New NPC commissioners appointed
WINDHOEK – President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Monday told the 18 new commissioners of the National Planning Commission (NPC) that he expects them to have a deep understanding of the country’s social and economic realities, and urged them to employ best practices and lessons from other countries in carrying out their duties.
Pohamba said the NPC must always be comprised of dedicated, knowledgeable and motivated men and women, who can effectively contribute to the planning process, with a professional secretariat. “There was also a need to appoint commissioners based on their specific areas of expertise,” he said. The president said new NPC members also need to improve and strengthen approaches to tackling issues such as extreme poverty, unemployment, as well as youth development and empowerment through effective education.
He further called on the new commissioners to work closely with all offices, ministries and agencies, as well as state-owned enterprises to ensure a co-ordinated approach to national development. The 18 commissioners comprise of people with different kinds of professional expertise in line with the new NPC Act No. 2 of 2013, which repealed the 1994 Act to ensure the commissioners are appointed based on merit. Pohamba said the repeal was necessitated by a number of factors such as the composition of the membership. “Through proper monitoring and evaluation, the commission must be able to help the nation to determine whether the allocation and expenditure of resources on the implementation of various programmes are achieving the desired results in terms of our national development plans and Vision 2030.” According to the president due to the demanding nature of their responsibilities, the previous members did not have sufficient time and found it difficult to fulfil their obligations to the commission. NPC commissioners are mandated to spearhead and coordinate national development goals. Pohamba further underlined the need for proper coordination among government offices and agencies in order to minimise and avoid duplication of functions. “The mandate of the National Planning Commission is critical to the social and economic development of our country. As the agency tasked with the important task of spearheading and coordinating national development and economic planning, it is important to ensure that the institution is capacitated to carry out its work effectively,” he noted.
“Equally, in order for our national planning efforts to achieve the desired results, we must maintain a sound planning framework that is backed up by timely and accurate research data, as well as technical knowledge,” said the president. He further said there are only 17 years remaining before Namibia reaches the year 2030, which is the target year for Vision 2030. “This is not a very long time. In this context, I believe that the National Planning Commission should already start to consider the post-2030 national development scenarios for our country,” he informed the commissioners. “I urge you to utilize the resources at your disposal to provide sound advice to the government regarding the pressing issues facing Namibia today and in future,” he said.
By Fifi Rhodes