Secretary-General’s Message: Africa Industrialization Day


New York, 20 November 2014 – Many African economies have shown impressive growth rates in recent years, but increased prosperity has not always translated into inclusive wealth creation. Far too often, economic development depends on the extraction of natural resources and on low-skilled labor, which has resulted in a weak manufacturing base and uneven distribution of wealth.

Agriculture still accounts for the major share of rural household income and employs over 60 percent of Africa’s labor force, particularly women.  Low agricultural productivity continues to threaten food security in Africa as a whole.

I therefore welcome this year’s theme for Africa Industrialization Day: the importance of inclusive and sustainable industrialization and the close links between agro-industrial development and food security.

Africa needs a green, clean industrialization that leapfrogs outdated, polluting processes and platforms and benefits from new technologies. Inclusive and sustainable industrialization is a key stepping stone towards sustained economic growth, food security and poverty eradication in Africa.

On the occasion of Africa Industrialization Day, I reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to promote Africa’s inclusive and sustainable industrial development to help ensure an economically prosperous and socially integrated continent.







The “UNiTE To End Violence against Women” campaign has launched this year’s Call for Action: “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood: End Violence against Women and Girls”.

This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence occur at a critical juncture for efforts to end violence against women and girls (VAW/G) as the world gears up to mark the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Millennium Development Goals reach their deadline, and a new global development agenda takes shape. This moment therefore provides an important opportunity to galvanize additional attention around the issue of violence against women and girls.

  • The UNiTE Campaign activities on the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism have the following objectives:
  • To focus government attention on the issue of violence against women and girls as one of the Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action;
  • To call for the inclusion of the issue of violence against women and girls in all Bejing+20 discussions as well as those around the post-2015 development framework;
  • To amplify the calls of UN Women’s Beijing+20 campaign to mobilize governments and citizens alike to demand a world where gender equality is a reality by demonstrating the intersectionality of the concerns reflected in the Beijing Platform for Action through the lens of violence against women and girls;
  • To raise the profile of the UNiTE campaign and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF) and its grantees with a view to raising funds for the UNTF grant giving cycle in 2015.

In 2013, the UNiTE campaign launched a global call for action to “Orange the World in 16 Days.” UN entities, civil society organizations and individuals across the world led an array of creative and highly visible events in over 50 countries, which drew attention to the issue and created opportunities for discussion around current initiatives and solutions. The initiative aimed to create the symbolic image of a world free from violence against women and girls. The colour orange was a uniting theme which ran through all events as one of the official colours of the UNiTE campaign, and as a bright and optimistic colour, representative of a world free from violence against women and girls.

The 20th anniversary of Beijing opens new opportunities to reconnect, regenerate commitment, charge up political action and mobilize the public. The emphasis of UNiTE campaign activities will therefore be on engaging the community and the individual, and taking the UNiTE campaign ‘local’ through ‘door to door advocacy’ – not only in government buildings and town halls, but also in villages, libraries and market places. Everyone has a role to play in their community: men, boys, religious leaders, local politicians, barbers, food stall sellers, shop owners, teachers, doctors and police officers.

International Day of Tolerance: “Treating Each Other with Respect and Tolerance”

Presentation on Respect and Tolerance

Presentation on Respect and Tolerance

A joint educational outreach initiative by UNIC and UNESCO to teach children about respect and tolerance. Four UN staff members of the aforementioned organizations delivered a designed lesson plan to grade 8 and 9 learners of Hochland High School.

Approximately 400 learners sit in on this presentation. The presentation provided a brief overview of the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and also how to fight intolerance. The learners were visibly interested and when told all are equal, several learners murmured in agreement.

The learners were then divided into four groups with each group being led by a UN staff member. The groups were guided on an interactive game on tolerance. Stickers of different shapes and sizes were put on the backs of the learners. The identified categories included: circles, triangle, squares and an additional category of different shapes such as arrows, pentagons etc. In accordance of the different shapes, learners were instructed to form groups. The expectation was that the learners should form groups in association of the different shapes.  This happened in most cases, however, there were several exceptions. One of the groups was made up of circles, however, there were 4 triangles in the group. When asked: who are you? The learners identified themselves as the circle group, but allowed the 4 triangles to join anyway. Another group was made up of many different shapes. When asked why they formed a group the learners responded “We are friends, we don’t care about the shapes”. This was great to see that even though most groups had a certain dominant shape no one was excluded for having a different shape.

Hochland High Learners playing a game on Tolerance

Hochland High Learners playing a game on Tolerance

After the presentation and the interactive game the learners were given the opportunity to ask questions. Aside from questions on tolerance, the learners were very interested about the work of the United Nations in Namibia. The learners also embraced the idea of learning learning about other cultures and the fight against intolerance. The topic spark great interest among the learners and more so also used it as an excused to question the UNIC interns about Germany. The students were equally delighted to teach the interns about Namibia and how to say hello in various Namibian languages.

The learners were very happy to have learned about tolerance and several asked the UN staff to visit their school more often.

Namibia Commemorated 69th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations

Musinga T. Bandora presented framed preamble of the UN Charter to Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly

Musinga T. Bandora presented framed preamble of the UN Charter to Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly

On Friday 24 October 2014, the United Nations celebrated its 69th birthday. To commemorate this date the UN staff along with members of the Namibian government, members of the diplomatic corporation, members of the civil society and media celebrated the UN Day in Windhoek at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre.

