The Sustainable Development Goals in Namibia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth's environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Namibia.
16 December 2021
Business Leaders and UN launch “SDG Private Sector Alliance”
In a time where public sector organizations are becoming more involved in the well-being of their communities and country, the establishment of the SDG Private Sector is a concerted move in collaborating such efforts with the help of the UN. Officially launched on 1 December 2021, the SDG Private Sector Alliance is a convergence point between the UN System in Namibia and the Private Sector of the country, on 1 December 2021. The Alliance looks to engage, build trust, exchange know how and technologies, strengthen relationships, bring synergy and coherence between UN Namibia and the private sector to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help Namibia to achieve Vision 2030 through the relevant National Development Plans (NDPs). At the heart of this alliance is maximizing collaboration to deliver solutions and impact beyond that of a single actor or actors working independently, with UN Namibia eager to collaborate with private sector organizations who are already committed to responsible business practices in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and corruption. “We are looking for partnership, we wanted the exposure to other organizations doing the same thing on a coordinated platform to achieve accelerated development in our communities and for our country”, said Mclyn Kasale, Navachab Gold Mine representative. In order to inspire all businesses and organizations in attendance, the launch was creatively facilitated to scope an understanding and expectations of private sector needs in working with the UN. Participants were challenged with fun tools, such as the Swift 30 SDG Edition game and other thought-provoking exercises, to initiate open conversation and interaction around the interconnected and critical role the SDGs play in our everyday lives. In Namibia, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and economic crises, it becomes apparent that any developmental agenda that does not integrate the private sector ignores a crucial partner in improving conditions for all Namibians. Particularly in sustainable human development and inclusive market development. “The UN System is the custodian of the SDGs and it is important for collaboration and partnership to understand this focus and the approach of the UN, while simultaneously expressing to the UN the goals and ambitions of the private sector”, said Bronwyn Moody from the Capricorn Group. Establishing the SDG Private Sector Alliance illustrates a recognition that the private sector is a critical partner to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with one of the major shifts of the last 10 years being an increased understanding of the essential role of business as a key partner in development. “Using the SDGs as the accepted framework we need to increase convergence between business goals in alignment of the development agenda of Namibia.” said Sen Pang, UN Namibia Resident Coordinator. The next steps of the SDG Private Sector Alliance is to charter an implementing strategy and operational framework. Private Sector co–chairs were nominated to serve alongside the UN team to signify partnership, transparency and accountability to facilitate and invoke broader private sector participation The focus areas of Alliance will be on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the four pillars of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF). Namely, Social Transformation, Economic Progression, Environmental Sustainability and Good Governance. Establishing the SDG Private Sector Alliance reflects the urgency of Namibia having less than 10 years left to deliver on goals such as Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
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25 November 2021
‘Conservation Agriculture key in achieving sustainable food systems in Namibia’
Johannes Nathan Vries – a lead farmer from Karas region is a new comer to conservation agriculture. He anticipates better yields, and increased income for his household. “Since adopting conservation agriculture (CA) this year, I have saved a lot of money for pesticides as the crop rotation practise keeps away pests. I noticed a huge reduction in the amount of water I use, and CA minimizes soil disturbance,” says Johannes, who described the traditional way of farming as obsolete and unproductive. Johannes’s story is among many shared during the concluded Conservation Agriculture Forum held in Namibia. The 7th National Conservation Agriculture Forum (NCAF) brought over 70 farmers and stakeholders from various institutions involved in food systems to assess progress made in the regions where CA system is being implemented. If well adopted, participants noted, conservation agriculture has a huge potential in promoting Namibia’s sustainable food systems and livelihoods through improved productivity. NCAF brings together farmers, agricultural extension officers, farmer unions, and a variety of stakeholders from all 14 regions in Southern Africa. “Conservation agriculture is among the smart agriculture practices contributing towards sustainable food systems. Sustainable food system is a system which brings together all actors involved in food systems value chains to ensure food and nutrition security,” said Mildred Kambinda, Acting Deputy Executive Director at the Department of Agriculture Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, at the opening of the forum. The meeting also presented an opportunity for agricultural extension staff to share lessons learned and best practices in conservation agriculture in their respective regions. Harmonization and synergy among CA stakeholders Through the project “Strengthening Coordination, Scaling Up and Governance of Conservation Agriculture in Southern Africa (SUCASA)”, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting the National Conservation Agriculture Forum (NCAF) by reinforcing partnerships and collaboration among stakeholders in the region to promote the adoption of CA and ultimately help farmers become more resilient. “It is critical to foster synergies in order to guide and accelerate CA adoption across diverse agro-ecological conditions and farming systems. The NCAF also serves as an information-sharing platform across stakeholders. FAO will continue to support efforts that encourage more farmers to adopt CA systems,” Farayi Zimudzi, FAO Representative noted. In the short-term, the government of Namibia targets to have about 13 000 farmers by year 2022 implementing at least one of the CA principles, that include; minimum tillage, crop rotation and organic soil cover. Related links: Namibia's ambitious target Sowing the seeds of resilience Building climate resilience in Southern Africa
