12 February 2018

Namibia: National Land Conference Back On Track

Windhoek — The long-awaited second national land conference that was postponed last year will take place this year and is to be held under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister, confirmed President Hage Geingob.

The president postponed the conference last year to allow for more public consultations after the various parties involved, among them the Namibian Non-Governmental Organisations Forum and the Swapo Party Youth League had raised concerns about the insufficient time for consultations ahead of the conference.

While acknowledging that the economic climate remains a challenge, there are key deliverables that must happen this year and that includes the second national land conference, the president said.

Addressing the first Cabinet meeting last Thursday, Geingob urged the line ministries to establish a high-level committee to be chaired by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila and to comprise of ministerial representation and civil society to ensure inclusivity.

Geingob further said the extensive consultations as undertaken last year by the government must be supplemented with inputs from subject matter experts and other important stakeholders who were not included in the initial round of consultations.

"It is imperative that the format, objectives and outcomes of the conference be clearly defined from the onset, so as to guide preparations," he urged.

According to information obtained from the Ministry of Land Reform the second land conference is expected to take stock of the achievements made since the first national land conference held in 1991, and to establish what is needed to accelerate and improve the implementation of recommendations made at that time.

Apart from that, President Geingob also demanded that parliament enact enabling legislation for state-owned enterprise reform this year.

"The line minister must be given the necessary support and power to execute his mandate, through the enactment of the enabling legislation," Geingob said.

He also called for the publication of the findings and recommendations contained in the 2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, conducted by the Office of the Prime Minister to measure service delivery standards.

"I expect that improvement plans will be developed and implemented this year, without delay," directed the president further.

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