DIESCHO’S DICTUM: National Transformation Programme Towards a New National Consciousness (Part 1)
We cannot tackle today’s problems with the solutions of twenty-six years ago. ‘Philosophers have interpreted the world in different ways. The point, however, is to change it’, wrote one famous international economist in the 19th century. Before that, Cicero opined that a life unexamined is a life not worth living. One of the world’s greatest leadership gurus, John C. Maxwell, teaches that experience in and of itself is meaningless unless it leads to reflection and change by way of doing things differently. One of the shortcomings of Afrikan civilization is its inability to think seriously about change. In Namibia, we think more about how we were oppressed and less about how to make life more meaningful, and when we want a better life, it is only our life, not the common good for all. This is the Namibian, yes, the Afrikan problem. Our problem. Hence, we have taken the very important project of national independence as an end in itself rather than as a means to an end, namely, freedom for all to be and to become, and to do the best to our abilities to contribute to the common good. The struggle for freedom must be appreciated as a necessary and sufficient condition to bring about real change in the lives of the ordinary people so that they do not remain in the same hole of poverty, underdevelopment and dependency they were found in at independence. No one, no country can make Namibia a better place than the Namibians themselves. A vast country of 824 292 square kilometers in size, therefore the world’s 34th largest country, after Venezuela, yet second least densely populated territory after Mongolia (3 people per square km), Namibia is a land with great potential to grow and develop. Namibia’s political economy has fifteen major characteristics that must be taken into account when planning is done, if such planning is to be futuristic and intentional to serve the purpose of sustainable socio-economic development which in turn influences its politics. They are:
- The country is sandwiched between two great dry lands, the Kalahari Desert and the Namib Desert.
- It is geographically a vast country with a very low population density, with people scattered and distributed along ethnic and/or tribal lines, where the majority of the people live subsistence lives with a dependency on the rains and government handouts.
- It is sandwiched between two big economies, Angola in the north and South Africa in the south, both politically unstable systems with different factors in their instability.
- Its history has left it with uneven economic relationships with a persistent racial and to a lesser degree ethnic factor.
- It lacks an industrial base, namely manufacturing and production of iron and steel and oil.
- Even though the majority of the people are employed in the agricultural sector, the government has not placed sufficient premium on agriculture in the same manner that apartheid did to lift the poor subsistence farmers to levels of commercial production.
- It is entirely dependent upon South Africa, thus leaving the country vulnerable to the events across the Orange River.
- The vastly distributed ethnic groups remain ignorant of one another along the narratives of colonial education that left them indifferent towards one another, and there has not been a crusade to tackle ignorance and prejudice that were drummed into people by the systems of divide and rule, to the extent that even the top leaders in the country would not know how many languages are spoken in the country, let alone distinguish them one from the other.
- There is no model or template to guide how people acquire positions of leadership locally, regionally and nationally to the extent that the new tribe, the ruling party, has cannibalized the public political space and is the new executive tribe that dishes out largesse in return for blind loyalty, sycophancy and obsequiousness from those who have nothing or little to contribute to the national development except their opportunistic loyalty at the expense of merit.
- The government is inundated by insecure and exceedingly incompetent members of the legislature and the executive who are there on the tickets of political patronage with NO internalized ethics to guide them in their services to the people.
- The old colonial racial divide has not been turned into a constructive partnership of world views: the white side that is predominantly responsible for the life line of the economy and the black side with its great potential but remains underdeveloped and abused by the new black political elite.
- It is characterized by greed and show-off consumption habits without the converse of productivity and maintenance.
- A chronic lack of aggressive planning to turn around the national economic logic from a colonial-dependency economy to an Afrikan self-reliant economy that does more with less, and where sacrifice is required for at least 50 years; and,
- Lack of a programmatic strategy to make meaningful the relationship with former enemies and allies alike, and to spearhead a new private-public partnership that is geared to kick-start the socio-economic relationships such that the vibration is felt not in the capital, but everywhere, and which prioritizes outward development instead of city-centered development with housing prices prohibitive for citizens and investors alike.
- Namibia is an Afrikan country with an Afrikan background, led by people with an Afrikan mindset, and therefore faced with a myriad of Afrikan challenges, diseases and dis-eases.
2016-04-01 11:12:05 2 years ago