UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter Issue 13, May Namibia Celebrates World Press Freedom Day and 25th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration

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1 Windhoek Office Newsletter UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter Issue 13, May 2016 Editorial The UNESCO Windhoek Office implemented several key activities during the month of May The major highlight was the 2016 World Press Freedom Day celebrations which also marked the 25th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration. The Declaration adopted in 1991 gave birth to the World Press Day celebrated every year on 3rd May. In this Issue, we cover the celebrations which were held under the global theme, Access to Information and fundamental freedoms This is your right!. We also provide more information about the Windhoek Declaration courtesy of the African Free Press. As promised in our last edition, we give you Part II of the role of technical vocational education and training (TVET) under the Reflection of the month section. We highlight the UNESCO Draft Strategy for Technical Vocational Education and Training ( ) and also zero in on the role of TVET in Namibia. We also report on efforts to address school drop-out in Namibia. We specifically focus on preparations for the School drop out and Out-of-School Conference that will take place towards the end of June School drop out is a serious challenge facing Namibia and the UN in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the Turkish International Development Agency are working to address this. Other articles in this Issue include the launch of Namibia s First Skills Competition; the Marula Festival which was graced by His Excellency, President Hage Geingob; the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPNet) Annual Camp. Our Invitee of the Month is Ms. Izumi Morota, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Representative to Namibia. She shares with us UNDP s mandate and interventions in Namibia. We thank you for your continued support and enjoy your reading! Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated. Please contact: Namibia Celebrates World Press Freedom Day and 25th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in partnership with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Namibia Chapter commemorated the 2016 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) at Zoo Park, Windhoek on Tuesday, 10 May The theme for this year is Access to information and fundamental freedoms. This is your right! The celebration also marked the 25th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration which gave birth to WPFD celebrated on 3 May every year. The ceremony brought together a collective body of representatives from relevant government offices, See page 19 UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 1

2 United Nations Country Team discusses Harambee Prosperity Plan with President Hage Geingob HEAD OF OFFICE The President of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency (H. E.), Dr. Hage Geingob welcomed the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) at the Statehouse to discuss how the UN system can be engaged by the Presidency and advisory team to support the implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP). The meeting took place on 16 May H.E. President Hage Geingob not only valued the long-standing relationship between the UN and the Government, but stated that Namibia is a child of the UN, where the UN played the midwife role towards the country s independence. The President highlighted that following the achievement of peace and democracy, countries in Africa should improve on processes, which are efficient, transparent and inclusive, and where no one must feel left out. His Excellency, Dr. Hage Geingob with Ms. Kiki Gbeho, the UN Resident Coordinator at the Statehouse. Dianna Ndimbira/UNDP hence the introduction of the food bank. The President admitted that despite having excellent policies and laws, Namibia is challenged with the efficient and effective implementation of its development programmes. It is to this end that the Presidency and the Government is reaching out to the UN, churches and all other stakeholders to reverse these challenges faced by the people. President Geingob availed his technical team to further discuss and engage with the UN Heads of Agencies on their possible support to the HPP. See page 3... Additionally, such processes need the backing of efficient systems and functional institutions if democracies are seen to be working. Over the years, Namibia s political leadership ensured unity among the people, brought peace, democracy and good institutions. However, the Government recognizes that more needs to be done in terms of food provision, shelter, water and sanitation among others. The President said while the Government has only four years to implement the HPP, it is committed to reduce extreme poverty, unemployment and endeavours to provide food to the people, Ms Kiki Gbeho, addressing the President of Namibia UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 2

3 United Nations Country Team discusses Harambee Prosperity Plan with President Hage Geingob World Food Programme (WFP) sees the Presidency s vision to end hunger as achievable, as it is currently engaging with the National Planning Commission (NPC) to implement the Zero Hunger Strategy by This initiative will be supported from the United Nations (UN s) side. WFP further supports the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with an assessment of how small holder famers can be pulled out of poverty and a school feeding programme with the Ministry of Education. HEAD OF OFFICE H. E. Dr. Hage Geingob joined the UNCT delegation for a group picture. From page 2 President Geingob availed his technical team to further discuss and engage with the UN Heads of Agencies on possible support to the HPP, based on the outcomes of internal UNCT discussions on the same. The United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) in Namibia, Ms. Kiki Gbeho, congratulated the President on the launching of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), stating that it had a clear vision and addressed development, which supported the Sustainable Development agenda. The Resident Coordinator assured the Namibian Head of State of the UN s undivided support for the HPP, noting that the meeting at State House was viewed as an opportunity for supporting the Government. She added that the UN had already planned an internal meeting on the HPP. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) engages on food bank initiatives with the Ministries of Agriculture Water and Forestry and Poverty Eradication, based on South-South cooperation and best practices. Currently, FAO is discussing with all mayors on how the food bank concepts can be adapted for Namibia. On the drought currently hampering Namibia s development, FAO supports Drought and Disaster Risk Management (DDRM) initiatives within the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, where in northern Namibia bordering with Angola, food and mouth disease was successfully contained. The National Statistics Agency (NSA) supported by FAO produced quality data for the agricultural census. UNCT will arrange a feedback meeting with the Presidency and technical team within two weeks. After the meeting Namibia hosted a national launch of the SDG s which was organized by the UNCT and the National Planning Commission (NPC) on 8 June Areas of possible support by the UN include that of the coordination and monitoring and evaluation where the UN family has a comparative advantage. The meeting noted that various UN agencies are already working on areas included in the HPP. For example, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and United Nations Children and Educational Fund (UNICEF) engage in education and skills training. World Health Organisation (WHO) supports maternal and child health as well as other elements of health care. UNESCO is also currently supporting an education scoping mission, of which findings will soon be validated, followed by a report to inform implementation. H. E. Dr. Hage Geingob (centre) addressing the UNCT delegation about the Harambee Prosperity Plan at the State House. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 3

