Sustainable Development Goals - Initiative Namibia
Title: Sustainable Development Goals - SDG Initiative Namibia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: National Planning Commission (NPC)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
The SDGs, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. Member States of the United Nations embraced the seventeen SDGs and pledged to attain 169 distinct targets embodied in those goals.
They recognise that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
Namibia is classified by the World Bank in the group of countries with upper middle income. However, in hardly any other country in the world is wealth distributed more unequally, as measured by the Gini coefficient (59.7 per cent). Despite the relatively high growth rates of recent years, large parts of the population live below the poverty line. 18 per cent of the population is poor and about 5.8 per cent live in extreme poverty. On the human development index, the country is ranked 129 of 189 states (2017).
Although the SDGs are not legally binding, at the UN Summit on the adoption of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015, Namibia reaffirmed the importance of the fight against poverty and stressed that it would play an active role in the implementation of Agenda 2030. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany recognised this initiative, and agreed to cooperate with the Government of Namibia through implementing a joint project on SDGs under its “Initiative Programme 2030”.
The Namibian-German Sustainable Development Goals Initiative was conceptualised and agreed upon in 2017, and will enable Namibia and Germany to exchange experiences, and contribute to the planning, financing and monitoring of the national implementation of the Agenda 2030 in Namibia.
Prerequisites for the planning, financing and monitoring of the national implementation of the Agenda 2030 in Namibia are in place.
Activities will be implemented in three fields of action. Field of action (I) "policy coherence" envisages enabling the National Planning Commission (NPC) and its Secretariat to strengthen its instruments and processes for the integration of the Agenda 2030 national priorities in planning and budgeting. Namibia will conduct the Development Finance Assessment under this action, in order to ensure evidence based alignment between the planning and financing of the national implementation of Agenda 2030.
The goal of the field of action (ii) "Reform of the tax administration" is to prepare the establishment of a semiautonomous revenue authority (Namibia Revenue Authority/ NAMRA) and thus to generate its own resources to finance the national implementation of Agenda 2030. The establishment of NAMRA entails filling the vacant positions in the new structure and ensuring adequate documentation of key tax reform processes.
Field of action (iii) "Monitoring the implementation of Agenda 2030" aims to strengthen the Namibia Statistic Agency in exercising its coordinating role in data collection and thus the prerequisites for the establishment of a national monitoring and review system for verifying national implementation of the Agenda 2030. This action field also makes sure agreements are in place with data providers in the country, in order to ensure that correct and verifiable information is readily available.
In order to achieve this, the project will be implemented on all three levels of capacity development (individual, institution and system levels).
- The draft version of the Development Finance Assessment is currently available. A stakeholder validation workshop was conducted in July to incorporate the views and inputs of the various stakeholders. This report is in the finalisation phase.
- A roadmap for the establishment of the Namibia Revenue Authority has been prepared, adopted by the Ministry of Finance and is currently being implemented. NAMRA is set to be launched on 1 October 2019.
- The Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) went live on 17 January 2019. The AYSCUDA process is active and in use for Customs, but will be documented in the second half of 2020.
- The staff complement needed for the NAMRA has been articulated and the process of developing the job descriptions and filing the requisite positions is currently ongoing. It started with the recruitment of the NAMRA board and the NAMRA commissioner.
- A multi stakeholder platform for SDG coordination has been established by the National Planning Commission.
- The Namibia Statistic Agency has prepared the SDG baseline report, which will be launched before the end of August 2019. Data collection was frozen in October 2018 and baseline figures are available for nearly 75 per cent of 244 indicators.
- An exchange and study tour with partners from NPC and the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) to Germany was conducted to learn from experiences in other countries and to build relationships to German institutions such as the German Council for Sustainable Development and the German Statistical Office.
- A Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report has been prepared in a countrywide, multi-stakeholder involvement process and this report has been presented to the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York in 2018.
- A Movie Clip on the VNR was developed and presented to the HLPF in New York.
- Civil Society has been engaged to actively participate in the national implementation of the SDGs in Namibia.
- A SDG-I Project Steering Committee has been set up consisting of the following key organisations: NPC, NSA, the Minister of Finance (Namibia Revenue Agency, NAMRA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German Embassy. This steering committee meets quarterly and is responsible for the strategic steering of the project.