The event started with a display of the UN’s work in Namibia. Each agency exhibited their work on a local as well as on an international level. The guests received personal insight into the work of the various agencies present in Namibia. It was an ideal opportunity to snatch up the latest publications available including copies of the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Bill of Rights was also freely available.

The organized event took off in full swing with Ms. Anthea Basson leading the programme as Director of Ceremony. The UN Resident Coordinator, Musinga T. Bandora, addressing audience by placing great emphasis on the work of the UN despites its failures and challenges in a troubled world.

Bandora, highlighted that the UN in Namibia as of last year witnessed many important milestones: the signed and launched the Namibia-UN Partnership Framework-UNPAF- that provides context of our development work in the country from 2014-2018; the UN and the government successfully hosted the historic visit of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and the inauguration of the UN House; the country also bottomed out of the drought emergency; Namibia served with excellence as Chair of the SADC Organ for Politics, Defense and Security; the country is in the middle of an election process and everything seems to be progressing very well.

On the forefront, the country is also looking forward to the inauguration of the new President and Government of Namibia in March 2015. The country will be celebrating a quarter of a century of independence. The UN will also be celebrating twenty five years of its presence in Namibia an opportunity for joint celebration- of the many solid achievements of Namibia and its partnership with the United Nations.  UN Country Team will consult with Government on the fitting way of celebrating UN@25 in Namibia.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon’s video message was also screened at the occasion, followed by H.E. Selma Ashipala Musavyi, Permanent Secretary, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Namibia personal introduction of the Speaker of the National Assembly.  The intimidating presence of the Hon. Dr. Theo Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia were much appreciated, more so for sharing his personal political reflection. Gurirab underscored his role in the UN and his contribution to Namibia’s independence, but also how Namibia and the UN as a whole can and should work to improve the world.

On behalf of the UN Staff in Namibia a framed preamble of the UN Charter was presented as a gift to Dr. Theo-Ben Guirab by Mr. Bandora.

Throughout the day’s proceedings the staff and invited guests enjoyed performances by the Four Cousins dance group and that of a very well-known Namibian reggae musician, Ras Sheehama. Ras Sheehama first songs “Cassinga” address the battle of the Cassinga Massacre, a controversial South African airborne attack on a South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) refugee camp and military base at the former town of Cassinga, Angola on 4 May 1978. The artist’s second performance tied in well and correspond with the work of the UN’s plea to call and end to poverty.

UN Country Team Media Dinner Engagement

UN Country Team of Namibia

UN Country Team of Namibia

On the 24th of September 2014, the United Nations Communication Group on behalf of the Country Team (UNCT) invited representatives of Namibian media to a Media Dinner Event. This event was designed to promote the partnership between the UN agencies in Namibia with the different Namibian media house, ranging from newspapers, television and radio. Before the event started, introductions of the UN staff as well as the representatives of the media were made. During this introduction the media were able to put a face to the respective UN agencies.

The event officially opened with the welcoming remarks by Mr. Musinga T Bandora the UN Resident Coordinator. In these remarks he thanked the media for their role in promoting the image of the UN within Namibian society.

Following the welcoming remarks the floor was opened for questions and discussions with the media. The media representatives were given the opportunity to ask not only Mr. Bandora, but also to approach the Heads of Agencies with their questions.

UNICEF Representative, Micaela Marques de  Sousa addressing a question on malnutrition.

UNICEF Representative, Micaela Marques de Sousa addressing a question on malnutrition.

The questions ranged from how prepared Namibia is in regards to the Ebola crisis through to whether the UN would be involved in monitoring the upcoming elections in Namibian. The UNICEF and UNAIDS also elaborated in detail about their work in Namibia, with both  able  announcing  success stories whilst highlighting the importance to continue working with Namibian children and HIV/AIDS victims respectively.

The media welcomed this event as a chance to learn more about what the UN does in Namibia as well as being able to ask specific questions to the relevant agencies. Many representatives of the media spoke about the benefit of such an event with great interest being shown for such events to be held in the future. Likewise the UN acknowledged the media’s important role in informing the Namibian public about the UN. The event was then brought to an end with a Vote of Thanks by Anthea Basson the head of the United Naitons Information Centre (UNIC).

Members of different media houses and the UN System in Namibia

Members of different media houses and the UN System in Namibia


Grade 4’s visit to the UN House in Windhoek

Grade 4 learners from the Windhoek International School at the UN House

Grade 4 learners from the Windhoek International School at the UN House

As part of the annual UN4U programme, UNIC welcomed grade 4 learners from Windhoek International School to the UN House. The group of approximately 40 learners were visibly excited to be in the UN House and very eager to learn about the UN, already asking questions before the presentation had even begun.

The presentation aimed to highlight to the children what the UN does and how it works. The children learnt about the Security Council, the General Assembly as well as peacekeepers and UN organisations such as UNICEF and UNDP.

The presentation was highly interactive and the learners asked a lot of questions during the presentation. These questions ranged from naming the current Secretary –General, where the UN headquarters are, to guessing the five permanent member states of the Security Council. The children were very eager to take part in the discussion and this was evident with a tremendous show of hands for each question. Impressively, almost every single question was correctly answered.  Alternatively, there were a very keen interest on the well-being of children and the overall work of UNICEF.