4 Out-Of- School Stakeholder Consultations underway Some members of the Out-Of- School Steering Committee attending a meeting held 26th May 2016 at the UN House in Windhoek EDUCATION UNESCO and a number of other UN agencies (UNDP, UNFPA, UNIC, UNICEF and WHO), are collaborating with TIKA (Turkish International Development Agency) to support the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture on its quest to respond to challenges posted by school dropout in Namibia. It is clear that the number of children enrolled in school has increased over time. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of children who start primary school are not completing this cycle. There are many factors associated with drop out. A 2015 UNICEF report on the school dropout and out of school children in Namibia pointed out a wide range of factors that contribute to exclusion of children from school or dropout. These includes amongst others Social and cultural factors; economic demand factors; poverty and unemployment and distance to schools. This national workshop will be contributing to the implementation of the 2011 Educational Conference Recommendations. It is in this context that the team would like to engage the management of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture on a dialogue in crafting a plan on how to respond to school dropout based on recommendations from both education conference and research by UNICEF. The ultimate goal of this exercise will be to develop clear policy guidelines on how to address school dropout in the country by sharing recommendations based on research-based empirical data and discuss, agree and craft plans and strategies on how to mitigate school dropout. In this regard, a conference steering committee composed of staff from UN agencies, the National Planning Commission, TIKA and the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture is holding a series of weekly meetings at the UN House. Those weekly meetings aim at facilitating extensive consultations in planning for a Stakeholder Consultation Conference slated for 23 and 24 June 2016 in Windhoek, to which all national and local key stakeholders will be invited. The public is urged to be on the lookout for the conference advertisements in the local media as we draw closer to the date. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 4

5 WorldSkills Namibia launches First National Skills Competition its competitors that will represent Namibia at the next WorldSkills International Competition in Abu Dhabi, October NTA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jerry Beukes (second from left) with other dignitaries at the Launch The National Skills Competition is open to all public and private training institutions and industry sectors. While the scope of occupational skill areas is expected to increase at future competitions, only 10 occupational skill areas will be staged at the inaugural competition, including Automotive Technology, Bricklaying, Carpentry, Cooking, Electrical Installation, Joinery, Plumbing and Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, Wall and Floor Tiling and Welding. EDUCATION On 19th May 2016, the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) announced that the first-ever National Skills Competition and Exposition is to take place from 14 to 17 September This event has two components, namely, the WorldSkills Namibia National Skills Competition and a Skills Expo during which local and international technical and vocational training institutions can exhibit and share information about their institutions and course offerings. WorldSkills International (WSI) is a non-political organisation that promotes skills excellence through the staging of bi-annual international skills competitions and establishing networking and sharing platforms for members to learn from and with each other. The bi-annual competition also provides a means of exchange and comparison of competency standards in the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy. By virtue of its membership to WorldSkills International, and under the responsibility of the Namibia Training Authority, WorldsSkills Namibia is the vehicle through which the skills competition will be realised. The international competition is staged in different member countries every two years. Out of the 75 member countries, six represent the African continent, namely Egypt, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia. Namibia made its debut at the last edition of the competition, which was held in August 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil. The National Skills Competition will serve as the platform to select The National Skills Competition is to be preceded by a series of regional selection competitions at various training institutions from 27 to 28 May 2016 to select competitors to participate at the National Skills Competition. Only eligible competitors who meet age and other technical requirements as stipulated in the WSI competition rules will be considered for representing the country at the next WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi in In order to help alleviate the stigma attached to technical and vocational careers as second rate options left to those who could not perform in formal schooling, Namibia Training Authority supports ongoing efforts to promote technical and vocational careers amongst young Namibians. See page 6... A female builder showcasing her skills obtained through TVET UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 5

6 WorldSkills Namibia launches First National Skills Competition Two young women enrolled in the TVET programme demonstrating their building skills. EDUCATION From page 5 The strategic policy rationale behind this component is clear: Young Namibians need to make decisions about their future careers in a well-informed and wellthought-through way, linked to their interests, their capacities and their aspirations. The Skills Expo forms part of the NTA s ongoing Live Your Passion media campaign, through which Young Namibian participants at the World Skills Competition in Brazil last year the NTA and its industry stakeholders advocate for technically-inclined young Namibians to consider and take up technical and vocational careers. The exposition brings together credible public and private VET providers, corporate entities and other industry stakeholders collaborating in the promotion of technical and vocational careers. The National Skills Competition and Skills Exposition are also key deliverables under the Namibian Government s Harambee Prosperity Plan, which advocates for the staging of a National Vocational Education and Training (VET) skills competition biannually, to promote VET as an education subsector of choice. This event is made possible with the support of several partners, including the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); and the South Korean Global Institute for Transferring Skills (GIFTS). These partners, under UNESCO s Better Education for Africa s Rise (BEAR) Project have also played a very important role in preparing Namibian competitors who participated in the WorldSkills São Paulo Competition in August UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 6

7 Ondonga Traditional Authority hosts the Marula Festival (Oshituthi shomagongo) aims to enhance the visibility of communities traditions and knowledge without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity. The Representative List includes forms of expression that testify to the diversity of the intangible heritage and raise awareness of its importance. The review of nominations for inscription on this list during the 10th session saw 23 elements inscribed out of a total of 35 that were proposed. The Oshituthi shomagongo, marula fruit festival is a celebration that lasts two to three days between March and April, uniting the eight Aawambo communities of northern Namibia through the consumption of omagongo, a beverage made from marula fruit. CULTURE The President of Namibia, H.E Dr Hage Geingob addressing the audience during the Marula Festival (Oshituthi shomagongo). The Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA) has been mandated by 8 Northern Traditional Authorities and accepted to host a Marula Festival (Oshituthi shomagongo) this year as an important cultural event on its calendar. UNESCO has accepted the nomination of Oshituthi shomagongo, marula fruit festival (No ) for the inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the 10th Session of Intergovernmental Committee on ICH held in Windhoek, Namibia in December The guest of honour, His Excellency, Honourable Dr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia delivered the key note address and officially opened the festival. The president called on all Namibians to recognize, protect and safeguard their heritage. He further reminded all citizens to exercise their constitutional right of free association to a culture of their choice in a mutually respectful manner and concluded that this is the only way that Namibia can maintain peace and stability. The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity previously numbered 314 elements and now host 336 after the 10th Session. It In preparation for the festival, men carve wooden goblets and small serving gourds, and tools from cattle horns to pierce the fruit. Meanwhile, women make the baskets and clay pots used for processing omagongo, gather the ripened fruit with the help of young people, and extract and ferment the juice in clay pots for two to seven days. During the process, they discuss issues that affect them, such as family problems, sing traditional songs, recite poems and share knowledge about basketry and pottery-making. Processing the marula fruits brings old and young people together to share knowledge and skills, which are transmitted informally through observation, active participation and emulation. See page 8... Leaders from the Ondonga Traditional Authority tasting the beverage made from marula fruit. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 7

