Participants who attended the workshop
Story by Pamela Mate
After a week of presentations, deliberations, discussions and recommendations, the consultative workshop for the National Council Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender, Youth and ICT and Women Caucus has come to an end. The Members of Parliament together with various stakeholders took a holistic approach in gathering information pertaining to Ministries and Organizations and their interventions and conditions pertaining to alleviating poverty in Namibia. This week long workshop has equipped the MPs for their next assignment, when they will be going out to the regions to analyse and assess the conditions of destitute and vulnerable groups in Kunene, Oshikoto, Kavango East, Oshana and Otjozondjupa regions.
Government Ministries gave their full participation in the workshop through representatives who relayed interventions, plans, policies and startegies in place to respond to ending poverty in Namibia. The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare spoke of their role on poverty alleviation and how it links up with the Harambee Prosperity Plan. The Office of the Vice President’s Veterans Affairs and Marginalised Communities also shared on their programmes working with veterans and marginalised groups, especially school going children who are supported to keep them in school through providing food, transport and other socio-economic interventions. The workshop also had the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare who expounded on grants, projects, equipment and GBV issues as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs and Registration on their program of providing national documents to vulnerable groups. All these are deliberate attempts by government for all Namibians to have equal footing and be empowered in order for them to be empowered and improve their socio-economic status and livelihoods. Other Ministries who were present throughout the week are Ministry of Health and Social Services, ICT, Education, Arts and Culture and Sport, Youth and National Service. Affirmative Action and the New Equity Economic Empowerment Framework, NEEEF, was also discussed and by the Office of the Prime Minister and the National Disability Council gave their perspective as a vulnerable group where improvements can still be made to improve their livelihoods.
The specialists from the Ministry, together with the MPs on the final day are formulating a work plan and looking at how it can work for MPs, as well as developing what the role of MPs must be both at regional level and national level through
Hon. Mensah-Williams also took issue with the pace at which old laws that disadvantage Namibians are repealed, adding that the process is too slow and must be responsive to the ever changing dynamics and realities of the country. At the end of the outreach, two reports will be tabled in the National Council comprising of recommendations made from the workshop and observations from the regions.