Parliament Bus takes governance to the people.

Niël Terblanché

The National Assembly of Namibia has re-introduced an innovative approach to enhance civic education, engagement and transparency through the “Parliament on Wheels” initiative.

Relaunched in Rehoboth last week, the new program is designed to bring parliamentary proceedings closer to the citizens, allowing them direct participation and a firsthand experience of the legislative processes.

The programme will run while Parliament is in recess.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, hailed the initiative as a landmark in the Parliament’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and civic participation.

According to Katjavivi, the Parliament Bus symbolizes the Parliament’s dedication to making governance accessible to all Namibians, irrespective of their geographical locations.

The bus is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including laptops and interactive displays, to facilitate this interaction.

“This outreach is not only about physically reaching out but also engaging effectively with the youth, encouraging them to participate actively in legislative discussions,” he said.

Katjavivi added that by reducing the physical and psychological distances between the government and its citizens, “Parliament on Wheels” seeks to ensure that every voice is heard and considered in the legislative process.

“The initiative is part of a broader strategic plan spanning 2023 to 2027, which aims to enhance the effectiveness of the National Assembly in legislation, oversight, representation, and service delivery,” he said.

The Speaker said that the plan also includes significant technological upgrades under the e-Parliament initiative, which equips members with digital tools to perform their duties more efficiently and transparently.

Katjavivi added that the”Parliament on Wheels” is a reflection of the Namibian government’s ongoing efforts to enhance democratic participation and ensure governance is not only seen as transparent but is practically accessible to all citizens across the country.

In 2018 and 2019 the Chinese government assisted the Namibian Parliament with launching the Parliament bus programme.

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