WINDHOEK: The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda arrived in the country yesterday.
This is the first visit to Namibia by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights’ Council to evaluate human rights and extreme poverty, and to report on initiatives to promote and protect the rights of those living in extreme poverty.
A media statement issued yesterday by the National Information Officer at the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Windhoek, Anthea Basson, said Sepúlveda will collect first-hand information on the situation of people living in extreme poverty, and try to understand initiatives taken by the authorities to improve their situation and fulfil their human rights.
Sepúlveda was quoted as saying in the statement that although classified as a lower-middle income country, Namibia has one of the most unequal distributions of income and wealth in the world, and poverty and inequality are significant concerns.
She will also examine the main obstacles impeding access to public services, including health and education services, and justice mechanisms for people living in poverty and social exclusion.
The UN official will devote specific attention to social protection efforts and Government programmes to address the high levels of unemployment in the country.
A powerful delegation of six people from Dundee Precious Metals Inc, headed by its president and chief executive officer Jonathan Goodman yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Hifikepunye Pohamba at State House.
Dundee Precious Metals owns the Namibian Custom Smelters (NCS) located in Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region, approximately 430 km north of the capital.
Speaking to members of the media after the short closed-door meeting with Pohamba, Goodman said the purpose of their visit here was to introduce the company’s Board of Directors to Pohamba, and for them to see the multi-million dollar smelter.
Goodman said they are upgrading the smelter at Tsumeb at a cost N.dollars 2.4 billion, and he brought all the board of directors here to come and view the project and see the smelter so they can really understand what the smelter is all about.
Another reason was to show the directors that they have a long-term commitment with the Tsumeb community and Namibia as a whole, he said.