At the end of the presentation, the children’s knowledge and attention span was put to the test. Four questions were put to them and learners who were able to provide the correct answer were awarded with a soccer ball. Afterwards, the children got to ask questions of their own. Out of the blue the learners change course of direction and focused on the UN’s fight against Ebola and a possible cure for it.  The 9 year olds surprised us all and also wanted to know about the working partnership between the UN and the government in Namibia. The hyperactive bunch went as far as to challenge the UNIC team on the permanency of the five Security Council members.

The learners and teachers thanked UNIC for inviting them to the UN House and as an incentive the learners each received a blue water bottle with the UN emblem inscribed by the Centre as well as snacks and a soft drink.  On their way out of the building the learners demonstrated their interest in the UN with many of them stopping in their tracks to look at a curved wall covered in portraits of the current and former UN Secretary – Generals.

The Primary school teachers also expressed a keen interested in future educational outreach projects with the United Nations Information Centre.

9 year olds from the Windhoek International School listening attentively to the UN4U presentation.

9 year olds from the Windhoek International School listening attentively to the UN4U presentation.


Namibian Parliament mark International Day of Democracy

“Youth can’t look up to corrupt leaders” Musinga T. Bandora, UN Resident Coordinator

Speaking at the observance by the Namibian Parliament of the 2014 International Democracy

Musinga Bandora, UN Resident Coordinator - Namibia

Musinga Bandora, UN Resident Coordinator – Namibia

the Resident Coordinator stated that this year’s theme “Engaging Young People on Democracy” underlines the challenges and opportunities of young people for engaging in democratic processes.

The theme is most opportune as Namibia is in the middle of an election process. In two months the country will be going to the polls to elect a new President and Parliament.

Mr. Bandora also outlined that it is estimated that people between the ages of 15 and 25 constitute a fifth of the world’s population. Yet, studies show declining faith among young people in traditional politics. Participation in elections, in political parties and traditional social organizations is declining.

However, this does not suggest that the youth are apathetic to social and political causes. Informal, youth-led movements for democratic change are on the rise, he said. Using new communication channels in social networks, young people are making their mark on democracy-building- in new ways. The National Assembly Speaker, Theo-Ben Gurirab annual sponsorship and patronage of the Youth Parliament testifies to this commitment.

Fortunately, here in Namibia we see a rising interest by the Youth in conventional politics and its processes. According to statistics released by the Electoral Commission of Namibia, eighty five percent of the Namibian youth have registered to vote. It is reported that 44%, of the 1,151million registered during the first phase registration fall within the 18 to 32 years age group. Against a total Namibian youth population of about 600,000 this represents 85% youths who have registered. This is very commendable indeed but the challenge is to sustain the youth’s interest and inspire them to go out and actually vote in November.

But how do we rekindle and sustain the interest of the youth in mainstream politics? Politics must be made interesting to the young people. We must make use of mobile technology and social media as communication tools to disseminate information and as a means to receive feedback, opinions and suggestions on issues and challenges faced by young people.  The youth are plugged in, connected-whether on emails, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Myspace, and the others. Only through this powerful social medium are we able to reach and communicate with them effectively.

The youth need inspiration. And in politics, it means political role models. If there is a perception, rightly or wrongly that politics and politicians are corrupt or out of touch, the youth will have no inspiration and no one to look up to.  A dictator, an inept or corrupt leader is not inspiring. Cynicism can only be defeated by inspiration through excellence, integrity and commitment of politicians-who are looked upon to provide the example.

The year’s event organized by Parliament and attended by pupils from various high schools within the city was aimed at encouraging the youth to actively engage in politics. The highlight of the day was the personal engagement of the youth in a question and answering session with the Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab, the UN Resident Coordinator, Musinga Bandora, Dr. André September, Coordinator, Ecumenical Social Community Action Council of Churches in Namibia, Hon. Juliet Kavetuna, Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Hon. Petrus Damaseb of the High Court, Adv. Notemba Tjipueja, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Namibia, Mr. Graham Hopwood, Executive Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Hon. Shaandre Finnies, Deputy Speaker of the 4th Session of Children’s Parliament.


UN Namibia cheerleaders in action


The Inter-Country UN Games hosted by the UN in Namibia brought together about 500 UN staff members from Botswana, Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia on Friday the 5 – 7 September 2014.

The right of access to and participation in sport  has long been recognized in a number of international conventions, including the United Nations Charter. As a reflection of the Global UN Inter-Agency Sports, and as part of adhering to the fundamental principles of the United Nations in relation to Sport and human rights, the United Nations in Southern Africa has been holding UN Inter-Country Sports since 2007.

The aim of the Inter-Country UN sports is to encouraging UN staff to participate in a healthy life style, promoting human values such as respect for the opponent, acceptance of binding rules, teamwork and fairness, at the same time giving the opportunity for UN staff to create linkage and friendship with staff members of different UN agencies from different countries and within countries.

Participating countries competed in various sport disciplines including, soccer, netball, 100m relay, long jump, basketball, tennis, etc.  The Namibian team excelled in netball, athletics and in soccer won the final against South Africa on penalties.

