WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) --
Namibia’s education minister Katrina
Hanse-Himarwa said Monday that it is highly likely that
the free education budget will be reviewed downwards.
Hanse-Himarwa, who was addressing her staff in Windhoek,
said the ministry anticipates a reduced budget for
2017/18 and that this will compel them to review their
education for primary school was introduced in 2013,
while free education for secondary was introduced in
ministry allocated 255 million Namibia dollars (19.7
million U.S. dollars) for free education in the 2016/17
Now with the
tightening of the expenditure and the cuts made last
year, Hanse-Himarwa said her ministry will give priority
to the school feeding program and the payment of utility
said her ministry will fund external examinations and
the provision of teaching aids and text books.
Most of the
departments such as the Namibia College of Open
Learning, the Arts Council of Namibia, the Namibia
National Art Gallery, and the National Theatre of
Namibia that fall under the education ministry will also
land rights gives hope for Nambian rural women
WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) --
In Namibia’s northern Omusati region,
Esra Kuutumbeni toils on her pearl millet field as she
hopes for improved yields of the staple crop, following
a dry spell the preceding year.
“I wake up
early to work on my field to ensure that weeds do not
out grow my crops. I want to be food sufficient, sell
surplus and be an independent woman,” she said.
has been farming on this land for nearly 20 years, but
has only owned full access to the land since late 2005.
Kuutumbeni’s husband died in 2004, she nearly lost her
farming land to male relatives. “My elderly son was
already married. Traditionally, when my husband passes
on and son is married, an elderly uncle was supposed to
take over his land and I shall go back to my mother’s
household,” Kuutumbeni said.
thwarted. She was saved from her ordeal when she heard
of the enactment of the Communal Land Reform Act by the
Namibian government in 2002 that allows ownership for
agricultural land by women.
male counterparts had instigated a fight against me
owning their “ancestral land” as they claimed at the
time, I learned on radio of this new Act that protects
women. As luck would have it for me, the traditional
authority was aware of the Act, defended my case and
that’s how I now have land to farm on,” she shared on
that of Kuutumbeni are not unique to Namibia.
Traditionally, women in Africa had been barred from
owning land they tirelessly work on.
deliberate on this social challenge, government
officials from Sub-Saharan countries gathered at
conference on land ownership rights under the theme of
One world, no hunger, strengthening women’s land
ownership rights in sub-Saharan Africa, recently held in
Namibian capital, Windhoek.
tenure and land ownership rights for women conference
looked at how to enhance land rights for women in
Priscilla Boois, Deputy Minister of Land Reform,
ownership of land remains an elusive dream for the
majority women in Sub-Sahara as customary laws and land
tenure in most African countries makes it difficult for
woman to own land despite their hard work on such lands.
“Traditionally, women were seen to live through their
male relatives or spouses. Widows had no secured rights
to remain on communal homes and land but to apply for
re-allocation to the traditional authority at a fee,”
Boois said during the conference.
In the case
of Namibia, this has improved since independence and
more women own land.
in Namibia, of the 70 percent country’s population
depending agricultural land for livelihood, women
account for 59 percent of people engaged in skilled and
subsistence agriculture according to national
the central role played by women in agriculture and thus
the importance of securing land rights for women through
policies and good governance, argued Louise Shixwameni,
Director in the Office of the Prime Minister.
on policy makers to ensure harmony of laws and legal
provisions on land access and ownership rights,
especially for women.
need are basic rights to be entrenched in the
constitution and for equal rights of property ownership
to be clearly stipulated in the law. It’s not about
saying that men and women have equal access; they need
to be entrenched in the law, distinctly. It is therefore
necessary for countries in Sub-Sahara like Malawi and
Mozambique to bring all inheritance and land laws in
harmony with the constitution,” Shixwameni said.
the Director, it is through harmonized policies that
would ease the burden of women, and enable them women
like Kuutumbeni to build sustainable lives. Evidently,
unlike many women who lost and rights to male relatives
before the enactment of the Act in 2002, Kuutumbeni
could retain her land rights in accordance with the Act.
interim, while the conference delegates seek for
amicable solutions, Kuutumbeni is glad that women have
access to land.
know how I could have been able to enhance my livelihood
without land. Now that I am given a chance to my own
land, I even earn an income from my surplus. That’s the
greatest empowerment that the Communal Land Reform Act
gives to women,” she said as she continues to toil on
blames apartheid for over-bloated civil sevice
WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) --
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob blamed
the apartheid era civil service structure for the
country’s current over-bloated administration.
currently close to 100, 000 public servants in Namibia
where the salary bill was more than 23 billion Namibian
dollars (about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014.
State House staff Monday that the government has no
choice but to employ a number of people from the
apartheid era as part of the reconciliation process.
“If we are
to downsize now, we will end up sending many people into
the streets and add to the already high number of
unemployed people,” Geingob said.
He also said
there were very few black Namibian managers during
apartheid era and that there was no way the government
could have dismissed all the whites in top positions.
need to do now is to improve our performance and output.
This year, let us defeat the naysayers with success and
let us defeat them with hard work.”
took over from former president Hifikepunye Pohamba in
2015, he appointed five special presidential advisors.
appointments have been at the center of debate with some
economic analysts saying the advisors are costing the
government a lot of money.
however, defended the appointments Monday saying that
there is nothing new in appointing advisors.
people are talking about advisors, it is like a new
thing, but I am not the one who introduced it.
Presidential advisors have always been part of our
structure,” he said, adding that the advisors have
different competencies required to drive Namibia