namibia’s foreign policy”.
Kavekotora believes the government is spending too much money on these foreign high commissions compared to the economic value it brings to the country.
The objectives of the Missions abroad are to promote and protect National interests, support the welfare of Namibia citizens abroad; provide consular services to Namibians students, tourists and business people including potential investors.
Resources appropriated for this programme would be utilised to enhance the functions of the 31 Namibian Diplomatic Missions and 3 Consular Posts abroad, to carry out promotional activities as mentioned above, lease office spaces and pay for staff accommodation and remuneration to both Namibian diplomats and locally recruited staff, payment for school fees and medical costs for staff and their dependents, maintenance of vehicles, equipment, to name just a few.