8 Ondonga Traditional Authority hosts the Marula Festival (Oshituthi shomagongo) CULTURE The wooden goblets carved by men and clay pots made by women are traditionally used to serve the marula fruit beverage. From page 7... Once the fermentation process is complete, community members and guests are served omagongo and traditional cuisine. The festival is a relaxed social gathering during which communities and guests socialize, sing and dance, and men recite histories. His Majesty King of Ondonga invited UNESCO to attend and deliver remarks at the opening of this element that is Namibia s only element to be inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The event took place on Saturday, 07 May 2016 at Ondonga Royal Palace, Onamungundo, Olukonda. The festival started with welcoming remarks from His Majesty King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, King of Ondonga & Chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders who welcomed all delegates and narrated how the community value the festival and the role it plays in maintaining peace and social cohesion among the Aawambo people within the 8 Nothern Traditional Authorities. Mr. Erastus Koutondokwa, a senior official at the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture; Directorate of Heritage and Culture Programme then delivered remarks on behalf of the Director of Culture Ms. Ester Goagoses. Mr. Koutondokwa focused on what the festival is about and how it was nominated and accepted by the 10th Session of Intergovernmental Committee on ICH held in Windhoek, Namibia in December Dr. Ilboudo then delivered remarks on behalf of UNESCO reminding communities members, Traditional Authorities, the state party and other stakeholders of their responsibility of safeguarding the element within the provisions of the 2003 ICH Convection. He further highlighted the criteria upon which the element was inscribed. He remarked that Let me further remind you that, the committee decided to consider the nomination for this element based on the following criteria: R.1: Transmitted from generation to generation, the Oshituthi shomagongo festival celebrates the new cycle of crop production and related indigenous knowledge, skills, customary practices and oral traditions; through wide inclusion of all community members, each with distinctive roles and responsibilities, it functions as a catalyst of cohesion and mutual respect among Aawambo and the society in general; R.2: Aspects of the Oshituthi shomagongo festival that can help increase the visibility of intangible cultural heritage in general and awareness of its significance include interaction with nature, appreciation of socio-cultural and economic functions such as the promotion of unity among formerly divided communities, as well as creativity in the usage of natural resources and in designing tools for that purpose; See page 9... Tools made from cattle horns are used to pierce the marula fruit in order to drain the content used for preparing the beverage. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 8

9 Ondonga Traditional Authority hosts the Marula Festival (Oshituthi shomagongo) CULTURE Traditional dancers perform for the audience during the opening ceremony of the Marula Festival (Oshituthi shomagongo). From page 8... R.3: The proposed safeguarding measures demonstrate the substantial role of the communities concerned in their elaboration, along with their involvement in the ongoing safeguarding measures, as well as the commitment of the submitting State to secure technical, organizational and material support to the implementation of all planned activities, although greater concreteness concerning the prevention of possible negative consequences of inscription would have been desirable; R.4: A number of workshops and consultations were held among communities concerned during the four-year period of preparing the nomination, concluding with their final review of the information presented in the nomination form; a letter of consent has been provided by a traditional leader authorized to represent all eight Aawambo communities; R.5: The inclusion of the element in the Tentative National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage for Namibia in 2012 was accomplished by the then Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture in conformity with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention. The event was painted by cultural performances from different regions. The concerned communities performed a role play to educate the public about the proceedings and related ritual performed during the festival. The event was also attended by Honourable members of parliament (Ministers and Deputy Ministers); Councillors; Governors; Senior Headmen and Headwomen of various Traditional Authorities; the media and the General public. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 9

10 UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network Annual Camp a resounding success CULTURE The ASPnet participants at the Khorixas rest camp networking and preparing themselves for an excursion. The National Commission for UNESCO (Natcom) in close collaboration with the UNESCO Windhoek National Office and the National Heritage Council of Namibia hosted the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) Annual Camp from 27 April to 1 May 2016 at the Khorixas Rest Camp, Khorixas, in the Kunene Region under the theme: 'World Heritage in young hands". The main aim of the camp was to raise awareness among the coordinators, learners and their general communities to better understand the subject of conservation of cultural or natural sites and heritage sites through debates, discussions and research that was conducted prior to the Camp. The specific objectives of the 2016 Camp were: To promote the ideals of UNESCO of peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and intercultural learning. To enhance the research skills of the learners. To share research findings on the theme. To learn about local places of cultural and natural significance. See page To instil an appreciation for natural and cultural sites. To celebrate the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Namibia and UNESCO Heritage through research and competitions. To encourage young people's involvement in cultural heritage conservation. Mr Rod April addressing the young participants of the ASPnet annual camp. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 10

11 UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network Annual Camp a resounding success CULTURE From page 10 Some of the ASPnet learners delivering their presentations during the camp. To concretize the four pillars of learning which are learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. The Acting Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Rod April officially opened the camp and gave a background to ASPnet in general and annual camps in Namibia. Mr. April emphasised the importance of ASPnet in shaping the minds of learners and in promoting the culture of peace and mutual respect. He said that Natcom and UNESCO Windhoek Office work hand in hand in many programmes that are in line with UNESCO mandate and ASPnet camps are a tool that is used to foster quality education in Namibia. Speaking at the official opening session, Mr. Boyson Ngondo, Head of Culture at UNESCO reflected on the message of Ms Irina Bokova, the UNESCO Director General on Africa World Heritage day noting that Protecting and promoting Africa s cultural and natural heritage resonates at the heart of UNESCO s work to promote respect and mutual understanding, to safeguard sources of belonging and creativity. This is also important to take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development safeguarding heritage helps create jobs, promote gender equality, eradicate poverty. Mr Ngondo said that there is no need to choose between heritage and growth, between beautiful landscapes and decent livelihoods with the right skills and and stronger capacities, we can harness the potential of heritage to create millions of decent jobs, giving also a sense of dignity, inclusion and pride. By protecting natural resources, rivers and parks, we can unleash extraordinary renewable energy source for all. This is the right thing to do, and the smart choice to make. Mr. Ernst Bause, speaking on behalf of Mr. Benny Eiseb, the Acting Director of Education in Kunene Region concluded that as we are gathered here under the theme world heritage in young hands it is notable to indicate that the future is indeed in our hands, the hands of Namibian young people, hands of learners who are venturing into activities that are challenging and outside and beyond the streamlined learning activities in the classroom. I refer to the hands of teachers who are moulding future leaders, policy makers and those who have to act to change the mindset of millions in order to have a safe and sustainable environment in which we live and to cherish our heritage said Mr Bause. Learners from the participating schools conducted research in line with the guidelines in their regions on World Heritage sites and presented their findings before a panel of judges made up of key heritage experts. Six schools were awarded prizes, three primary schools and three secondary schools. Many activities took place during the camp. Learners, coordinators and all participants visited the Petrified Forest and Twyfelfontein or /Ui-// aes World Heritage Site during the two days of excursions. Other activities included storytelling around a fire to appreciate the different cultures in Namibia, games and presentations from heritage experts. The UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) was established in 1953 and consists of educational institutions in 181 UNESCO Member States. See page UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 11

