ALAN elects new president

Tuyeimo Haidula
The Association for Local Authorities Namibia (ALAN) elected as its new president Samuel !Oe-Amseb fro Outjo Municipality at the just ended congress held at Oshakati from Thursday to Saturday.

!Oe-Amseb pledged to be the president of all despite their political or religious affiliations. He will be the leader for the next three years replacing Katrina Shimbulu who was at the helm of the organisation for seven years. Shimbulu said she will now go into fulltime farming.

All 57 municipalities were represented at the congress which also endorsed 14 board members who were elected in their respective regions. His vice president is Hilde Jesaya from Otjiwarongo Municipality.

!Oe-Amseb said all the newly elected leaders should work together to change the images of local authorities and to bring service delivery to the people.

Namibia’s vice-president Nangolo Mbumba at the official opening of the congress, held under the theme “Building sustainable and Resilient Local Authorities” said it is imperative that local authorities become expertly responsive to address the needs of the people in areas of housing, provision of water and electricity, the construction of roads and constant maintenance of the towns’ cleanliness.

Mbumba said government acknowledges the crucial role local authorities play in consolidating democracy, advancing service delivery and expanding development. He said the congress will develop strategies that enhance the capacity of local authorities to deliver quality services to all the people. “Meetings and conferences like this provide an opportunity for local government practitioners and central government leaders to frankly and candidly reflect on the emerging and current pressing issues and challenges that affect the local government sector as well as our nation at large,” he said.

Mbumba added that local government associations like ALAN are imperative in ensuring that the needs and concerns of their members are advocated to the central government to ensure that the capacities of their members are developed to provide strategic leadership for service delivery and to be a platform for learning, exchange and sharing of best practices.

Urban minister Erastus Uutoni said local authorities should be at the forefront to ensure planning, policies, standards and guidelines support best practice developments for their communities. Therefore, platforms such as the congress will stimulate discussions on topics that give relevance to local government in Namibia and facilitate best practice approaches on how to co-create livable neighborhoods as a positive vision and element of inclusive and sustainable urban development.

Oshana regional governor Elia Irimari said local authorities are faced with great pressure to balance the costs of increasing needs of urbanization on all fronts, be it infrastructural, economic and social challenges. “That is why local authorities are intensifying their efforts in scaling up initiatives of local economic development and strengthening their corporate social responsibility,” he said. Irimari said he hoped that the resolutions of the 2022 congress will address the issues and advance sustainable solutions that are conducive to the development across all local authorities.