This is the main ceremonial event at Parliament and takes place once a year, usually in February. At this occasion, the State President officially opens the parliamentary session for the year. The opening ceremony marks the start of the legislative year. It is a day of national celebration that is broadcast live on national radio and television. The three main Branches of the State – the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary – take part in the proceedings during the opening of Parliament. The opening address by the State President usually focuses on the achievements of Parliament and upcoming legislation.
At the end of each financial year, the Minister of Finance is required by law to present the National Budget in the National Assembly. This occasion is attended by interest groups, concerned parties and the public at large. The budget enables citizens to know how the economy is performing and how the government intends to spend taxpayers’ money. Members of the public can access the budget documents.
Article 32 (2) of the Namibian Constitution provides that the President must attend Parliament during the consideration of the National Budget. At this occasion, the President must also address Parliament on the State of the Nation and on the future policies of the government. He/she also reports on the policies of the previous year and is available to respond to questions.