On the other hand Zimbabwe outshined all participants in basketball and tennis. The Games provided more than a pleasurable diversion from the daily routine for many UN Namibia staff and we are proud to been crowned the overall winner of the 2014 UN Games.

The UN SADC engagement also created moments of memorable fun with the beauty pageant of Mr. and Mrs. UN Games 2014.  The winners of the beauty contest were Chriswell Mhembere and Trish Dlamini, both representing UN Zimbabwe.

The competitive initiative was round off with a Gala Dinner and Prize giving ceremony at the UN House in Klein Windhoek.

UNCT Namibia welcoming visiting UN participants

UNCT Namibia welcoming visiting UN participants

UN Namibia cheerleaders and cultural group welcoming 2014 UN Games team

UN Namibia cheerleaders and cultural group welcoming 2014 UN Games team







Namibia launches child survival strategy

Windhoek, 1 September 2014 – The Minister of Health and Social Services in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the child survival strategy under the theme: A Promise Renewed for Child Survival in Namibia, as the country moves to improve the nutritional status of children under the age of five years.

The renowned South African artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador on Malaria and Children’s Health, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, applauded the Namibian Government for taking the bold step to pledge commitment of reducing child mortality to below 35 per 1000 live births.

The child survival strategy is part of the outcomes of the broader Namibian Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN) which the Defence Minister, Hon. Nahas Angula convened. This initiative also coincides with NAFIN’s launch of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Country Implementation Plan to reduce stunting in the country.

Angula expressed optimism that investing in the nutrition of children would benefit the country in the immediate and long term. “Good nutrition enhances child survival,” he declared.

The launch was followed by and insightful engagement at the UN House in Klein Windhoek with the “Princess of Africa” Ms. Yvonne Chaka Chaka, members of Civil Society and Members of the United Nations Communication Group, including UNIC Windhoek.

Ms. Chaka Chaka became the first Goodwill Ambassador for the global Roll Back Malaria Partnership. She is also UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Malaria in Africa, United Nations MDG Envoy for Africa, and was chosen by Nelson Mandela as the first ambassador for his children’s fund.

Malaria – a preventable and curable disease still kills over 2,000 children a day in Africa.

Goodwill Ambassador and International African Music Icon, Yvonne Chaka Chaka with Members of Civil Society

Goodwill Ambassador and International African Music Icon, Yvonne Chaka Chaka with Members of Civil Society.

Ms. Anthea Basson, presented UNIC Windhoek and UNCG Secretariat during the official engagement with the "Princess of Africa," Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Civil Society.

Ms. Anthea Basson, presented UNIC Windhoek and UNCG Secretariat during the official engagement with the “Princess of Africa,” Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Civil Society.





Public lecture by Mr. Musinga Bandora, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Representative in Namibia

University of Namibia

Public Lecture-19 August 2014

“From the Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals of the New Post 2015 Development Agenda: Process and Prospects for Africa and Namibia-Making the New Agenda Work”

lectureBy Musinga T. Bandora-UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Namibia

Adopted in the year 2000, the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) constitute a consensus among the member states of the UN around a development framework for addressing extreme poverty within a fifteen year timeframe from 2000 to 2015. For those who may not know, Namibia played a crucial role in the coming into being of the MDGs. H.E. Dr. Sam Nujoma, co-presided over the Millennium Summit which met in September 2000 to discuss the role of the United Nations at the turn of the 21st century. Equally, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Theo Ben Gurirab, was President of the UN General Assembly in 2000 when it adopted the Millennium Declaration which inspired and gave birth to the MDGs. We are all indebted to Namibia in this regard.

            We are only five hundred days away from the MDG deadline. In the last few years; the world has been reflecting on the promise of the goals, the achievements and failures, and what should follow in the footsteps of the MDGs. Most importantly the reflection has centred on how the new Post 2015 Agenda should be evolved and what its focus should be. In my remarks tonight, I shall briefly recall how Africa and Namibia have fared in attaining the MDGs. I will then review the process and progress in the elaboration of the Post 2015 Agenda which culminated in the proposed Sustainable Goals of the New Agenda. In concluding, I shall discuss, the challenges and imperatives which, I think, Africa and Namibia will have to meet, to make the New Agenda Work for them.

Progress in MDGs

            Overall, progress and achievements of the MDGs in Africa has been mixed, not just across the goals, but also across countries, and even within countries.

            The 2013 Africa MDG Report: “Assessing progress in Africa towards the MDGs” noted that Africa is on track to achieving four goals –namely– Achieving universal primary education; Promoting gender equality and empowering women; Combating HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other diseases; and Global partnership for development. On the other hand, the report noted that Africa is unlikely to meet four other goals -that is- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; Reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; and Ensuring environmental sustainability.

            The results in Namibia have also been mixed but- overall quite encouraging. The country is on course to meet most of the MDGs targets-even if partially. Specifically, Namibia has achieved or is on target to achieve the Poverty reduction, Universal primary education; Gender equality and empowering women; HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other diseases; Environmental sustainability as well as the Global partnership for development targets. It is not likely to achieve the Child mortality and maternal health targets. There are variations relating to the depth of the achievements of the targets across all the goals-especially as they relate to issues of access, quality and sustainability.

