WINDHOEK, 26 APR – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Representative and United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator to Namibia Kiki Gbeho bade farewell to President Hage Geingob at State House on Thursday.
Gbeho thanked Geingob, saying that her assignment to Namibia was one of the most incredible experiences she ever had.
“I virtually had to hit the ground running. Barely two weeks off the ground, I was on the podium of the poverty conference,” she said.
Gbeho emphasised that because of Geingob’s war on poverty pledge, she had the opportunity to tour Namibia’s 14 regions with the Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Minister, Bishop Zephania Kameeta and his team.
“That gave me the opportunity, not only to speak about the rhetoric but to see and hear first-hand, and after that I was a convert to Namibia and the war on poverty.”
She said she tried to use her time in Namibia wisely and was supported by her team to become a development advocate and to engage with people from all walks of life.
“I’m proud to say that it has been a short time but we have achieved a lot,” Gbeho said, adding that her organisation worked on the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) and the poverty blueprint and conference.
“Together with the National Planning Commission, we have launched a coordination forum that brings us development partners together to work with government. We brought tens of millions of dollars to Namibia,” she added.
The outgoing UNDP representative also gave a verbal report on the UN framework, saying that it is fully aligned with Namibia’s development strategies.
“We are even using the same pillar names that you have with NDP5. What we committed with your ministries, the agencies, private sector and think-tanks is that the UN is going to be clear about what in the war against poverty we believe we can contribute,” she said.
Geingob, in his response to Gbeho’s remarks, said there was a lot of synergy in the relationship between his government and the UN.
“We are leading. It’s our country but you are there as experts who have worked in other countries before to compare the situations.”
Gbeho’s first assignment as a UN official to Namibia dates back to 1989 when she served as an electoral officer under the United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Swakopmund.
Prior to her two-year recent assignment to Namibia, Gbeho served the UN in various capacities in places such as Cambodia, Angola, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia.