Effective Governance is a critical component for socio-economic development and social cohesion. It requires robust, accountable and transparent institutions; delivering quality services; protecting people’s freedoms and effectively combating corruption to build an inclusive society.
The Government’s commitment to Effective Governance is embedded within the Namibian Constitution, Vision 2030, the National Development Plans (NDPs), and commitments in the Governing Party’s electoral promise and other policy documents. Significant progress has been made during the HPPI period, demonstrated through the adoption of tailored national policies and peer-rankings on regional and international indices such as the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), the Press Freedom Index, the Corruption Perception Index, the 2020 Trace Bribery Risk Matrix and several other indicators. This commitment is further reflected through Namibia’s ratification of regional and international instruments, such as the UN Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals), AU Agenda 2063 and their attendant Conventions and Charters.
Government is conscious that more should be done and remains committed to implementing and unleashing the full potential of our national policies and development programmes to achieve the desired outcome of an effective governance architecture, that translates into improved livelihoods for all Namibians.
Namibia remains committed to sound governance architecture, grounded on a constitutional democracy comprising of a multiparty electoral system, regular elections every five years, two Presidential term limits of five years each, three organs of State with clear separation of powers, a three-tier representative Government and constitutionally entrenched media freedoms. This governance system is intact and will be solidified during HPPII through improved and fair processes, working systems and accountable institutions. This Governance architecture is deemed to be the most critical success factor to propelling economic recovery, growth and shared prosperity towards Vision 2030.
Namibia ranks well in Africa on various key governance indicators, as illustrated by regional and international rankings and scores. In line with Government’s commitment to continuous improvement, Namibia’s governance practices are measured and evaluated against substantive indicators by recognized international and regional indexes, which substantively informs the necessary interventions to be pursued by Government.
The Governing Party’s decision to promote 50/50 zebra style gender representation across all structures of the Party contributed to the improved score in Political Representation of Women, in Parliament. Following the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, President Geingob took a policy decision to further improve representation of women in the Executive branch. Namibia consequently scored 65.1 in the gender parity dimension, in the 2020 IIAG Report (based on 2019 assessment). Improving women’s participation at all levels of Government will therefore remain a critical component of HPPII.
The IIAG looks at governance at a broad level, highlighting its importance across the areas of democratic and political governance and human/social development. Namibia scored 65.1 on the 2020 IIAG Index – a decrease of 3.5 points on the overall score in 2018, but with a notable improvement of 12.8 points on the Foundations for Economic Opportunity (62.7), Human Development (60.9), Safety & Rule of Law (69.6) and Participation & Human Rights (67.0) dimensions. The country also progressed in the social safety net (60.7) and protection of personal liberties (73.0). Despite improved scoring in some dimensions, the overall country ranking declined from Rank No. 5 to Rank No. 7 on the continent.
Maintaining public trust in the Government to deliver on its electoral mandate is of primary importance. To achieve greater levels of public confidence, Government has put into place various measures to support Government’s zero-tolerance against corruption, provision of quality service delivery at all levels, responsive institutions, accountability and transparency, and the participation of all – so as to ensure that no Namibian feels left out.
Accountability & Transparency, and Improved Performance & Service Delivery were identified as the strategic focus areas in HPPI. In this regard, Thirty-Four (34) activities were set, which centred on issues such as tackling corruption, improving procurement measures, enhancing public service performance and soliciting citizen feedback.
A review of HPP Final Report (2016–2020) revealed that while some activities were achieved and completed, six (6) could not be commenced due to budgetary constraints. From the 28 implemented activities, twenty-three (23) were achieved. Most of the planned activities will be carried over to HPPII, to sustainably embed these outcomes into the public sector Performance Management System.
While these successes have improved Namibia’s governance framework, continuous improvement is required in the areas of citizen engagement and introduction of the Performance Management System at sub-national levels.
The prolonged global economic downturn and the onset of COVID-19 pandemic have re-affirmed the need for inclusive, agile and smart governance frameworks that are responsive to the need for efficient public service delivery. Namibia strives to position herself strategically to leverage opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), by fostering agile governance principles and data-driven policymaking.
During HPPII, the Effective Governance Pillar prioritises 5 goals and 23 activities. It is vital that these goals and activities focus not only on Government systems but also to enhance collaboration between stakeholders including the private sector, development partners and the citizenry. The 5 goals for this Pillar are Accountability & Transparency; Strengthening the National Anti-Corruption Mechanisms; Improved Performance & Service Delivery; Enhancing Citizen Participation & Engagement and Enhancing Security & Rule of Law.