            Beyond presenting the status of the specific MDGs, the Africa MDG report made several observations with important policy implications for Africa and bearing on the new post 2015 agenda. These are-That:-

  1. Poverty reduction has not kept pace with economic growth in Africa.
  2. Growing income inequality is undermining efforts to reduce poverty.
  3. Even though African countries have achieved universal primary en­rolment the quality of education and sustainability remain a challenge.
  4. Africa is making steady progress toward gender equality.
  5. Despite progress, Africa still has the greatest burden of child and maternal deaths.
  6. Africa has significantly reduced the pace of the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
  7. There is mixed progress in ensuring environmental sustainability
  8. And lastly, that food insecurity remains a recurring problem.

            The report concludes that the countries that have sustained equitable growth, with pro-poor policies and political stability have done better on most of the goals.

            This is the African and Namibia MDG picture as we approach the end date of 2015.

Consultations processes on the new post 2015 development agenda

            How about the process for elaborating the new agenda?As we may recall, world leaders met during the High Level Plenary of the UN General Assembly in 2010 to review progress on MDGs. The Assembly reaffirmed the validity of MDGs and called for acceleration of their achievement before the deadline and for reflection on the next generation of MDGs beyond 2015. It directed the UN Secretary General to lead both processes.

            In this respect, the Secretary General initiated a two-pronged process-one of developing an MDG Acceleration Framework to inject new vigour into the implementation and-the other- of initiating reflection on the New Agenda.

            Under the Acceleration Framework, the UN worked with countries to identify bottlenecks and map out those goals- which- with political commitment, focus and resource allocation-could be achieved by the 2015 deadline.

            With respect to reflection, the Secretary General established several frameworks-some to drive the consultation processes-others to advise on the substance of the new agenda. At the UN secretariat, he established an interagency Task Team to support UN system-wide preparations for the Post 2015 Agenda. In June 2012 the Task Team published its report entitled “Realizing the Future We Want for All

            In the report the Task Team underlined that the challenges of human development are interdependent, and therefore require a holistic approach. It recommended an inclusive consultation process- to evolve a new agenda-with shared responsibilities for all countries- complemented by a fundamental reform of the system of global governance.

            Following the Rio+20 Conference, that had decided to launch a process, building on MDGs, to develop a set of new Sustainable Development Goals for the post 2015 agenda, the Secretary General appointed, in July 2012, a High Level Panel to advise him on the new agenda. The Panel was co-chaired by the Presidents of Indonesia, and Liberia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

            In May 2013, the High Level Panel presented its report entitled “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development,” in which it underlined that MDGs had made remarkable difference to humanity and transformed lives. It therefore advised that the Post 2015 agenda should build on MDGs, and be driven by what it called Five Transformative Shifts-namely: – Focus on putting sustainable development at the core of the new agenda, Transforming economies for jobs and inclusive growth, and ending extreme poverty, Building effective, open and accountable institutions, Promoting Peace and good governance as well as Forging a new global partnership for implementing it.

            Apart from these Panels, a series of national and regional consultations were held between 2012 and April this year- focussing on eleven themes-namely inequalities, health, education, growth and employment, environmental sustainability, governance, conflict and fragility, population dynamics, hunger, food and nutrition security, energy, and water. A global survey called “MY World” was also undertaken.

            Namibia, like many African countries did not hold dedicated national consultations. They chose instead, to join hands with other African countries, within the framework of the African Union, to develop a common continental position. President Pohamba is a member of the AU High Level Committee of Ten that was charged with elaborating Africa’s Common Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

            The Common African Position is founded on six pillars-namely:-Structural economic transformation and inclusive growth, Science, technology and innovation, A people-centred development, Environmental sustainability, natural resources, and disaster risk management, Peace and Security as well as Finance and Partnerships.             The African Common Position is inspired by and based on the Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The broad messages that emerged from the consultations

            From these multi-layered consultations, survey and advisory groups, several common messages emerged from what was called “peoples’ voices – relating- both to the principles that should drive the new agenda and to the areas of its coverage. These common messages were captured in a synthesis report of the UN Secretary General entitled “A Million Voices: The World We Want” that he presented to the General Assembly in September last year. Some of the critical messages from the “peoples’ voices” included the following:-

            First, that the new agenda should have a single framework and a set of goals – universal in nature and applicable to all countries- yet responsive to the needs and capacities of individual countries.

            Secondly -that the new agenda must build on take over from MDGs. The Agenda must be transformational- providing for clear transition to reducing inequality and eradicating poverty, and social exclusion.

            Thirdly; that governments should set bolder and ambitious targets and take deep political commitments to deliver on the goals-including building accountability into the heart of the new agenda.

            Fourth; that the new agenda must be integrated and holistic and founded on good governance, human rights, justice and security as well as ensuring transparency in the allocation and use of resources.

            Fifth, that the new agenda must retain focus on concrete, measurable goals but improve the way progress is measured through a data revolution to upgrade information collection methods and national data systems.

            Sixth,that the new agenda should go beyond aid and leverage domestic resources and South-South cooperation and strengthen mechanisms for equitable global trade.

            Lastly; that the new agenda should be driven by a robust global partnership framework -that is equitable and underpinned by a sustainable financing mechanism.