12 UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network Annual Camp a resounding success The first UNESCO ASPnet Schools National Annual Camp was held in Since 2007, the National Camps are hosted on a rotation basis, and the last Annual Camp was held in the Erongo region in saw the participation of the following schools: ZambeziRegion: SaintKizito- College CULTURE Learners taking pictures during an excursion at Twyfelfontein World Heritage site. From page 11 The objectives of the ASPnet is to promote quality education and the four pillars of learning namely, learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. As the world s largest network of schools and teacher training institutes, the ASPnet serves as a laboratory for innovative pedagogical approaches, and strives to support teachers and learners in their efforts to address today s changing educational needs and tomorrow s challenges. Namibia has currently 27 schools that belong to the ASPnet and 24 out of those participated in the 2016 annual camp. The schools are from the 14 regions of the country. Each region has two schools, except the Khomas Region (Windhoek) that has 4 schools. The Namibia National Commission for UNESCO Secretariat coordinates the ASPnet activities at the national level. The Programme Officer responsible for education acts as the ASPnet National Coordinator. In addition, each ASPnet School designates a teacher who acts as the ASPnet Coordinator at the school level. There is close collaboration with the Regional Directors of Education and the UNESCO Windhoek National Office. Erongo Region: Coastal High School and Erongosig Primary School Hardap Region: Rehoboth High School //Kharas Region: Chris Lotter Primary School and Suiderlig High School Kavango Region: Leevi Hakusembe Senior Secondary School and Rundu Senior Secondary School Khomas Region: Concordia College, Jan Jonker Afrikaner High School and Dawid Bezuidenhout High School Kunene Region: Welwitschia Primary School and Opuwo Junior Primary School Ohangwena Region: Onamunhama Combined School and Eenhana Primary School Omaheke Region: Mphe Thuto Primary School and Gustav Kandjii Junior Secondary School Omusati Region: Shaanika Nashilongo Senior Secondary School and Enoleu Combined School Oshana Region: Omusheshe Combined School and Kapolo Combined School Oshikoto Region: Pukulukeni Primary School and Onayena Primary School Otjozondjupa Region: Friedrich Awaseb Senior Secondary School UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 12

13 Reflection of the month The role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Part II Graduates of Namibia Institute of Culinary Education (NICE) in uniform at all times! Last months newsletter issue reported an understanding of what Technical Vocation and Education (TVET) is, suggesting the idea that technical vocational education has taken on an identity of its own and thus has its own role to play in our society. According to UNESCO s Strategy for Technical Vocational Education and Training ( ), TVET, Higher Education and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) systems are expected to address multiple demands of an economic, social and environmental nature, including, among others, equipping youth and adults with the skills they need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship (Sustainable Development Goal 4), promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth (Goal 8), and building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation and transitions (Goal 9). According to the Assessment and Review of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Southern African Development Community Region and of the Development of a Regional Strategy for the Revitalisation of TVET, TVET is an important tool of public policy. It can support economic growth and poverty alleviation; facilitate the transition of young people to decent work and adulthood; improve the productivity of existing workers and allow for the reinsertion of the unemployed into work; assist in reconstruction after conflicts and disasters; and promote social inclusion. In the Namibian Government s Harambee Prosperity Plan, the rationale to prioritise and invest in Vocational tional Educational and Training is unwavering. It stems from the recognition of VET as a source of skills, knowledge and technology needed to drive productivity in knowledge-based and transitional societies for the twenty-first century. VET has the potential to equip citizens with job- or work-ready skills and it has potential to deal with the global challenges of youth employability and unemployment. Productivity is the basis for sustained economic growth and wealth accumulation. For Namibia to improve its global competitiveness, it is important that our citizens have the required technical and vocational skills. Research shows that there is huge deficit in vocational skills in the labour market. It is generally thought that people with vocational skills tend to be more entrepreneurial and through appropriate supportive interventions may even set up their own small businesses. In so doing they can employ others and contribute to job creation. Therefore, Vocational Education and Training is not meant to be the port of call for so called school dropouts or those that fail to get admitted to universities. It needs to be promoted because it is the backbone of our economic development. Therefore, according to the HPP, Vocational Education and Training is bound to be considered as inferior but as highly rated. Vocational education training will be prioritised in line with core skills needs identified as per the National Skills Development Plans. The desired outcomes with respect to Vocational Education and Training during the Harambee period will be to increase the number of qualified VET trainees; to improve the quality of VET; to improve the image of VET nationwide; to speed up VET refunds to private sector who train their employees. To ensure that the goal of vocational skills development is achieved, the following strategies and actions will be deployed during the Harambee period: Vocational Education Training Expansion including upgrading or setting up of new infrastructure; See page UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 13

