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Namibia: Overseas Aid

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what technical assistance and training has been provided to Namibia as part of the country's land reform proposals. (125293)

In 2004-05, DFID provided £98,000 to support the permanent technical team (PTT) which was set up in 2003 by the Government of Namibia, reporting to the Cabinet Committee, to produce the National Land Reform Action Plan (NLRAP), which it did in mid-2004.

DFID funding was used to support three areas of the PTT's work:

1. Regional workshops to allow widespread dissemination of the NLRAP;

2. Follow-up activities, such as a study on the impact of the NLRAP on farm workers;

3. Supporting the establishment of Land Boards and the implementation of the Communal Land Act, by funding specific studies and providing capacity building and training.

The EC has also allocated €34 million for Rural Development, including Land Reform, in Namibia under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF9) which covers the period 2003-07. The UK share of this is 12.7 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance is given by his Department to support education programmes in Namibia; and whether any of those programmes are delivered in English. (125291)

DFID no longer has a bilateral programme in Namibia and so is not bilaterally supporting education programmes there. We are, however, doing so through the European Commission (EC) which has allocated €21 million during the period 2003-07 to support education through the ‘Namibia Education Sector Programme’ under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF9). €18 million of this is provided directly to the Government of Namibia as earmarked budget support. The remaining €3 million are allocated to building capacity and providing of technical assistance in the education sector. The UK share of EDF9 is 12.7 per cent.

As the EC’s ‘Namibia Education Sector programme’ provides direct funding to the education budget in Namibia, it is the Government of Namibia's education policies that determine the language of instruction in schools. This recommends the use of mother tongues as the medium of instruction from grades 1 to 3, with grade 4 as a transitional grade. English is used as the medium of instruction from grades 5 to 12.