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08 November 2021
Building Community Resilience one Tree at a Time
Community gardens have become a popular and sustainable tool to address hunger in Namibia. Drawing inspiration from similar initiatives, the United Nations (UN) Namibia celebrated the 76th anniversary of UN Day by supporting a garden project at the Katutura Aftercare Centre in Windhoek. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare administers the Centre and the shelter often houses around 500 street children at a time. Along with gardening, the centre also offers programs such as drama classes, psychosocial support, school and family integration. Food insecurity is a harsh reality in Namibia exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change – leaving the most vulnerable populations in perilous predicaments. A sustainable and productive gardening project brings an impressive array of benefits in this time of economic precariousness. Sen Pang, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia expressed that it is a privilege to commemorate UN Day with the After-School Centre family and underscored the importance of being in the heart of the community. “It is here where we live the values enshrined in the UN Charter, where we work for the people, doing the work by the people”. Special adviser to the First Lady of Namibia Dr Veronica Theron highlighted a number of activities to protect vulnerable people in our communities, from speaking out on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to advocating for social safety nets. This informal engagement allowed attendees to see the real world impact of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mentioned in the statements of speakers. As a global representive for her country Annerie Maré, Miss Namibia World 2021, reflected on the urgency and her passion for advancing the (SDGs) in Namibia. She particularly voiced her will to champion causes related to SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being; and SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation in Namibia. Children from the Centre put their talents on display via an enthusiastic wrestling demonstration and a competitive basketball match. In addition to setting up sustainable gardens to support food security and sustainable food production by planting fruit trees, UNCT also donated gardening tools, children’s literature, sport equipment and educational games and providing minor improvements at the centre.
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16 November 2021
SDG Book Club Interview Series: Godfrey Edusei Derkyi
A prolific writer, Edusei Derkyi is the author of several books including "Aboakyer - The Hunt of the Efutu People", "Ramblings of My Mind - an Anthology of 45 Life Poems" and "Yaaba - A day in the Life of an African Child". Derkyi's love for music has lead to him incorporating songs into his works - a reflection of the pivotal role music plays in the everyday life of the African. He recently met with the SDG Book Club to discuss his thoughts on education, imagination and his book, The Adventures of Hurricane & Tornado. How long have you been writing children’s books? My first book was published in 2010; it was historical fiction. Since then I have published four others. One is an anthology of life poems. This was followed by a sequel to my first book. My first children’s book is: Yaaba – A Day in the Life of an African child. It was published in 2015. My second and current children’s book, The Adventures of Hurricane & Tornado, is the first episode of a series. What inspired you to take up the SDG challenge? For 10 years I volunteered support for the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation Thank You Small Libraries (TYSL) program in Ghana. This was a program for Quality Education. I worked closely with Ambassador Dho Young-Shim of Korea, and facilitated the establishing of over 40 libraries for basic schools in Ghana. My inspiration to take up the SDG Challenge and to write for kids developed out of my experiences with the TYSL program. Touring the countryside and interacting with kids of deprived schools across the length and breadth of Ghana, I realized the need for more reading content that address the SDG objectives with close to true life literature to impact readers. My purpose is not only to impart knowledge but to also inspire confidence in our children. I want them to explore with purpose and to become change agents and I want to engender in them the “can do” and “bold to do” spirit. The main focus of the SDG Book Club is to inform and educate children. How you were able to create a fusion of entertainment, education, and information to advance children’s understanding of the concerns of quality education? The SDG seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. I guess it is the art of a good story teller to fuse these three cardinal purposes of writing in his or her work. I bounced my work off my two girls who are 10 and 8 years to assess how targeted my work is. It is a challenge to catch the attention of small children. It requires weaving sub-team into the main theme to hold their attention. How do you carry out research for your book? In writing I rely on my own life experiences and on observation of subject activities. I conduct interviews. I study similar works. The internet is a good research tool too. Describe the process of visualising and painting the main character of the story? The main characters are based on my two daughters who are eight and ten years old. The two inspired the story of Hurricane and Tornado. What feeds your imagination, when you make illustrations for