Namibia is formally largely decentralized. Local Authorities (LAs) are democratically elected and dispose of power to design policies in municipal services, community participation, initiatives and empowerment. LAs in Namibia are autonomous bodies responsible for delivering a broad range of services in relation to roads; traffic; planning; housing; economic and community development; environment, recreation, and amenity services; fire services and maintaining the register of electors.
LAs, inter alia, are responsible for local development, waste, spatial planning, market management, small and medium enterprises, environment, and tourism. However, they are struggling with problems such as low effectiveness, lack of capacities, skills, resources to deliver participatory sustainable development agenda into praxis, turning the strategies into the actions. The LAs are still lacking project development management and contracting skills. The pace of implementation of national waste management & climate adjusted public spaces design & water retention actions plans are telling examples: 90% of local governments have failed to reach the initial targets (any) set by the regulations.
Project overall objective is to promote smart, participatory integrated urban development through peer partnership among EU and Namibian urban LAs, advancing sustainable urban management praxis in line with AGENDA 2030 & COVID-19 challenges to urban development.
Through capacity building program, the project will enhance urban governance in Walvis Bay and towns of throughout Erongo Region, enabling the urban LAs in Central Namibia to translate SDGs, national and regional climate adaptation strategies, further central regulations into a smart, tangible, inclusive, participatory praxis of sustainable urban management in line with principles of territorial approach to local development.
The project aims to excel social inclusiveness of towns in Namibia, engaging the marginalized, vulnerable and at-risks groups into a topical meaningful participatory dialog on genuinely common public spaces, effectively turning their needs into infrastructure and safety improvements within the public spaces of waterfronts and freshmarkets (fish & green).
The project will advance the green urban agenda and improve the resilience of Namibian towns by setting an integrated model of inclusive, sustainable, circular, resilient management of fish & green markets and adjacent multifunctional public spaces in Walvis Bay, boosting climate awareness of the communities and stakeholders.
Additionally, the project will improve transparency and inclusiveness of the decision making process in Walvis Bay, further quality of LA services and its operational efficiency throughout Erongo Region of Central Namibia.
The project was designed to establish long-term, practical, partnership for urban development between the Municipalities of Walvis Bay from Namibia and Municipality of Czerwonak from Poland.
Development Policy Foundation is an author of the idea and key provider of expertise know-how, supporting the project management and its implementation.