Namibia, EU Sign N$925 Million Agreement

NAMIBIA and the European Union have signed an economic assistance agreement worth euro68 million (about US$925 million).

The National Indicative Programme (NIP) was signed yesterday by minister in the presidency in charge of economic planning and director-general of the National Planning Commission Tom Alweendo and the head of the European Union delegation to Namibia, ambassador Raul Fuentes Milani.

The NIP includes indicative financial resources amounting to euro68 million, which the EU will make available to Namibia for the period 2015-2020.

The NIP will focus on two focal sectors, education and skills, and agriculture. In terms of education, the objective of the support will be to improve social skills and competencies of children entering primary education and to bring to the Namibian labour market more and better qualified workers to meet specific demands.

Furthermore, it is foreseen to strengthen the vocational education system. As for agriculture, the objective is to improve wealth created from the natural resource based sectors in a sustainable way to address issues of poverty and unemployment and explore the possible transition to a ‘green economy.’ Funding has also been set aside to support the capacity of civil society organisations to engage as effective partners.

The programming exercise for the NIP has been guided by the Fourth National Development Plan and the EU Agenda for Change. The Fourth National Development Plan focuses on areas with a direct link to economic growth, employment creation and income equality as a strategy for addressing poverty and unemployment.

“We want to support Namibia’s development as the Namibian government sees it and align our resources along Namibia’s development priorities,” explained Raul Fuentes Milani.

Alweendo said: “We are pleased with the fact that the EU response strategy and NIP are in line with government’s priorities and that the agreement we are signing today supplements government’s development efforts.”

Source : The Namibian