The new Sustainable Goals of the Post 2015 Agenda

            It is on the basis of the common elements from the “people’s voices” that the Open Ended Working Group established by the General Assembly framed its proposal; presented last month; for 17 New Sustainable Goals with169 targets for the post 2015 Agenda. The proposed goals are to:-

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning for all.
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and Girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation.
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy.
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Combat climate change and its impacts.
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. This includes enablers and cross-cutting issues of Finance, Technology, Capacity building and Trade as well as Systemic issues of Policy and Institutional coherence, Partnerships, Data, monitoring and accountability for results.
  18. Like MDGs these new Goals will also have a fifteen year time line-from 2015 to 2030.

            Even with agreement within the Open Working Group, there are still issues that remain unresolved and which will continue to be negotiated in the course of next year. These revolve around the reference to rule of law, to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, to Climate Change and to the proposal for Fossil fuel subsidies.

As you can see-the list of the proposed new goals is long. As they say, To Plan is to Choose. The challenge here; is for governments to choose well and to focus-even as the world citizens demand boldness and ambition. In this respect, along with still ongoing negotiations among member states, the UN Secretary General is undertaking parallel consultations on a possible number of fewer goals. He will report on the outcome of the consultations in December this year.

Whatever compromise emerges, the challenge for Africa is to sustain active engagement and ensure that these negotiations culminate in a lean agenda- one focussing on the most catalytic areas to its development. Given that Africa has the most developmental need; at the minimum it should aim to have –most -if not all-the six pillars of its Common Position retained as Core Goals of the new agenda.

Going forward-Prospects for the new post 2015 agenda: Making it Work

            So much for the background and process; going forward it is opportune to reflect on the prospects of the new agenda and what it will take-for it to work for Africa and Namibia.

The value of global agendas lies in setting priorities, and bringing partnerships, resources, and joint action around them.Beyond that; it is what governments do with the agendas-individually and collectively. As stated in the report of the Open Working Group, the proposed goals of the new agenda are aspirational-with each country setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition. For Namibia and Africa, it means the aspiration envisaged will have to find context in development action-both at national and continental levels.

There is now consensus on the Post 2015 Agenda and its contours are already visible. Come September next year, the world will be poised to usher in the New Agenda. Like MDGs, the larger challenge will lie in its implementation. This is where Africa must now redirect its attention-that is reflecting on the kind of policy decisions, and investments that will be required for the New Agenda- to deliver results. And it is in this respect that I wish to echo some of the key challenges which; I think should be met; for the new agenda to work for Africa and for Namibia.

Internalizing the lessons from the MDGs

            First, Namibia and Africa must learn from the MDGs and internalize the lessons from its implementation.Evaluations of MDGs have pointed out several shortcomings and lessons. They note for example, that there was inadequate analysis and justification behind some of the chosen goals; that as the first set of global development goals- MDGs lacked precedent and therefore, their implementation suffered from experimentation.

            It is further noted that MDGs were adopted by governments without consultation with the people and that in the main-the goals remained marginal and not integrated into national development plans. The evaluations also note that MDGs were driven more by donor funding and not by national resources. At times, slow or conditional flow of aid constrained progress. Indeed it is observed that where the most MDG progress was made, it was in countries, including here in Namibia, where national resources played the key part.

            Some of these shortcomings have been addressed through the inclusive and consultative process for the new agenda. Provided countries learn from MDGs, they stand to do a better job with the new agenda.

Sharpening focus on tackling inequality with poverty eradication as a central imperative

            Secondly, Africa and Namibia must sharpen focus on tackling inequality and exclusion-with poverty eradication as a central objective. Inequality; in its various forms; is expanding and deepening everywhere in Africa and Namibia is no exception. Income inequality undermines long-term growth; it foments political instability, and compromises social cohesion. Unemployment- among the youth is a time bomb and unless it is addressed, it stands to undermine the new agenda.

Equally, addressing gender inequality, investing in women’s empowerment, providing accessible and quality education for girls will impact positively on the new agenda. According to the World Bank’s 2012 report entitled, “World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development”. Empowering Women is smart economics. Gender equality can enhance economic productivity, improve development outcomes. Imagine the possibilities that could open up if the full energies, industry and creativity of Namibian and African women-who are half of the population-, were harnessed for development!

Embedding the spirit of consultations and inclusion and unity that characterized development of the new agenda into its implementation

            Thirdly, the spirit of consultations that characterized the development of the new agenda must be embedded into its implementation. Consultations on the new agenda have been the most inclusive and participatory. This inclusiveness has built greater citizen understanding, buy-in and national ownership of the new agenda. This shared ownership needs to be consolidated and sustained so that citizens are continually involved in its implementation.

            At the continental level; Africa must sustain the spirit of unity, and continental solidarity that underpinned effort in evolving a Common Position on the new agenda. Africa acted as one in presenting a common position. It is only logical that Africa should sustain that sense of unity and adopt a continental approach in the implementation of the agenda. Coordinating policy, and action, will be imperative.

Embracing the universality of the new agenda for reinvigorated global engagement

            Fourth, Africa must embrace and take advantage of the universality of the new agenda.As stated in the report of the Open Working Group, the proposed Sustainable Goals are global in nature and universally applicable.

