WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 – The World Bank Group today launched a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Namibia that will guide the group’s intended support to Namibia in the four-year period ending in 2017. Enhancing state capacity and developing the private sector are the two pillars of the new strategy.
This is the first medium-term strategy for Namibia, and it seeks to deepen engagement with the country. The strategy is anchored in Namibia’s Fourth National Development Plan’s (NDP4) goals of promoting growth, creating jobs, and reducing inequality.
“The CPS proposes programs that are calibrated to reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity. It provides a framework for collaboration with the country to find solutions for Namibia’s development challenges,” said Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Namibia, adding “This collaboration will be done primarily through knowledge exchange and technical cooperation.”
Over 2013-17, the World Bank Group’s support to Namibia will be provided around two pillars:
(i) To enhance the state’s capacity by strengthening government institutions’ ability to more effectively design, execute, and monitor public policies needed to realize the goals of the NDP4. Proposed programs under this pillar cover economic management, environment and natural resource management, statistical capacity, health and nutrition.
(ii) To develop the private sector by helping to improve the overall regulatory framework for investment and by providing assistance with investment transactions. This will cover programs aimed at improving the institutional environment for a competitive private sector and increasing productive capacity and infrastructure.
Saleem Karimjee, IFC’s Country Manager for Namibia said: “Private sector development can serve as a key engine for growth. We are committed to supporting the people of Namibia in helping to improve the country’s investment climate and introduce public-private partnership solutions to provision of infrastructure—both of which are essential for job creation.”
The CPS also highlights Namibia’s achievements which include a stable macroeconomic environment, extensive access to quality roads, power, water, and ICT and innovation in natural resource management whose success with communal conservancies provides a powerful example of community-based natural resource management.
Namibia has made significant progress since independence. It continues to face development challenges, especially with respect to addressing the interconnected problems of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. With this CPS, the Bank Group aims to bring the best of global experience to help find development solutions for Namibia and to facilitate peer learning.
Namibia joined the IBRD, IFC and MIGA at its independence in 1990. Support to Namibia has since then primarily taken the form of research, policy analysis, technical assistance and capacity building, rather than loans or other financial services. To date, the World Bank has provided loans of US$15 million to the government (all of which has been fully repaid), grants of over US$16 million primarily through the Global Environmental Facility, and almost US$40 million by the IFC in investments in the private sector.