Mr. Martin Andjaba 
Ambassador and Permanent Representative

at the International Conference on Financing for Development

Monterrey, Mexico
18th-22nd March 2002

Mr. President,

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government, Honourable Ministers,

Distinguished Delegates,

With accelerated globalisation and the participation of diversified stakeholders in the international development arena, African countries have been striving to achieve sustainable development by strengthening ownership of their development and solidify partnership with the international community. Y, therefore, believe that this International Conference on Financing for Development will strengthen our commitment  to this course.

In Africa, and more specifically in Namibia, we are faced with the problems of low economic growth; high rate of unemployment; high level of poverty and unequal distribution of income. The low economic growth rate stems from a narrow production base and a deliberate act by the previous political dispensation, which marginalised the majority of the population from fully participating in economic activities. This caused a huge skewed income distribution.

About 70% of our population derives their livelihood from subsistence agriculture . which heavily depends on erratic rainfall. Furthermore, the manufacturing base of our country is narrow and therefore unable to absorb the-majority of the school leavers. The unemployment rate in Namibia is estimated at 34%.

Mr. President,

The foundation for mobilising domestic financial resources hinges on sound macroeconomic policies and strategies that should expand economic activities and widen the resource base of our countries. Most African countries have adopted these policies in recognition of the private sector as the engine of growth and that the role of a government is to provide a conducive environment and legal framework in which the private sector can flourish. It is, therefore, our earnest conviction that enhanced efficacy, coherence and consistent macroeconomic policies are vital for mobilising domestic resources, increasing productivity, reducing capital flight and inducing private sector initiative as well as attracting quality foreign direct investment and other private financial flows.

In Namibia, we have adopted a principle based on - Peace, Security, Justice and Democracy. This principle constitutes a decisive condition without which no meaningful development can take place. The need for a sustainable, peaceful, and secure democracy under the environment of the rule of law is fundamental in realising the country's human development goals and achieving international development goals contained in the Millennium Declaration.

In this regard, we have achieved some success in increasing access to and improving the quality of our education system, giving priority to women and children. We will continue to promote civil education for the prevention of infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, which continue to decimate our productive citizens at an alarming rate.

We, therefore, strongly support that in order to compliment national efforts, there is need for the relevant international and regional institutions as well as appropriate institutions in source countries to increase their support for foreign investment in infrastructure development and other priority areas, including projects to bridge the digital divide, in developing countries. To this end, it is important to provide export credits, co-financing, venture capital and other lending instruments, risk guarantees, leveraging aid resources, information on investment opportunities, business development services to facilitate business contacts between enterprises of developed and developing countries.

The role of ODA to developing countries cannot be overemphasized. ODA has been used to develop human capital and to enhance the capacity for production and exports.

In Namibia, we have developed medium-term to long-term plans and it is essential that ODA is channeled to compliment domestic resources in the implementation of these plans. To accomplish that, we endeavour to foster international partnership with donor countries to make resources available.

We support systematic issues as addressed in the Monterrey Consensus. Enhanced coherence with regard to good governance, consistency of international monetary; financial and trading systems will compliment national development efforts. The conditionalities of the financing and lending institutions have often impeded the effectiveness of the development assistance provided to developing countries. We need to remove these barriers to smoothen the flow of development assistance.

The reduction of poverty is central in our national development efforts; therefore we embrace the international efforts, which are underway to reform the international financial architecture based on greater transparency and effective participation or developing countries.

It is then important that debtor and creditor countries should be mutually responsible for preventing and resolving unsustainable debt situations, In this connection, we call for the urgent enhancement of the HIPC Initiative. This would release some of the domestically mobilised resources to be directed to development and help to alleviate poverty and other forms of social evils that continue to afflict our people. However; debt relief measures should not impose further burden on those countries affected.

Some countries may have been forced to walk down an unsustainable debt path. because of unforeseen and/or unavoidable circumstances such as natural catastrophes, conflicts and severe terms of trade shocks. It is in the interest of all nations that the World Bank and the IMF consider these situations in pursuing debt relief.

In conclusion, Mr. President, we call for broader and strengthened participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making and that developing countries will be assisted to build their capacity to participate effectively in multilateral fora.

I thank you.

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