The High Level Panel on the Namibian Economy, appointed last week by President Hage Geingob, must hit the ground running.
The panel must embark, right away, on a charm offensive to attract investment in the country to help protect, create and resuscitate jobs.
With jobs comes improved buying power and reduced dependence on government for basics such as food.
While the duties of this think tank were made public, we did not see actual numbers of, for example, how many jobs or value of investment are being targeted as part of its work.
In South Africa, for instance, President Ramaphosa last year gave a similar body a target of bringing home N$100 billion worth of investment.
But be that as it may, there’s great hope and anticipation that at last there’s a real plan to revive the country’s economy, which has been crawling like a wounded buffalo for quite sometime.
It is a real statement of intent by President Hage Geingob, whose administration has, since its dawn, battled external shocks in addition to domestic challenges pulling down the economy.
Now that it has been proven that political will does exist in bouncing the economy to its former heights and beyond, evidence-driven decision making and rigorous evaluation become the next logical steps.
Concern has been raised that the newly assembled panel is crowded with individuals pursuing private business, therefore posing a danger that they may tilt matters in their own parochial favours.
But being appointed to this panel is a patriotic call for duty. It is a call to put to shoulder to the wheel for the sake of lifting this country from the peripheries of economic ruin. It is an honour to serve and protect this nation.
President Geingob needs help from all of us who love Namibia. Albert Einstein is credited with having remarked that the only force stronger than steam, electricity or atomic energy is human will. The President has shown will, but he alone cannot carry us forward. We all must be willing to pull in the very direction we wish to see our country move.
This is not the time to entertain corridor murmurs of whether members of the panel would be paid, as observed in the past week.
The President has unleashed powers constitutionally vested in him to appoint the panel. Members of the panel are qualified experts in various fields, so even if they were getting paid for their skills and the shifts they are going to put in for the betterment of the nation, so be it.
Instead of dwelling on mickey mouse issues such as payment of panel members, we should be rallying behind them and render them our full support.
The trigger-happy armchair critics and keyboard warriors must join efforts to save the economic ship from sinking or watch their compatriots march to the crossing line of victory.
New Era Reporter
2019-04-12 09:21:36 9 days ago