What is Decentralization and why is it important in Namibia?

The job of the Namibian Government is to make decisions that affect Namibia and to administer the country. The central government is mainly situated in Windhoek, but this is far away from the communities in both urban and rural areas across the country. This is why the National Assembly adopted the Decentralisation Policy in 1997.

"Decentralisation" means giving the power to make decisions about these urban areas (villages, towns and municipalities) and rural areas (settlements) to regional councils and local authorities, which are directly elected by the people who live there. Through decentralisation, people living in the regions, through local authorities, have more control over their own lives – they can influence the decisions that affect their daily lives.

Decentralisation gives regional councils and local authorities the power to plan and administer on a local level and to do things that improve the lives of their citizens, both socially and economically. It gives them political and financial responsibility for realizing national ideals and values.