Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO), Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, says Namibians are under-represented at international organisations and is determined to make use of all resources at her disposal to increase the number.
Speaking in the capital on Wednesday when addressing MIRCO employees at their annual staff meeting, Nandi-Ndaitwah said she wanted to see more Namibians working for international bodies.
“As part of my performance agreement, the number of Namibians serving in international organisations must be increased.”
“It is against this background that I demand and insist international organisations advertise (vacancies) posts in the Ministry’s (MIRCO) website,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said advertising international vacancies on MIRCO’s website is the “only way” that Namibians could use to get employment.
According to the Nandi-Ndaitwah, she wants more Namibians to work for international organisations for them to “promote” the country and gain expertise that would one day be beneficial to the country.
“When they (Namibians) are there their interest is not for their individual benefit and a better collar, but it’s the skill and the knowledge they gain while there.
“It does not matter how long they will stay, they will definitely come back home and we will make use of that knowledge,” emphasised Nandi-Ndaitwah.
According to the MIRCO minister, Namibia has always obliged and honoured its responsibilities at international bodies since independence and now is the time to get equal representation.
Resource challenging 2016
At the same occasion, Nandi-Ndaitwah said 2016 was a very challenging year due to fiscal constraints.
“Last year was a resource challenging year that hampered the execution of some of our programmes, as a result official visits, joint commissions and other scheduled programmes could not take place,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
However, the ministry managed to form joint commissions such as the “Joint Commission of the Cooperation” with African counterparts such as Mali and Ghana; working group with Cuba and bi-national ties with South Africa and bilateral consultation with Algeria.
Also under heavy financial constraints, the minister managed to visit countries like Belarus, Serbia, Russia and the Democratic Republic of Korea while also accompanying President Hage Geingob to a number of bilateral and multilateral visits.
Among the milestones, were a string of memorandum of agreements, strengthened bilateral relations and political ties, which are expected to “yield” significant results for Namibia.
Namibia also opened an embassy in Algeria.
This year the ministry has adopted the “getting more done with less” approach and will engage in targeted bilateral visits that are cost-effective.
Additionally, MIRCO will continue engaging investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Namibia following a “successful” investors’ conference, which took place last year.
Moreover, Nandi-Ndaitwah called on employees in her ministry to take advantage of the technology at their disposal to execute their duties effectively and efficiently.
The minister urged the staff members to keep records, as this was identified as one of the weaknesses in many government offices and institutions.
“You must keep records and they must be available because when you are not there, others will not be able to follow (carry out their duties),” advised Nandi-Ndaitwah.
In addition, Nandi-Ndaitwah who is also the deputy Prime Minister said there is a need to improve cooperation between her ministry and other government bodies.
Furthermore, the minister said Namibia submitted a consolidated proposal to NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) technical committee consisting of the Katima Mulilo railway line development project; the Baines Hydro-Power development project; Trans-Kalahari railway project and Trans-Orange River highway and railway project.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, MIRCO employees and Namibians in general, must promote these projects at all times.
Namibia will formally be admitted at the “PICI during the next AU Summit”.
Improved communication system
In a quest to improve service delivery, MIRCO will explore all possible media platforms to engage the general public.
According to the minister, in an effort to open “doors” to the media and the public the MIRCO will create a WhatsApp group, utilise Facebook, Twitter, brochures and their website to ensure that information is successfully disseminated.
Prudent financial disciple
Nandi-Ndaitwah urged the MIRCO staff in attendance to spend less money while getting the best possible outcome without “compromising” the ministry’s objectives.
“We must manage our resources and effective cost-cutting measures will be implemented,” stressed Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Among the mechanisms to be implemented are the use of emails instead of fax or paper and reduction in the use of government vehicles for private use.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, the money saved from cutting costs can then be directed to poverty eradication programmes.
Customer Service Charter
At the same occasion, Nandi-Ndaitwah launched the ministry’s improved customer service plan under the banner ‘Customer Service Charter’.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, the charter will “streamline effective record-keeping, safeguard information and operation registry”.
“I want us to pledge and give assurance to deliver on our core values and mandate,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
MIRCO employees’ progress will be assessed during the course of the year said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Nandi-Ndaitwah also observed a moment of silence in honour of two employees in her ministry who passed on.