Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Republic of Namibia: Budget Speech 2007/08
15 March 2007
Presented by Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Minister of Finance
Republic of Namibia, Ministry of Finance

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges the Ministry of Finance - Namibia as the source of this document:

Opening Remarks

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members

  1. We have yet again completed a budget cycle and I am honoured to table the Budget for the 2007/08 financial year and Medium Term Expenditure Framework covering the years 2007/08 to 2009/10.

  2. As was the case during the past year, we are again in the situation where revenue collections have increased significantly and our share from the SACU customs union pool exceeded expectations. I am appreciating that this situation is opportune, but unfortunately it may not last for long and I shall elaborate as to how we can make the most of this windfall.

  3. Reflecting briefly on the past years’ performance, I am pleased to state that our policy interventions are yielding the desired results. We had introduced several measures aimed at reducing poverty, and as a result the Gini Coefficient for Namibia has dropped from 0.7 to 0.6. We achieved an estimated GDP growth of 4.7 percent over the past five years. We managed to bring public debt down to 31.4 from 34 percent in 2005 and below the 33.1 percent projected under the current MTEF. The policy mix of pro-poor economic growth and fiscal consolidation proved to be the right approach. We managed to deliver on both.

  4. We are in the third year of programme budgeting and there is growing appreciation and understanding of this approach. The donor community has moved towards budget support and the sector wide approach, both being made possible through programme budgeting. Offices/Agencies/Ministries can show how public resources are allocated to priorities and how much expenditure impacts on outcomes. We are however still not yet at the desired levels and further efforts are required to reap the full benefit from this transparent and more efficient way of resource allocation.
Honourable Speaker

  1. In his new year’s message, H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba, The President, amongst others said, and I quote “We in Government are mandated by the electorate to manage public resources for the benefit of all our people. In turn and justifiably so, our people expect us to deliver in terms of the undertakings that we have made”.

  2. The SWAPO-Party Government’s policy of human-centred development is encapsulated in His Excellency’s statement. The commitment to reduce poverty, create jobs and facilitate equitable opportunities for all remains central to all government activities. To give effect to this education, health and social welfare are prioritised in public spending. The productive sectors equally receive significant budgetary allocations mainly for infrastructure development.

  3. As a responsible Government, we are in for the long haul and our development agenda aims at achieving lasting outcomes. This budget therefore reiterates priorities of the previous budget; and that is to accelerate economic growth which is pro-poor. Unfortunately, however, economic growth in Namibia has not generated a commensurate growth in employment. We therefore want to ensure that economic growth translates into improved employment growth. To achieve that, we continue to invest heavily into our human capital. In doing so, we must improve educational outcomes and with that, skills levels and employability. We are addressing the pressing needs of the health sector, where HIV/AIDS is still threatening to undo many of our developmental achievements. Our continued investment into the social safety net will provide relief to the most vulnerable such as the elderly and OVCs. This will contribute to the lifting of living standards of our communities.

  4. Further, the enhanced infrastructure development programme will create new job opportunities and stimulate higher economic growth in the undeveloped rural areas.

  5. As engines of economic growth, the productive sectors will receive a significant boost to unlock untapped opportunities especially in Agriculture, Tourism and Aquaculture.

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