14 Reflection of the month The role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Part II The Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Dr Itah Kandjii- Murangi (left) and Former Prime Minister Nahas Angula (right), during the opening of the Gobabis Vocational Training Centre...From page 13 Recognition of prior learning services to be rolled out nationally to certify skills of citizens acquired through work experience; Improve quality of VET provision: by training instructors that will also undergo compulsory industry attachments; Improve the image of VET though advocacy programs (National Skills Competition inaugural event in 2016) and re-branding of Vocational Training Centres to Technical and Vocational Training colleges by 2017; Apprenticeship and funding by initiating more apprenticeship opportunities for graduates. In addition, graduates with good business propositions will be assisted to the extent that it is feasible to start their own businesses. From this overview, one can see that Namibia does align itself with the global motivation to equip youth and adults with the skills they need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship (Sustainable Development Goal 4) by recognising that TVET has the potential to equip citizens with job- or workready skills and for its potential to deal with the global challenges of youth employability and unemployment. This goal can be addressed through expansion as well as augmentation of quality assurance in TVET programs. This includes the upskilling of trainers and their continuous exposure to industry to remain current with technology and trends. Sustainable Development Goal 9 is also underpinned by the national VET Expansion Plan including infrastructure upgrades and improvement, as well as the Harambee rationale that productivity is the basis for sustained economic growth and wealth accumulation. This Goal also speaks to the Vision 2030 which stipulates that by the year 2030 Namibia will be a prosperous and industrialized Nation. From the regional perspective, TVET is an important tool of public policy. This is true in the Namibian case since vocational education and training has been identified as a key priority in all the national documents on economic growth, development and social progress. HPP is dedicated to support economic growth and poverty alleviation stated similarly by the Regional Assessment of the Status of TVET. It is expected that TVET will facilitate the transition of young people to decent work and adulthood. However, the same assessment highlights the major concerns that remain regarding the state of TVET in the region and these are applicable to Namibia too. Policies and practices are not clear and thus hamper implementation as in the example of national bodies that duplicate activities related to accreditation and registration. With regards to the provision of occasional vocational subjects in an otherwise academic education and/or the infusion of a whole schooling with vocationally-oriented notions such as life or employability skills, Namibia has taken its stance and decided to re-introduce - See page UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 14

15 Reflection of the month The role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Part II Trainees at Namwater in the Process Plant training. H. Ujambala...From page 14 pre-vocational subjects in the schooling system. Nonetheless, there is no clear view as to what elements of higher education are also properly parts of TVET. (For instance, non-advanced provision in TVET institutions; provision in specialist advanced technical, vocational or professional institutions; the provision of vocational subjects in universities and/or the infusing of all university programmes with employability skills.) Gathering data is made near to impossible due to a lack of functional and innovative, relevant and userfriendly management information systems. The widespread weakness of data systems, particularly on any key performance indicator, can give the impression that there is little conviction that TVET should lead to employment. It is reasonable to conclude then that the rhetoric surrounding TVET and its magical ability to address all the social evils that afflict us in terms of poverty, unemployment and lack of industrial development, still looks and sounds like rhetoric. In Namibia the need to put our words into actions has never been more dire. The ongoing Scoping Mission into the status and review of the current TVET, Higher Education and STI systems is proof that action is required. There do remain some questions raised through this brief introspection and that is whether too much pressure is put on TVET and too many solutions to problems are expected from it. Can poverty really be eradicated or alleviated by TVET interventions? Is it not rational to surmise that poverty is caused by a lack of resources or an uneven allocation of those resources in a society? One can fix the problem by seeking or creating more resources and/ or re-distributing available resources evenly. Technical vocational education and training should be seen as a resource that needs to be evenly accessible. One can even purport that the view of TVET as a second rate option to tertiary/academic training is inherently false inasmuch as the requirements to transfer skills and become skilled are far more stringent when delivering skills in craftsmanship and artisanal trades. This makes the delivery of TVET very resourceintensive, in both capital and human resources. Any attempt to offer TVET to the masses as a solution to basic needs dilemmas such as sanitation, food and health can be misconstrued. For in trying to help people to help themselves, there are costs involved which the general population may not necessarily have in order to gain access to quality training. The costs are then to be borne by the Government which implies that an equitable distribution of those resources is required. To quote the Greek philosopher Plato, By education I mean that training in excellence from youth upward which makes a man passionately desire to be a perfect citizen, and teaches him to rule, and to obey, with justice. It would seem then that TVET has taken on a role equivalent to that of Atlas. It is a very heavy burden to bear, let alone be a qualitative measure to creating the future productive members of society. See page Trainees from NICE presenting their dishes for assessment UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 15

16 Reflection of the month The role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Part II Korean Delegation and Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo at the Namwater HRDC Training facility in Okahanja. H. Ujambala From page 15 resources, identifying current weaknesses and barriers to the expansion and transformation of the system. Broad areas to be considered include enrolment in TVET, the use of information and communication technologies and innovative approaches in service delivery, relations between TVET and firms (e.g. for apprenticeships and instructor training), policy development and review, monitoring and evaluation, financing (especially training levies and funds), and promotion of TVET. Specific advice is also requested on: (i) the creation of a Centre of Excellence on TVET (with the aim of obtaining UNESCO recognition as a Category 2 Centre); (ii) the establishment of a network of regional Vocational Training Colleges designed to respond to the local demand for skills; and (iii) the articulation of programmes across levels of qualifications and training institutions (from Community Skills Development Centres to Vocational Training Colleges). For higher education, the mission should identify the key strengths and weaknesses of the higher education system in Namibia, including academic performance as well as economic and societal benefits. In particular, the mission should examine the management of higher education and: (i) assist in the design and implementation of a capacity building programme on higher education management, including a higher education management information system (HEMIS); (ii) suggest ways to handle the issue of unqualified and underqualified teachers and faculty development; (iii) provide advice on the use of information and communication technologies in service delivery. Innovation is considered a key element to addressing cross-cutting issues in the education system, especially related to the final employability of all graduates. Regarding innovation, the mission should identify the extent, strengths and weaknesses of Namibia s national innovation system (research, science and technology) and make propositions on promoting a culture of technological, process-related and organizational innovation or innovativeness; the aim is to delineate the contours of a national innovation policy. Specific advice is also requested on: (i) the ongoing review of the 2004 Research, Science and Technology Act; (ii) patent filing and licensing; (iii) the articulation between research and development and industry, including technology transfer centres, start-up incubators, and sectorspecific industrial clusters. The Role of TVET in Namibia In the upcoming weeks and months, the UNESCO Scoping Mission report will offer insight into the current status of TVET in Namibia. The key findings and recommendations will be presented to the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation in June 2016 and shared with the various stakeholders during a validation workshop. It is anticipated that generally that TVET can address multiple demands of an economic, social and environmental nature, including, among others: equipping youth and adults with the skills they need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship (Sustainable Development Goal 4), promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth (Goal 8), and building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation and transitions (Goal 9). In order to accomplish these goals, there need to be systems in place that promote TVET equitably and in a qualitative, coherent and collaborative manner. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 16

