N$2,1 billion in aid for tourism from US

N$2,1 billion in aid for tourism from US

THE US Government is willing to provide approximately US$300 million to Namibia for development projects for tourism, education, transport infrastructure and agriculture via its development agency Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Government intends to construct 36 tourism lodges in partnership with communities in prime tourism locations, should the US approve the financing. Welcoming a 10-member MCC team of tourism experts in his office yesterday, National Planning Commission Director General Helmut Angula said he hoped all negotiations would be completed by July and ready to be signed between both Governments by September, including the disbursement agreement.”Expert teams for the other three identified sectors will also arrive or are already in the country for detailed assessment of the envisaged projects,” Angula noted.”Some US$100 million from the MCC will flow into the tourism sector, including broad-based economic empowerment (BBEE) and unlocking further tourism potentials in and around national parks.We should, however, always remember that the principal driving force behind long-term sustainable development of any sector in Namibia remains the private sector,” Angula added.A year ago, a senior MCC delegation visited Namibia to meet with government officials, private-sector leaders and civil society.A core team was put in place and consultations were completed in all 13 regions.During the development consultations, MCC made three detailed guidance trips to Namibia.Namibia submitted its development proposals to the UN body in September 2006, and a month later, an MCC team made its first assessment mission.Last December, MCC’s Investment Committee approved an Opportunity Memorandum submitted by the MCC transaction team, authorising Namibia’s proposal.Namibia was accepted as an eligible country for the US development support at the end of 2005.Welcoming a 10-member MCC team of tourism experts in his office yesterday, National Planning Commission Director General Helmut Angula said he hoped all negotiations would be completed by July and ready to be signed between both Governments by September, including the disbursement agreement. “Expert teams for the other three identified sectors will also arrive or are already in the country for detailed assessment of the envisaged projects,” Angula noted.”Some US$100 million from the MCC will flow into the tourism sector, including broad-based economic empowerment (BBEE) and unlocking further tourism potentials in and around national parks.We should, however, always remember that the principal driving force behind long-term sustainable development of any sector in Namibia remains the private sector,” Angula added.A year ago, a senior MCC delegation visited Namibia to meet with government officials, private-sector leaders and civil society.A core team was put in place and consultations were completed in all 13 regions.During the development consultations, MCC made three detailed guidance trips to Namibia.Namibia submitted its development proposals to the UN body in September 2006, and a month later, an MCC team made its first assessment mission.Last December, MCC’s Investment Committee approved an Opportunity Memorandum submitted by the MCC transaction team, authorising Namibia’s proposal.Namibia was accepted as an eligible country for the US development support at the end of 2005.

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