The universality of the new agenda drives from the fundamentally new thinking on which it is premised. Unlike the MDGs, the new agenda is not being set by the developed world to help the poor countries. The proposed new goals are applicable to all countries-rich and poor. This is due to the recognition that the problems to be addressed affect all countries. For example, we see poor people in rich and poor countries. We see unemployment, gender inequality, food insecurity, social exclusion, in developed and developing countries. Climate change, insecurity and conflicts affect everyone and every country.

            The universality of the new goals provides an opportunity for engagement and a new kind of partnership to tackle the problems that the world faces in common. Africa’s challenge will be to take advantage of the universality of the new agenda to forge effective partnership across the goals and engage effectively in determining the course of its implementation.

Sustaining economic growth, transformation and better management of resources

            Fifth, Africa will have to achieve and sustain high economic growth rates and take advantage of the new opportunities in globalization for implementing the new agenda. Even though growth has not generated sufficient jobs-provided it is sustained and made inclusive, and the resources are properly managed- Africa can finance and implement the new agenda-with better results. It was estimated that countries needed to sustain growth rates of at least 7% to achieve MDGs. Africa will need to sustain even higher growth rates for the new agenda-And this is possible and it is already happening in several countries.

            However, beyond funding the new agenda, Africa’s overriding growth objective should be to wean itself from Development Assistance and dependence.

            But growth without transformation is not sustainable. That is why together with growth, African countries must seek to transform their economies to achieve the objectives of the new agenda. In its 2014 Africa Transformation Report, the African Centre for Economic Transformation underscores that African economies need more than just growth- if they are to transform. They need to grow with “DEPTH”-that is-they need to diversify, make exports competitive, increase agricultural productivity, invest in technology and innovate and above all to improve its human capital. Africa’s Agenda 2063 also recognizes these as Drivers of Change over the next fifty years.

Likewise, Africa should inspire itself from the good practices in Africa and elsewhere; in order to better manage its vast natural resources. As Africa is emerging as a new frontier for massive natural resources, it requires political prudence and skills for managing those resources for the benefit of its citizens. Africa should ensure that these resources become a blessing and not a curse-as we have unfortunately seen in the past. Only then can Africa effectively leverage internal resources to implement the new agenda-with the political independence and autonomy of action- that financial capacity engenders!

A world coming together, reinforcing mechanisms for South- South cooperation, reforming ODA and public-private development partnerships;

            The sixth imperative relates to taking advantage of a world coming together, and reinforcing mechanisms for South- South cooperation, reforming ODA and promoting public-private partnerships. It relates to the globalized world we live in- and the shared humanity it has engendered. It is a world that is coming together- even if in many ways -drifting apart. Technology has shrunk the space and pace for trade and commerce, as well as social and political interaction. The internet and social media have changed the world in fundamental ways.

            Poverty, conflict and suffering in one part of the planet readily become issues of global concern. We have also seen how the social media can spur compassion in the face of human suffering. We saw how the breakdown of the Somali state spawned sea piracy that undermined global trade and regional security. The ongoing conflicts in Libya, Central African Republic, Mali, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere have global ramifications. But beyond the opportunities of trade and investments presented by globalization, I see in this shared universal space, a human element- that is great opportunity- to forge closer cooperation and human solidarity to implement the new agenda.

We see the emergence of new economic players who can reinforce international partnership and financing for the new agenda. The BRICS comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; and other countries in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America are playing growing roles in direct foreign investments and trade. With political will, these new economic players can provide increased opportunities for trade and generation of incomes for Africa to fund the new agenda. In addition and where needed, these emerging countries could also supplement ODA flows and lessen the burden on the traditional donors-who are facing serious economic problems in their own countries. Africa needs to engage with these new players-to learn from them and strengthen partnerships and where possible leverage resources.

            For the time being and while Africa still requires aid, it will be in its own self interest to work with donors to reform the edifice of ODA- so that assistance can work better for the new agenda than it did with MDGs. Both the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action laid the ground. But the challenges of their implementation remain. Donor coordination has not fully happened and duplication is still evident. Policies and procedures have not been adequately simplified; aid has not been freed from political conditionality. Lack of financial transparency and systemic corruption around ODA are rampant-notwithstanding the Paris Declaration! Needless to say, Africa will need a new kind of engagement for ODA to work effectively to deliver the new agenda.

            The growing role of the non-state development actors will require creative management. Gradually, we have seen the growing role of national and international NGOs, Foundations and the private sector in development. For example, Melinda and Bill Gates and, the Clinton Foundations are playing critical roles in health.

            The private sector too is increasingly funding human development as part of its corporate social responsibility but also because it makes good business sense. In future, the role and influence of these entities is bound to grow. These have the know-how, the technology and money to make a difference. Provided they are channelled into the right direction and partner better with African governments- instead of transplanting their role- they stand to add much value. The formal role of these entities in the new agenda is being debated. Once this is clarified and agreed upon; they will be a welcome addition to the development partnership. It is up to Africa to retain the initiative and lead in setting the agenda and determining the direction of this partnership.

Deepening regional integration and reinforcing continental unity

The seventh imperative for Africa is reinvigorating the pace of regional integration. While there is recognition that regional integration is a key driver of development in Africa, the process has suffered at the hands of- lack of political will and capacity, limiting interpretations of sovereignty, and bureaucratic inertia. Africa needs integration-not only because it is the dream and objective of the African Union, but because it also makes political and economic sense.