17 History made in Namibia: The Windhoek Declaration of 1991 COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION The principles of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic Press are still relevant 25 years after its adoption as political authorities in Africa continue to undermine media freedom in their efforts to control the press. Edetaen Ojo compares the main demands of the Declaration with the reality today and outlines an agenda for the coming years. Nobody really expected to attend a historic seminar when they arrived at the Safari Hotel in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, on 29 April Among those gathered were 63 journalists from 38 countries all over Africa as well as observers from 23 member states of the United Nations, three intergovernmental bodies, 22 non-governmental organisations and three specialised UN-organisations. Most brutal dictators have either passed on or transformed into more sophisticated and subtle violators of media freedom. Four days later, on 3 May 1991, they made history by adopting the Declaration of Windhoek on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, popularly known as the Windhoek Declaration. Since 1993 that date has been World Press Freedom Day, celebrated around the world to raise awareness about the importance of press freedom and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of The seminar was organised at the initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in partnership with the United Nations and in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Federation of Newspaper Publishers, the International Federation of Journalists and the International Press Institute. The Windhoek Declaration recognised that multiparty democracies across Africa would provide the climate in which an independent and pluralistic press can emerge and welcomed developments in this regard, but its description of the situation at the time was bleak: In Africa today, despite the positive developments in some countries, in many countries journalists, editors and publishers are victims of repression: they are murdered, arrested, detained and censored, and are restricted by economic and political pressures such as restrictions on newsprint, licensing systems which restrict the opportunity to publish, visa restrictions which prevent the free movement of journalists, restrictions on the exchange of news and information, and limitations on the circulation of newspapers within countries and across national borders. In some countries, one-party States control the totality of information. Many of these challenges continue to plague the media sector in countries across Africa, although on a much smaller scale following the wave of democratisation that has swept across the continent. The key and most quoted principle outlined in the Declaration states: Consistent with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press is essential to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation and for economic development. The Declaration defined independent press to mean a press independent from governmental, political or economic control or from control of See page 18. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 17

18 History made in Namibia: The Windhoek Declaration of 1991 COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION From page This principle and the accompanying benchmarks are now widely recognised, not only by governments across Africa but throughout the world. However, the achievement of an independent press in Africa remains a challenge as newspapers in many countries continue to be under the control of governmental, political or economic interests or entities. In other countries, the materials and infrastructure essential for the production and dissemination of newspapers are still controlled by similar interests. The Declaration also proposed as a matter of priority the establishment of truly independent, representative associations, syndicates or trade unions of journalists, and associations of editors and publishers in African countries where such bodies did not then exist, to assist in the preservation of the freedoms outlined in the document. Such unions of journalists and associations of editors or publishers have now been established in virtually all the countries of the continent, and so have similar bodies at sub-regional and regional levels operating across and beyond national boundaries. However, the independence, sustainability and effectiveness of many of the national unions and associations remain in doubt. The Declaration also recommended that in view of the importance of radio and television in the field of news and information, a similar seminar of journalists and managers of broadcasting services in Africa should be convened to explore the possibility of applying similar concepts of independence and pluralism to those media. During the 10th anniversary celebration of the Declaration, held in Windhoek in May 2001, media professionals and freedom of expression activists from Africa and beyond proposed and adopted the African Charter on Broadcasting, which is now a continental reference for the sector. Over the last 25 years, freedom of expression and media freedom activism has evolved across Africa, targeting four major stages or areas of work. Much effort has been devoted to promoting press freedom in the traditional sense as understood in the Windhoek Declaration. With democracy taking hold on the continent, a lot of progress has been made and many of the most brutal dictators have either passed on or transformed into more sophisticated and subtle violators of media freedom and freedom of expression. There have also been efforts to promote broadcasting freedom, including genuine public broadcasting and independent private commercial and community broadcasting, as well as to ensure independent and transparent regulatory frameworks for the broadcast sector. The African Charter on Broadcasting has been a major advocacy instrument in this regard and much progress has been made in terms of the sheer number and diversity of broadcasters in many countries on the continent. But genuine public service broadcasters and independent regulatory bodies remain hard to find. The third area of work goes beyond the Windhoek Declaration and focuses on efforts to promote the right of access to information for citizens both in law and in practice. At the time of the Windhoek Declaration 25 years ago, no single country in Africa had an access to information law. Today, there are about 17 national laws and a number of regional instruments affirming the right and outlining procedures for its exercise and enjoyment. But with only about 30 per cent of the countries of the continent guaranteeing their citizens the right of access to information and the challenges of implementation in almost all of these countries, much remains to be done. The independence, sustainability and effectiveness of many of the journalists unions and associations remain in doubt. The final area of work has been in recent efforts to promote digital rights and freedoms in the digital age. Internet access is a major challenge for the vast majority of people on the continent. In many countries where internet access is widely available, costs are often prohibitive. Given that access to many government and commercial services is now increasingly dependent on access to the internet and other digital technologies, the challenge has become an urgent one. Added to the problem of access and affordability is the violation of human rights online, particularly the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy in the age of mass surveillance, the rights to freedom of assembly and association, and the right to a fair hearing, to name a few. As we celebrate the progress that has been made since the Windhoek Declaration, these continuing challenges provide us with a clear agenda for the coming years. Edetaen Ojo is Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, an NGO based in Nigeria. SOURCE: AFRICAN FREE PRESS UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 18

19 Namibia Celebrates World Press Freedom Day and 25th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration Nesindano Namises, Josephat Vijanda Tjiho and the Ondunga Cultural Group performed a flash mob in the CBD, spreading the word on Media Freedom. Photo by MISA Namibia. COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION...From page 1 diplomatic corps, humanitarian organisations, nongovernmental organizations and the media. The overall objective of the celebration was to raise public and institutional awareness on access to information as a fundamental human right. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) keynote speaker and Deputy Director of Print Media Affairs at the MICT, Mr Frans Nghitila, who spoke on behalf of Deputy Minister Stanley Simataa said that an access to information law will soon be available in Namibia. He also urged all the journalists to acknowledge the Government s efforts in creating an enabling environment for their operation and reciprocate that through ethical journalism. The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Kiki Gbeho addressing the audience during the 2016 WPFD celebrations held at Zoo Park, Windhoek. Photo by Joseph Iilonga/UNESCO We (Government) are working hard at ensuring access to information by all especially journalists. We expect the media to be more responsible and contribute meaningfully to sustainable development, he said. Mr Nghitila also mentioned new initiatives in the pipeline by the ministry such as the whistle blowers protection act, e-governance plan and broadband access by citizens which the Government is currently working on to ensure that the infrastructure for an access to information law is in place. The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Ms. Kiki Gbeho delivered the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon and UNESCO Director General, Ms. Irina Bokova s Messages on WPFD. She emphasised on the important role the media plays in achieving developmental goals, especially those launched under the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty. The media plays a pivotal role in raising awareness and providing a better understanding of the SDGs. In order for us to achieve sustainable development, we must come together and pull in one direction, just as the preamble to the SDGs encourages us to leave no one behind, said Ms Gbeho. She also congratulated Namibia for being ranked number one in Africa and 17 in the world in terms of press freedom according to the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders ( See page UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 19

