Geingob’s ideas face ‘resistance’

Analysts says lack of implementation hinders progress

12 July 2021 | Government

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Political commentators say various policy ideas crafted by President Hage Geingob’s various committees need to be implemented for them to work, failure of which will render the various committees formed unnecessary.

Others also feel that Geingob’s plans are facing resistance from officials who are not willing to implement them.

Since assuming the presidency in 2015, Geingob established various advisory bodies to craft policy directives, in order to help him achieve his dream for a prosperous Namibia under his watch.

Namibian Sun spoke to several analysts to gauge their views on the new structures and whether there had been any tangible results derived from the establishment of these committees, resulting in among others, the birth of the Harambee Prosperity Plan advanced by Geingob’s A-Team.

Academic Phanuel Kaapama says the various advisory bodies President Hage Geingob have done all they could and that the question should be whether ministries are willing to take up and implement policy ideas presented to them.

“The committees did their work, they reported … the interest should be what is the nature of the recommendations and how the recommendations were translated into policy; are these recommendations being translated into tangible policy,” Kaapama questioned.

Kaapama also felt that there was some resistance from government offices, ministries and agencies to implement policies recommended, especially if they were crafted by persons not working in government.

“One of the key issues was whether ministries take recommendations on board, that is what the discussions should be,” Kaapama said.

Implementation

His views were echoed by Henning Melber, who said the policy directives can only be assessed if translated into policy.

“The best recommendations and advices count little if they are not followed up by political-administrative steps towards implementation. There are different results. The ancestral land commission appointed after the second land conference can serve as a good example,” Melber said.

“It worked efficiently, followed the mandate and presented a detailed in-depth report with a professional and profound assessment. But now the challenge is with the policy makers to follow up, and I am not aware of much happening since then,” Melber added.

Melber took aim at the president’s economic advisory committees.

“The various economic advisory committees seemed more a window dressing and the appointments served an inclusive approach, which hardly enhanced efficiency. Less might have been more,” Melber said.

According to Melber, the competence and know how should in the first instance be vested in the top levels of the state bureaucracy and the ministries, where committed civil servants should have the task to play such roles in the execution of their offices.

“A competent and committed public service and similar competent political office bearers and their support staff (including advisors) should actually be able to perform properly and only have to rely on additional competences through advisory board in exceptional cases. To appoint these as a kind of routine once in a while rather suggests a weakness and not a strength,” he said.

Meaningless

Academic Ndumba Kamwanyah also felt that the work of the committees was meaningless unless implemented at government level.

“Information generated by advisory committees is meaningless if not put to good use. herein lies the problem of Geingob's many advisory committees in that their advices or recommendations seem not to be put into action properly and effectively,” Kamwanyah said.

“In addition, not every problem we have calls for an advisory committee or task force. The president already has advisors, ministers and technical experts in various ministries that can advise him because they on the ground and understand issues better than a fly by night advisory task force,” Kamwanyah added.