Second decentralisation consultative forum held in the capital

The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD), held a second Decentralisation Consultative Policy meeting with key line Ministries, Regional councils, representative from various offices and other stakeholders in Windhoek on Thursday.

The two-day meeting was aimed at empowering sub-national government by transferring certain functions, decision making powers along with related resources from central government to sub - national government level.

Speaking at the occasion, Minister of MURD PeyaMushelenga said the decentralisation policy is an important government initiative aimed at improving government's ability to render public services in an effective and efficient manner.

Namibia being a unitary state where harmony between the local and national development priorities and the relationship between central and sub-national government must naturally be characterised by the spirit of cooperation and common purpose, the minister said.

He added that sub-national government which is Regional and Local Authority Councils are strategically established to serve as channels for development and public service delivery due to unique knowledge and local need and proximity to local communities.

Mushelenga further added that the efficiency of a government to a large extent is determined by the effectiveness of its local structures.

Regional Councils must be responsive to the needs of local communities by providing timely and quality services Mushelenga added.

The minister said there is a need to nurture a culture of mutual cooperation and communication between Regional council and decentralisation line Ministries through defined official channels and mechanisms.

Decentralisation is a complex government reform, such as it is expected that some challenges will be encountered along our implementation journey he stated.

He however said challenges should not be constructed as impossibility but rather opportunities to which upon we must build to refine our decentralisation implementation approach systems.

Mushelenga noted that the number of critical functions namely, Rural Water Supply and sanitation, Primary and secondary Education, Communal Land Management and Maintenance government infrastructures amongst others have been decentralised to Regional Councils.

I call upon some Ministries earmarked for decentralisation to accelerate their decentralisation plans to give effect and meaning to our national policy of decentralisation he said.

The first Decentralisation Consultative Forum was held here in the capital on the 27 march 2018.

Source: Namibia Press Agency