            As said a million times before, the fifty three African countries, acting individually, lack the critical mass to be meaningful players on the global scene. Africa needs to partner, to interact and to trade more. According to ADB, intra-African trade now stands at a paltry 12% compared to 67% for Asia-Pacific or 61% for EU. This is not rocket science. If European countries, many of which individually produce more wealth than the whole of Africa combined, still see their future rooted in deeper integration within the EU, how much more for Africa?

           Imagine for a moment what free movement of people, of goods, labour and services, harmonized policies and processes across Africa’s borders can do in facilitating trade and investments and in turn generating wealth and reducing poverty. Imagine how liberating it would be for an African-being able to travel, to trade and work across the continent- without having to navigate a myriad of immigration and tariff regimes!

            Deeper integration will allow Africa to consolidate shared political norms and programmes-which even at this low pace, have helped forge common approaches to good governance, to peace and security, to elections, human rights, management of the environment. Strengthened regional integration should also permit Africa to tackle organized transnational crime including in arms, narcotics and human trafficking-all of which stand to undermine the new agenda.

Taking deeper commitments for democracy, good governance, peace and security

            The eight, imperative will be taking deeper political commitments to promote good governance, peace and security- to deliver the new agenda. As noted, the most progress in implementing the MDGs was made in countries where the process was underpinned by good governance, peace and security. The transformation required is not only economic. It is in governance as well-looking at how Africa governs itself and how democracy can be strengthened beyond elections to making political transformation happen. Giving Parliaments, civil society and media the space to freely exercise their oversight, advocacy and public accountability roles must continue to form part of that political transformation agenda. Efforts to resolve conflicts should be heightened, so that the larger part of Africa-which is emerging-is not pulled back.

            Commitment to good governance will mean greater political inclusion, strengthening of democracy including fighting against systemic corruption-which is now one of the most important obstacles to Africa’s development. Fighting systemic corruption will yield dividends of peace and liberate resources. Indeed, this would facilitate dealing with illicit financial flows from Africa; estimated by the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa; to be about $50billion annually-far exceeding the ODA received.

Yes capacity and technical challenges exist-including those of negotiating contracts with manipulative multinationals. But, the larger problem seems to be that of wilful connivance and serious failures in governance-which have sustained corruption and mismanagement.

Managing diversity more effectively

            In like manner, investing more in managing Africa’s diversity will contribute significantly to making the new agenda work. Political rigidity and marginalization, ethnicity and religious intolerance are tearing at the seams of Africa’s political fabric. Some of these are standing in the way of the political transformation that is needed to make democracy work effectively in Africa.

We see the painful effects of these challenges in several countries in Africa and unless they are handled effectively, they too stand to undermine the prospects of the new agenda. This calls for sustained political and religious dialogue, national reconciliation, peace building and inclusion.

            Experience teaches us that economic growth without inclusion is not sustainable. We have seen that high Human Development Index alone do not sustain social cohesion and national unity. The so-called Arab Spring is illustrative in this regard. Ultimately dealing with marginalization, ensuring responsible governance, within inclusive, equitable, and peaceful societies which observe the rule of law-provide the best guarantee.

            The last imperative will be prioritising state capacity strengthening and skills development. In order for Africa to do all that I have said, it will need people- with the right skills, and in sufficient numbers. It will also require institutions and systems that work. Therefore investing in education and skills, in building capacity of state institutions and systems to oversee the implementation must be part the agenda itself.

And the circumstances are favourable. There is renewed recognition that- like good governance, capable institutions- especially- state institutions are critical to human development. Contrary to the thinking of even two decades ago, the centrality of a capable state in providing the appropriate conditions, the vision and oversight of national development; is no longer in question. Africa must seize the opportunity of the new agenda to address the skills and capacity gaps that exist-both through training but also through reversing the brain drain that has bled Africa of its experts and professionals. This can only be achieved if the underlying economic and political conditions in Africa; that have compelled the hundreds of thousands of skilled Africans to migrate to foreign lands; are addressed.


            Overall the prospects for the new agenda and conditions for engagement around it are good. As I said earlier, Africa has the most development need. It should therefore ensure that the goals of the Post 2015 agenda embody the core elements of the Common African Agenda.

            As I conclude, let me underline that, I am fully aware this is a human process and therefore-one fraught with risks. For example, the very same forces of technology that are integrating the world at a frenetic pace are also proving to be enablers of division and destruction. Social media has unfortunately also provided the cover, the space and anonymity for terrorists, and other forces of racism, and genocide to promote their agendas of hate.

            Likewise, failures in governance- including inability to fight systemic corruption, to manage political and social diversity or address inequality -could exacerbate social tension, breed conflicts and prevent Africa from leveraging its resources for implementing the new agenda. In the same vein, if Africa is unable to internalize the lessons from MDGs, or to strengthen its capacities and the mechanisms to fight extremism and terrorism or to build capable states fit for deeper integration, Africa shall miss yet another opportunity to use a global development framework, to lift its people out of poverty, hunger and disease.

            Our challenge is to be vigilant and not to let this happen. Africa has the capacity and hopefully the will to do so. Academic institutions like the University of Namibia have a role to play, through dialogues such as this one, in maintaining that vigilance.

            I thank you all.


Copyright Mr Musinga Bandora, all rights reserved.