Press Releases, 2/9/2009
Namibians in Finland to learn about Finnish local administration chaired by the minister responsible for local and regional administration
Press release 45/2009
9 February, 2009
Seven high-level representatives of the Namibian regional and local administration are making a five-day educational trip to Finland on 9-13 February, learning about the activities of municipal and provincial administration and organisations looking after their interests. The delegation is chaired by Jerry Ekandjo, minister responsible for Namibia’s local and regional administration, who will meet his Finnish colleague Mari Kiviniemi during the visit. The Namibians will visit, for instance, Vantaa and Lohja and be introduced to the operations of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and the Ministry of Finance.
The visit is part of a development co-operation project between Finland and Namibia with an aim to support the transfer of decision-making powers from the central administration to regions and municipalities in Namibia. The project, launched in 2001, brings decision-making closer to the recipients of the services by strengthening the administration of all regions of Namibia. The project is currently in its second phase, which will come to an end in April 2009. At the same time, it is also the last grant-based development co-operation project Finland is implementing in Namibia. During the project, Finland educates authorities of regional administration and ministry officials to manage their new tasks and helps the ministries to plan and implement administrative decentralisation. The support services are provided by Ramboll Finnconsult Oy.
Since Namibia gained its independence and throughout the 1990s, the country has been among the most important target countries of Finnish development assistance. Between 1970 and 2007, Finland has donated to Namibia a total of more than EUR 131 million. Finland has supported Namibia in the development of country's water supply systems, healthcare, forests, mining industry, environmental protection, functioning of the state administration, and regional administration. In 2001, Finland decided to focus its grant-based development assistance to the poorest countries of the world, which means that Finland's grant—based contributions to Namibia came to an end at the end of 2007. However, the co-operation between the countries will continue using new instruments of assistance, such as subsidised loans, business partnership programme, and co-operation between institutions.
Further information: Project Assistant Susanna Rinta, Unit for Southern Africa, tel. +358 9 1605 6427, +358 40 752 4731