How to conceptualise SDGs in Namibia: Part 1

I had the privilege to attend the Namibia Institute of Corporate Governance conference that was held under the theme: “Mind shift – Real Contextualised Sustainability for Namibia”. It was an enlightening conference and I want to use this platform to reflect on the conference.

Firstly, Finance and Public Enterprises Minister Iipumbu Shimii set the scene by saying for SDGs and any development plans to be contextualised and effectively implemented, effective processes and systems need to be in place. He further said a country needs to have strong institutions that are inclusive and robust with e-governance frameworks in place, for effective sustainable development to happen.

At the same event, Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo said transparent procurement processes, a strong legal framework and stable political system are essential to actualising the SDGs and other developmental goals. Other speakers indicated that Namibia needs to build human resource and infrastructure capacity.

Given the above, I believe Namibia has several advantages compared to other African countries when it comes to infrastructure. Namibia for example has good road infrastructure. It also has a stable political system, and a good legal framework, however, more needs to be done to ensure institutions are inclusive. Namibia must improve its systems and processes, which are still governed by outdated regulations, policies, and bureaucratic and laborious approval processes. 

There is also a need to improve the efficient handling of labour issues. Although it is important to build human capacity, institutions lose skilled and experienced human resources on account of unfair labour practices. To this end, Director for the desk for social development of ELCRN Uhuru Dempers made an important remark at the conference, when he said corporates and public entities can give more money to corporate social investment projects, instead of it being wasted on petty, unnecessary labour issues.

There is a need for Namibia to strengthen its industrial relations frameworks, as the process tends to be laborious and bureaucratic, which impacts on productivity and performance of institutions, and the country’s economic growth.

Energy management is also an important discussion to note, when considering actualising the different developmental goals.  Dr Detlof von Oertzen, gave a breakdown of Namibia’s energy spending, which has been broken down below:

  • Petrol 21%
  • Disel, heavy oil 44%
  • Electricity 19%
  • Coal 1%
  • Biomass 15%

What was surprising was that Namibia imports most of the above energy fuels, except for biomass. Last year, Namibia imported 71%, and only produced 29% locally. Ironically, Namibia has sufficient solar and wind energy. Why are we not importing these energy fuels? Why is the infrastructure to enable these energy sources not fully set up? How can Namibia add value through renewable energy?

Dr von Oertzen says there is an exuberance on by-products of energy consumption. How many Namibians are looking into the research and development of these products?

More than 50% of our population use biomass in Namibia. So, how will Namibians protect the environment from bush encroachment, which has affected over 45 million hectares? Next week, I will further reflect on the role that ethics plays in sustainable development and how corporate social investment projects can effectively be managed, to ensure sustainability development goals are implemented.

*Morna Ikosa is a Senior Corporate Communications and Brand Reputation Strategist, CPRP, MA, AKA Fixer. To connect, send her a shout-out at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find her on LinkedIn.




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Last modified on Friday, 24 March 2023 14:00

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