Windhoek Namibian President Hage Geingob on Monday announced the amended country’s government structure which will be effective as of March 21, 2020.
The development has seen some ministries being merged with others in a bid to optimize the structure of the government and achieve a better alignment where there was duplicated mandate.
Speaking during a press briefing, Geingob said the changes has reduced the current 26 ministries to 19 which will also see the country’s current wage bill reduced.
“In making these changes I have been mindful of the need to optimize the structure of Government to give fresh impetus to our plans for economic recovery and growth, while balancing the need for renewal and continuity,” said Geingob.
He said the Presidency consists of the President and the Vice President, and is served by Ministers, Special Advisors and other staff, as may be appointed by the President, as per Article 27(A) of the Constitution.
Geingob said there will be a Minister in the Presidentcy who will be responsible for Parliamentary affairs and will act as the interface between Regional Governors and the President, following the necessary legislative amendment.
In an effort to reaffirm the government’s commitment in fighting poverty and inequality, Gender mainstreaming and Poverty Eradication have been merged and elevated to the Presidency.
“The Vice President, assisted by a Minister, will oversee the cluster of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare including Social Safety Nets such as the Food Bank, Old Age Social Grants and grants for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Disability and Marginalised communities. We aim to achieve efficiency gains through this consolidated approach,” said Geingob.
“To stimulate private sector led economic growth and recovery, the function of Investment Promotion and SME Development will be elevated to the Presidency, as a matter of priority. For this purpose the Namibia Investment Centre will be replaced by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board. The head of this entity will be appointed by the President. The Board is mandated to promote a conducive business environment and market Namibia as a favourable investment destination.”
Geingob said the Prime Minister will continue being the leader of Government business in Parliament and coordinates the work of Cabinet as the Head of Administration and the Public Service. He said the Prime Minister oversees the implementation of Cabinet Decisions; the implementation of the Performance Management System and Disaster Risk Management with the support of the Deputy Prime Minister.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration have been merged with the Ministry of Safety and Security to form Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security. The ministry will carry the mandate of internal security, maintain law and order and provide safe custody of offenders.
Geingob said the Ministry of Defense has been merged with the Ministry of Veteran Affairs to form Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs. The ministry will be responsible for defending the territorial integrity and national security interests of Namibia and to administer the operations of the Namibian Defense Force.
He noted that the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME development has been elevated to the Presidency through the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board.
The President has created Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform which is a result a merge of the current Ministry of Agriculture and Water with Ministry of Land Reform. The ministry will continue to administer equitable access to land considering the synergies in land, agriculture and natural water resources.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has been merged with Forestry which was removed from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to form Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. The Ministry will be mandated to promote biodiversity conservation, through sustainable utilization of natural resources and to develop a sustainable tourism industry that contributes significantly to the livelihood of all Namibians.
Geingob said the Ministries of: Urban and Rural Development; Health and Social Services; Higher Education, Technology and Innovation; Works and Transport; Mines and Energy; Fisheries and Marine Resources; Justice unchanged; Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation; Public Enterprises; Sport, Youth and National Service; Information and Communication Technologies; International Relations and Cooperation; and Finance remain unchanged.