book? The illustrations in this book are pretty much technical drawings and design concepts and did not require abstracts. Tell us something about the main character The main characters, Hurricane & Tornado are two girls, ten and eight years old. Set on a course of changing things for the better, they are cast as having enquiring minds and extraordinary drive in putting into practice what they learn. Born into the average family straddling the affluent and the poor; they attend a public school in a small town. This characterization is intended to make it easy for most young readers to identify with them and what they do. Is there an underlying true story, or was the book basically a product of your imagination? The book draws on my own childhood experiences growing up in Suhum in the 1960s and 1970s. I encountered many of the everyday challenges the SDGs advocate and try to remedy. Adventures of Hurricane and Tornado, Episode One focuses on the concerns of Goals 3 & 4, Good Health and Quality Education. Episode Two which is yet to be published, focuses on Goal 6 - Clean Water. The series draws on a combination of my real life experiences and imagination. Urbanization has changed the setting of Episode One in many ways from those days, but the narration holds true for many other rural locations in Ghana today. So far, what has being a writer been like? It has been exciting. It is rewarding to literally transform abstract ideas into a form of reality. The interesting aspect is when the story decides on its own to go off track and begins to tell itself. The craft to bring it back on track without compromising the new perspectives it introduces, is part of the challenge of story-telling. Growing up, what was your ambition in life? As a child I wanted to be a doctor; a surgeon. I changed my mind and entered the university to study social sciences. I could not stand the sight of blood. I ended up in banking and finance. What do you do when you are not writing? I specialized in construction and home mortgage finance. I am currently the Founder and CEO of Housing Partnerships Africa Limited. We provide housing advisory services to governments and real estate entrepreneurs. My hobby is music and I am a choral music enthusiast. What advice would you give to young readers across the continent? The message of this book to the young reader is to recognize that many of you have roles to play in the process of bringing solutions to the challenges faced by your communities. Government begins at the community where needs are felt daily. Central governments often take long in responding. The youth, in community, can in small ways contribute your quota to the resolution of some of the Sustainable Development Goals. The axiom in our days as kids was, “Brighten the corner where you are”; We sang it; we marched to it and we implemented it. This story was written by Zion Rufus and Dalmilare Tella for Borders Literature for All Nations, one of the organizing members of the SDG Book Club African Chapter.
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24 November 2021
Leaving her PRINT on African fashion
Namibian designer Ndeshipanda Fikameni’s Afroprint Line is a proudly Afrocentric fashion brand borne out of her love for African fashion – particularly bright colours and prints. While many would shrug their shoulders at not finding bags, hats or dresses in African prints, such as the Oshiwambo ondelela, this gap in the fashion market motivated Fikameni to launch her brand in 2018. Creating eye-catching, custom-made and environmentally conscious items makes Ndeshi one of Namibia’s growing crop of fashion designers who want to make people look great in clothes but not at the expense of harming the planet. Fikameni recently spoke to UNIC Windhoek about Afroprint Line and being a designer in the time of COVID-19. Thank you for joining us. First things first, where does Ndeshi come from? What inspired your entrepreneurship? I was born and raised by a single mom and four wonderful siblings in Tsumeb. My mom sold vetkoek and sweets as a ‘side hustle’ to make sure I went to the best school. Her hard work, persistence and business model were simple but effective. I learned a lot from that. Tell us about the beginnings of Afroprint Line. I started making my own line of bags using up-cycled offcuts from local designers and tailors such as Ingo Shanyenge. He would always say “Thank you for cleaning up our space”. After positive feedback from clients within and beyond Namibia, I went on to create backpacks, t-shirts, and hoodies. Since then, I have had great support from the founders of Kasi Vibe Namibia as my mentors to my wonderful clients and social media family. How did you get into upcycling? I am very cautious about the environment; it was second nature to include upcycling in my business model for Afroprint Line. Describe your design aesthetic and ethos? Afroprint items are unique, functional, and affordable. I make items that look good but also have a function. They are something the customer can use. As a creative and business owner, what lessons have you learned from the COVID-19 pandemic? Never to be comfortable! Change is the only constant, anything can happen at any given time so make the most of the good days. How were you able keep your brand relevant during restrictions/lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic? Luckily, social media was not on lockdown, so I maximized my social media tools to engage with customers, boost advertising etc. What has been the highlight in your career so far? Collaborating with the United Nations on the Swift 30 SDG edition game was a big achievement for Afroprint Line. What legacy do you wish to leave behind with Afroprint Line? An endless production of uniqueness items! You can find out more about Ndeshi and her business at the handle @Afroprint_Line on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. “This feature is part of a series where the UN Namibia will highlight local goods or service providers in support of the Buy Local Grow Namibia campaign and who we believe are actively working toward the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Buy Local, Grow Namibia campaign supports growth in the production and consumption of Namibian goods and services”
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