The majority of Namibians are young people, and these young people are brimming with high amounts of energy and hopes for a better future.
However, if this energy is not harvested for good use such as in national development projects and programmes, and if these hopes for a better life are perceived to be sabotaged by a social, political, economic and legal system that is less considerate, this underutilised energy and these politicised frustrations might continue to synthesise and naturally manifest as an ever growing, vocal and action-oriented rebellion against the powers that be.
The final outcomes of such a rebellion could probably have unknown and far-reaching national consequences if the situation is not vigorously addressed with speed.
Faced with that scenario, this analysis outlines two critical propositions for policy consideration. First, it is estimated that every year, the countries in Africa lose a great amount of financial wealth in international trade due to poor local control systems, and the recent corruption scandal in the maritime sector might strangely just happen to be the tip of the self-enrichment iceberg.
Therefore, it seems high time that local control systems are strengthened to ensure that African resources are not stolen, but are rather used for the benefit of all Africans.
This then leads to the second proposition, which is to expand on the existing legal interventions in socio-economic activities. For instance, Namibians are not allowed by law to exercise self-help by putting fuel into their own cars at retail service stations, and that is a good reason for the creation of local jobs. The introduction of policy directives aimed at prioritising local procurement of goods and services must also be commended. Talking of the lucrative fishing sector, a new legal intervention that should perhaps be installed for purposes of employment creation could be that, for every ton of quota allocated, a pre-determined number of locals are hired.
It sounds inconceivable that private fishing companies appear to be at liberty in hiring and retrenching locals, as if the natural resources are meant solely for maximising their profits.
Another legal intervention should maybe look at the possibility of allocating, as a birth right, a fairly sized piece of residential land to every landless citizen above the age of twenty-five, in a town of their own choosing. In that manner, renting automatically becomes an option instead of being a forced reality.
Other legal interventions could perhaps focus on ensuring that all local investments have a real and meaningful impact on society as a whole, instead of purely promoting the business interests of a few groups of powerful people. In summary, this short analysis calls for deliberate restructuring measures through the introduction of carefully planned and executed national projects and programmes, it further calls for the strengthening of local control systems in international trade to curb the probable drainage of local resources, as well as for expanding on the existing legal interventions in various socio-economic activities to secure and ensure the creation of employment opportunities. The citizens have needs, and these needs deserve to be quenched through a rededication to enhanced service delivery and commitment. Happy 30th anniversary!
*Abednego Katuushii Ekandjo writes in a private capacity