Located on the western shores of Southern Africa, Namibia is a country largely made of deserts and not densily populated. Since its independence in 1990, the country enjoys peace and political stability and became an upper middle income country in 2009.
Despite progress made towards the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), notably in terms of access to water and school enrolment, the country still faces development challenges related to widespread poverty, severe income inequality, high unemployment, low qualification, and vulnerability to climate change and HIV/AIDS pandemics.
The country’s economy is based on mining (mostly uranium and diamonds), fisheries, tourism, and beef. However, to address its structural vulnerabilities and problem of jobless growth, Namibia needs to develop value-adding economic activities to complement its extractive industries. Moreover, the water and energy sectors are also bottlenecks for the Namibian economy.
The EU strives to enhance bilateral relations with the Republic of Namibia in areas of mutual interest. The priorities formulated in all relevant national development strategies are in line with EU interests and overarching priorities, particularly with regard to provisions of the EU Green Deal and the EC communication 'Towards a Comprehensive Strategy with Africa', as well as with the EU’s endeavour to be at the forefront of promoting 'Good Governance and Human Rights' throughout the world. Namibia’s long-term development policy framework 'Vision 2030' aims at developing a “prosperous and industrialised Namibia, developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability”.
It is in this context, the threeproposed priority areas for the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) are the following:
Basic Skills – Education
Namibia faces many challenges in the education sector, such as decreasing learning outcomes, high secondary school dropout rates and high repetition rates. Therefore, implementing quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes is a highly cost-effective strategy to ensure that all children develop their full potential. In the medium to long term, investments in ECD will also leverage many positive secondary effects on both economic growth and social progression, as ECD lays the foundation for a healthy, educated, and capacitated workforce.
Inclusive Green Growth
This priority area will pursue “Guaranteed energy supply and sufficient water supply and access for human consumption and business activities’’. Additionally, it will strengthen Namibia’s resilience to climate change to achieve “land degradation neutrality and optimum land productivity”. This will support increased benefits to local communities by exploiting a bioeconomy based on sustainability principles.
Good Governance and Gender Equality
Good governance is of utmost importance for a pluralistic, participatory, and representative democracy and is a key enabler and cross-cutting issue for all sectors of development. It will strive to strengthen key institutions that can lead to an overall enhanced governance performance, an improved enabling environment for Civil Society and better service delivery. The latter is particularly important for the severely deteriorating situation of victims of gender-based violence, for whom insufficient protection and social services are put in place.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for the Republic of Namibia for 2021-2024 amounts to €37 million.
Priority area 1: ‘’ Foundational Skills - Education’’ improves equitable and inclusive access to quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Pre-primary Education (PPE) through the strengthening of system delivery capacity. EU support for this sector will also contribute to addressing Public Finance Management issues. The aim is to link a financially sustainable budget to the desired social and development outcomes and to meet the targets that have been set.
Priority area 2: ‘’ Inclusive Green Growth’’ contributes to greener, more resilient, and inclusive long-term solutions for Namibia's economic development. To ensure this development, there is a need to guarantee access to affordable and clean energy and water access and to protect the fragile Namibian ecosystems and biodiversity. This priority will support the Growth & Jobs policy of the Namibian government.
Priority area 3: ‘’ Good Governance and Gender Equality’’ supports a more effective, accessible, and transparent Parliament that strengthens Namibia’s democracy. More effective implementation of anti-corruption measures will foster efficient and accountable institutions. The comprehensive implementation of the GBV Action Plan by the Minister of Gender, Child Welfare and Poverty Eradication will reduce the prevalence of violence in Namibia’s society.
The Constitution of the Republic of Namibia contains a number of provisions that guarantee the space for CSOs to operate, and these provisions are generally upheld. A dedicated policy “Civic Organisation Partnership Policy” is in place and aims at creating a clear policy framework for cooperation between Government and CSOs. Namibian civil society is vibrant and active in many sectors and complements the absence of adequate public service provision to communities. Building on previous support to CSOsand in full synergy and complementarity with other ongoing EU programmes and the strategic objectives outlined in the 2021-2024 Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society, the EU will keep supporting and strengthening the capacities and qualifications of Namibian CSOs.