• Namibia lacks capacity, not money for socioeconomic development

    12 May 2014

    Child carrying gathered wood in the Windhoek informal settlement Havana. "we must not lose sight of the challenge of addressing inequality which – in the long term – can undermine whatever else Namibia has achieved," says Mr. Bandora Photo:UNDP

    In this exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Moses Magadza, Mr. Musinga T. Bandora,  shares his thoughts on many issues including Namibia’s socioeconomic development trajectory; the implications of Namibia’s upper middle income status; the role and challenges of UN agencies; decentralization; human capacity development and the country’s efforts towards meeting Millennium Development Goals.

    Moses Magadza: What would you say is the mandate of your office and what challenges do you need to overcome before this office can deliver more on that mandate?
    Musinga Bandora: We are here specifically to support Namibia address its development challenges. This is not only as UNDP but as Resident Coordinator of the UN operations across our mandates: in education, health, human development, gender, poverty, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, food and security as Namibia strives to address its development challenges, we are called upon to bring our assets, reach to the global capacity and knowledge to help Namibia. Within that framework of supporting human development we strive to ensure that we have our partnership with Namibia well-articulated so that we can add value. We do this by working also with other agencies to coordinate policy, technical support and resources.

    Moses Magadza: What challenges do you envisage as you do this?
    Musinga Bandora: Not being able to sometimes get the right skills. Lack of financial resources is another challenge but which is not limited to the UN. Our counterparts in government also face capacity challenges including in the civil society. A fundamental challenge is that of relevance; ensuring that the UN continues to be relevant to the development narrative in the country. When this office started 24 years ago, Namibia was still a least developed country. It has moved. Operating in a least developed country is totally different because you are not only developing institutions, human capacity and systems but transferring resources. When you then transit into an upper middle income country you need to adjust accordingly to remain relevant. That involves change of mindsets.

    read the complete interview here