Speaker calls for transformation amidst COVID-19 crisis

Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi joining other presiding officers in a virtual meeting of the fifth IPU World Conference of Speakers of Parliament


  Story by George Sanzila

Windhoek- Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi says there is a need for countries to continue to innovate in order to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged economies globally.

Hon. Katjavivi said this during the fifth world conference of Speakers of Parliament yesterday (20/08/2020) that was held virtually.

According to Katjavivi, serious interventions are needed to circumvent the effects of the pandemic. “As we have heard, the Covid – 19 pandemic continues to present serious challenges across many sectors of our economies and communities. This calls for concerted efforts to deal with the pandemic. Similarly, we have to transform the way our economies work, so that the benefits are more equally shared”, said the Speaker.

The Speaker further noted that, the crisis has presented an opportunity to strengthen the parliamentary function of representation, adding that Namibia has made strides in achieving that goal. “Our parliaments, at national, regional, continental or international levels must continue to ensure that the voices of the people we represent continue to be heard. In Namibia we are committed to inclusivity. 44% of our MPs in the National Assembly are women. Our Children’s parliament is also a model for engaging young people so that they are heard”, stressed Katjavivi.

As a way to adjust to the “new normal”, the National Assembly was convened virtually for the first time in its history this year, including the tabling and passing of the national budget.

The conference of presiding officers of national parliaments, incepted in 2000 and organized and facilitated by the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), is aimed at joining forces with the United Nations to help address challenges confronting the world. The topic for this year’s conference was titled “Forging inclusive and sustainable economies that deliver well-being and justice for all”.


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