20 Namibia Celebrates World Press Freedom Day and 25th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration...From page 19 During his speech, Dr Jean-Pierre Ilboudo, the UNESCO representative to Namibia, mentioned that bloggers and social media activists who generate information that is of public interest are increasingly gaining recognition by the international community in recent resolutions across the UN. COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION UNESCO believes that bloggers should be protected just like journalists. However, they must abide with the journalism ethics. This means they too must verify their sources, he said. Ms Jana Hybaskova, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Namibia commended the country s free press and the variety and diversity of opinion displayed amongst the numerous media platforms. She said that while journalists globally face many challenges, including harassment, threats, imprisonment and death, it is important to highlight how media and information continues to thrive in the Southern African region. According to the EU Ambassador this development shows that the best and good practice in media freedom is doing well on the African continent. After an entertaining performance by local poets, Truth and Playshis the Poet, followed by the Ondunga Cultural traditional dancers, the MISA Regional Director, Ms Zoe Titus gave a regional overview on the State of the Media and reflected on the efforts made by UNESCO in 1991 to free imprisoned journalists so they could join the historic seminar known as the Windhoek Declaration. She also extended her prayers and solidarity to all those journalists imprisoned and those who lost their lives in the line of duty. The EFN Chairperson Mr Joseph Ailonga noted that although Namibia's high ranking in terms of press freedom brings hope, an access to information law needs to be passed sooner rather than later. He added that the self-regulatory bodies currently in Dr Jean-Pierre Ilboudo, UNESCO Head of Office giving UNESCO s remarks at the 2016 WPFD celebration held at Zoo Park, Windhoek. Joseph Iilonga/UNESCO place to monitor the press should continue as the choice of regulation. The roots of World Press Freedom Day began in Namibia's capital 25 years ago, when the Windhoek Declaration on global press freedom was crafted at a seminar for African journalists organized by UNESCO. In December 1993, the UN General Assembly declared 3 May, the date of the Windhoek Declaration, as World Press Freedom Day. Ms. Zoe Titus presenting a regional overview on state of the media at the 2016 WPFD celebrations Joseph Iilonga/UNESCO UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 20

21 A personal message from Namibia s Gwen Lister, co-chair of the seminar that crafted the Windhoek Declaration We had big dreams, so many of us journalists who attended the 1991 United Nations/UNESCO-organised seminar that gave birth to the Windhoek Declaration. We were not yet practiced in the ways of democracy, as governments across the continent were still largely intolerant of freedom of speech and expression. But we were idealistic and infused with a fervent desire to see all of Africa s media able to speak truth to power. COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION The gathering brought together journalists from 38 African countries, many of them viewed as government opponents in their countries of origin. They had paid a high price for their commitment to press freedom. But there were also editors and executives from state-owned media. Wide-ranging and often lively discussions on a range of issues affecting (mainly print) media, and including political, economic and technological constraints, were proof of the journalists passion for their craft. Inspired by Namibia s liberation from the stranglehold of South Africa s apartheid colonial rule and buoyed up by the promise of a new era in the country s commitment to human rights, journalistic independence was seen as the way to assert these freedoms and loosen the ties that bound media to state control. Giving voice to these aspirations, the Declaration boldly proclaimed that the establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press is essential to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation, and for economic development. In the 25 years since its historic adoption, and against the background of a media landscape that has since changed dramatically with the digital revolution, there have been a multitude of assessments and analyses about progress made. Unfortunately, most often the state of media freedom in Africa has been characterised by a one step forward, two steps back approach. While there is more widespread acceptance, including by African governments, of the need for free and independent media, the reality on the ground in many countries shows that impunity for violations of media freedom continues. A vibrant and critical media holding governments accountable is not easily tolerated. Indeed, with millions of citizens now giving voice to freedom of expression online, and renewed government attempts to regulate Gwen Lister is the Founding Editor and currently Publisher of The Namibian newspaper, which is owned by the Namibia Media Trust. -and deny access, this new environment offers a stark reminder of a draconian past. An environment in which independent, pluralistic and free media, both traditional and online, can thrive remains key to the goal of development. The Windhoek Declaration, although it applied mainly to print media, was and should remain a catalyst for free speech and expression advocates across Africa. The ethos which drove it inspired similar journalistic demands in other parts of the world, and the sentiments behind it are as relevant today as they were at the time of its adoption. Circumstances may have changed in the intervening years, but the campaign to realise these lofty objectives should be as vigorously pursued now as it was in For all Africans, the dream to assert and practice their rights to free speech and expression in the interests of democracy and progress must come true. It s not just about the media any longer. Across the length and breadth of Africa, voices must continue to ring out to demand the right to free speech and access to information in the interests of promoting informed opinions for viable democracy and progress. Gwen Lister is the Founding Editor and currently Publisher of The Namibian newspaper, which is owned by the Namibia Media Trust. Source: AFRICAN FREE PRESS UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 21

