Anita Kiki Gbeho, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator (RC) in Namibia, will take up the position of Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation (UNAMID) in Darfur, starting in May 2018. UNAMID protects civilians, facilitates the delivery of humanitarian assistance, mediates between the Government of Sudan and non-signatory armed movements on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), and provides support to the mediation of community conflict.
Since arriving in Namibia in August 2015, Gbeho has actively worked to strengthen cooperation between the UN and the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN). Her leadership in establishing the Development Partners Forum (DPF) and institutionalization of the Development Partners Dialogue (DPD), not only strengthened development support towards the GRN, but enhanced development cooperation in Namibia.
Under her stewardship, the UN achieved several milestones and earned the sobriquet ‘Partner of Choice’. Some highlights of successful interventions:
- The acceleration of the national response to the Hepatitis E outbreak;
- The roll out the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum and teaching guidelines in schools, reaching 680 teachers in 2017 who further reached 36,448 learners;
- Supported the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia (FLON)’s ‘Be Free’ movement to ensure an AIDS Free generation in Namibia;
- The mobilization of US$ 37 million for HIV and TB response and USD 2.3 million for malaria elimination in support of national frameworks and strategies;
- The roll out of E-birth registration;
- The Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Programme achieved scale-up across all 14 regions, reaching over 95% of health facilities and meeting the global target of 95% PMTCT coverage;
- Established a cost effective way, through the UN, to procure vaccines, equipment and medical supplies for the Namibian GRN. The supplies, which are WHO approved, help the GRN save 60% in costs and are of the utmost importance during outbreaks and emergencies;
- Supported the roll out of the Conservation Agriculture Programme by training 48 Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) staff and 2,500 farmers on conservation and good agricultural practices in five Regions;
- Supported the implementation and management of the national school feeding programme, reaching over 330,000 students in 1400 schools across the 14 regions;
- Supported the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management (DDRM) to develop regional disaster preparedness, response and contingency plans and hold a simulation exercise.
She leaves behind her legacy in the next partnership framework with the GRN, UNPAF 2019-2023, which was launched on Friday, 27 April 2018. This framework is fully aligned to the HPP, NDP5 and the Blue Print on Poverty Eradication and wealth creation and outlines the UN and GRN’s partnership for the next four years to realize the aspirations of Namibians.
To address Namibia’s ‘last mile challenges’ and to reach those ‘furthest behind’, Gbeho encourages Namibia to continue focusing on improving data collection, efficiency of programming and coordination. At the same time, Gbeho encourages Namibia to continue empowering the youth, both women and men, Namibia’s largest demographic, to be the force for positive change.
Gbeho remains optimistic for Namibia’s future, stating, “It is important to keep building on Namibia’s ‘good stories’ to address the very real challenges that the country faces”. She believes Namibia can be an example of best practice on the continent.
Rachel Odede, UNICEF Namibia Representative, takes over as UN Resident Coordinator ad interim. Izumi Morota-Alakija, UNDP Deputy Representative, will be the UNDP Resident Representative ad interim.