The African Union supports Namibia's plans to review the strategic plan on arms control, management and disarmament.
The Namibian Police are reviewing the 2005 plan of action on small arms and light weapons through a development workshop that started on Monday and ends today.
The review is undertaken in collaboration with the African Union, the Regional Centre on Small Arms, and Core Elite Consultancy.
The African Union's head of defence and security Einas Mohammed said during the official opening of the workshop on Tuesday that illicit small arms and light weapons constitute a serious threat to safety, security and stability in Africa.
"Small arms have long been considered as the primary tool and enabler of violence throughout the history of conflict in Africa," she said.
Mohammed stated that small arms cause a range of human rights violations, including gender-based violence in conflict situations, adding that the circulation of small arms diverts limited government resources away from developmental programmes, and also adversely impacts the potential for investment.
Officiating at the event, the safety and security ministry's executive director, Trephine Kamati, said the government was grateful to the African Union, in particular the peace and security division, for its commitment, continued partnership and support from the conceptualisation of the review and development to the delivery of the final assignment.
She added that it was important that the new strategic plan on arms is linked to the national development agendas as stipulated in the fifth National Development Plan, the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the ministerial strategic plan.
The objectives of the workshop include the presentation of findings from the situational analysis and performance review, assessment of key strategic issues, the development of strategic themes, target setting and compiling of a five-year strategic draft plan.
Police deputy inspector general for administration, Anne-Marie Nainda, emphasised that there is a need to align the plan on the control of small arms and light weapons to the organisational plan and all other important policies of the government to ensure that all these plans are achieved.
The recently launched Namibian Police Force five-year strategic plan was specially designed to appropriately direct the work of the force to the fundamental ideals of crime prevention, public safety and crime investigations.
A customer service charter was at the same time developed to provide greater assurance to the public about the standard of service they should expect to receive from the police, Nainda said.