22 Invitee of the month: Ms. Izumi Morota-Alakija, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative UW: Can you briefly describe your Organization s cooperation strategy with the Government of the Republic of Namibia? COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION Ms. Izumi Morota-Alakija, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative. Joseph Iilonga/UNESCO Our Invitee of the Month is Ms. Izumi Morota-Alakija (IMA). Here is an extract of her conversation with the UNESCO Windhoek Newsletter team (UW). UW: Thank you for agreeing to be our invitee of the month. As UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Namibia, what does UNDP stand for? IMA: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in some 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. UW: What are the core policies and strategies that govern UNDP activities? IMA: Inclusive growth, better services, environmental sustainability, good governance, and security are fundamental to development progress. We offer our expertise in development thinking and practice, and our decades of experience at country level, to support countries to meet their development aspirations and to bring the voices of the world s peoples into deliberations. IMA: Our main programme areas in Namibia are: Poverty, Environment, Energy, Governance and Gender as a cross cutting issue. We support the government with innovative and catalytic programmes to address development challenges. UW: Being part of the UN family, what are the comparative advantages of UNDP and how do you complement other agencies efforts? IMA: UNDP has a mandate for coordination of development activities in the country. The governance and economic analysis are clearly UNDP s comparative advantages. Also UNDP plays a major role on monitoring and reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as we did for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UW: What are some of the key success stories of UNDP in Namibia thus far? IMA: We have been quite active in environment sectors in the country mobilizing some USD70 million through Global Economic Funding (GEF) since the mid 1990s. We have been supporting projects that have addressed sustainable development and resilience with our partners. UW: What are some of the pressing issues for UNDP in Namibia? IMA: As the country has achieved Middle Income Status, we need to shift our development paradigm and so should our partners in order to secure and expand our partner basis. Also donor coordination in the country needs urgent attention. Water issues are the most pressing development concern for not only UNDP but for all the partners and this is one of the governments priorities. UW: Following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last year, can you tell us how they have impacted/will impact on your work in Namibia? IMA: This is a critical time for the world. At UNDP, we see this period as a huge opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda. Last year, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to continue the work of the Millennium Development Goals. See page UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 22

23 Invitee of the month: Ms. Izumi Morota-Alakija, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION Ms. Izumi Morota-Alakija, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative meeting the President of Namibia, Dr Hage Geingob at the Statehouse. Dianna Ndimbira/UNDP...From page 22 UNDP is working to strengthen new frameworks for development, disaster risk reduction and climate change. We support Namibia's efforts to achieve the new SDG s or Global Goals, which will guide global development priorities for the next 15 years. UW: Which of the 17 SDG s are your Organization prioritizing in Namibia and why? IMA: The prioritization and localization needs to be done with the government together with United Nations Country Team (UNCT). The process is on-going under the guidance of the Programme Development Team (PDT). Obviously UNDP s prioritisation in terms of the SDG s would be those goals dealing with poverty, governance, and environment & energy. UW: Namibia is now categorized as an upper-middle income country and there have been concerns by some development partners that this category will see a decline in donor support for the country. What are your views about this argument and has your Organization been affected in any way? IMA: We need to turn this around as an opportunity rather than limitation. It is not that the country no longer needs support from development partners. This is a transitional period and we need to address more than ever on capacity issues, especially institutional capacities at the decentralized level. UW: UNDP and the Government of Namibia signed a Standard Basic Assistance Agreement on 22nd March 1990 to assist the Government in carrying out its development projects/agenda. What measures have UNDP put in place to promote Gender Equality & Women Empowerment to close the gender gap in education and jobs in Namibia? IMA: UNDP supported the Ministry of Gender in developing the Gender Strategy and Gender Based Violence (GBV) Action Plan. Also we supported the University of Namibia in establishing the Master s programme in Gender Studies. UW: How does UNDP support the Government to ensure wider opportunities for the swelling youth population in Namibia? See page UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 23

24 Invitee of the month: Ms. Izumi Morota-Alakija, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION...From page 23 UNDP is supporting youth skills training through our environment programme and is planning to expand to wider youth community through our entrepreneurship programme. UW: In 2015 the President of the Republic of Namibia declared war on poverty and called upon all development partners to help his Government in this fight. He also introduced the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) as a framework to achieve this target. What is UNDP doing to contribute to poverty eradication within the context of its mandate? IMA: As United Nations (UN) in Namibia, we are trying to support the government with the effective implementation of the HPP. UNCT had a meeting with the President to this end and we are now compiling a common matrix to show UN contributions to the HPP. UW: For every successful tall tree there is a beginning. Can you tell us a bit about your professional career and how you ended up in this position? IMA: Ms. Izumi Morota-Alakija, (Japan) was appointed as the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for the Democratic Republic of Namibia since September Before my current appointment ( ), I was UNDP Deputy Resident Representative (DRR) in The Gambia. During my professional career I have held various posts including: Resource Mobilization and Partnership Development Advisor with UNDP, South Africa ( ), Programme Audit Specialist with UNDP OAI, Johannesburg ( ), Programme Specialist & Deputy to the Section Chief, UNV, Bonn ( ), and Junior Professional Officer, UNIFEM, Lagos ( ). I also served as Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer with University of the South Pacific, Fiji, as a Research Associate/Statistician ( ). I hold a Bachelors degree in Sociology and Anthropology from West Virginia University, USA and a Masters degree in International Development Administrations from Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA. UW: To us (UN family) you are known as the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Namibia; What are your hobbies? DID YOU KNOW: The Kavango East and West Regions in Namibia combined have the highest percentage of poor people in the country, with 53.2% of the Region Classified as "poor"; followed by the Oshikoto region at 42.6%. "severely poor" refers to the total number of households who spend more than 80% of their income on food, while "poor" refers to the population that spends more than 60% of their Income on food. UNDP IM: I like watching football. My entire family are big Arsenal fans! Go Gunners!!! I also like camping, hiking and skiing. UW: How do you deal with challenges and balancing between your demanding work and the family? IM: I do not think I am doing that very well any advise? UW: We have come to the end of our interview, thank you for sharing your time with us. However, before we say goodbye, what advice, quote or words of inspiration would you like to share with our readers? IM: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 24

25 Highlights of the month Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo posing for a group picture with some of the participants during the 2016 World Press Freedom Celebrations. Joseph Iilonga/UNESCO (Far left) The High Commissioner of Ghana to Namibia, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah attended the World Press Freedom Day celebration in Windhoek. INVITEE OF THE MONTH Nunu Truth Namises reciting an inspirational poem during the 2016 World Press Freedom Day celebration. Playshis the Poet also recited an inspirational poem about the importance of access to information. The EFN Chairperson Mr Joseph Ailonga delivered a powerful message on behalf of the Media during the 2016 WPFD commemorations. Joseph Iilonga/UNESCO The vote of thanks was delivered by Ashley Dickson and Henry Shekuza who are members of MISA s Children & the Media Project. Joseph Iilonga/UNESCO Director of Publication: Dr. Jean-Pierre Ilboudo Chief Editor: Chimbidzikai Mapfumo Deputy Chief Editor: Joseph Iilonga Editors: Aina Heita, Dickson Kasote, Boyson Ngondo, Ehrens Mbamanovandu, Gail Fletcher UNESCO Windhoek Office Newsletter, Issue 13 Page 25