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NDF needs fresh legs - Kapofi

2022-04-21  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

NDF needs fresh legs - Kapofi
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Defence minister Frans Kapofi has said his ministry’s N$5.8 billion budget allocation allows for flexibility in the development of the country’s defence force.

Kapofi made the remarks while motivating the ministry’s N$5.8 billion budget allocation in parliament on Tuesday.

“Re-imaging, as declared by the commander-in-chief, is one major project that we will be undertaking to improve our defence capability”. We have to develop a structure that is responsive to future challenges. Re-imaging requires fresh pairs of legs with a particular level of education,” Kapofi said.

He said re-imaging also speaks to improved infrastructure and the acquisition of new technologies. 

“Re-imaging is a transformational trajectory that, in terms of human resources in our case, advocates for the passing over of the torch from the generation of freedom fighters to the younger generation,” Kapofi added.

Kapofi said the ministry noted that international syndicates are posing serious and credible threats to Namibia through organised crime. 

He said the ministry has also identified money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms smuggling, and natural resources exploitation as the focus of international crime syndicates. 

“Namibia’s rich diamond resources and a well-established financial service industry could entice the syndicates to set up their operations in Namibia and that such would create a serious political and socioeconomic destabilizing situation in the country,” he said.

He added the threat of terrorism and violent extremism has shown its ugly head in Africa as evidenced in East and West Africa and the Horn of Africa, the DRC, and Mozambique. 

“Terrorism is alive because of the existence of criminal syndicates that fund their operations. Terrorism thrives in an environment where defence and security systems are either compromised or ineffective,” he said. 

He said Namibia’s ambitious goal of developing complementary engines of growth as articulated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPPII) has seen increased potential investments in strategic sectors such as the blue and green economies. 

According to Kapofi, the recent discovery of oil reserves off the country’s coast and marine diamonds makes Namibia highly vulnerable to piracy and other threats. 

These resources, he said, and the people who will extract them need protection, and since the provision of this protection lies within the country’s domain, NDF needs capabilities to carry out that mandate without fail. 

“The pirates would want to attack the people, vessels and installations at sea, they would also want to use our territory to attack our neighbours,” Kapofi said, adding that training of the country’s military personnel allows it to be ready and ensure its territory is inviolable. 

Such preparations Kapofi said do not come cheap. 

“We need to reduce the vulnerabilities caused by the sparseness of our huge territorial landmass and the airspace as well as our long coastline and the exclusive economic zone.

“We must enhance the surveillance and reaction capacities of the NDF. We should in the same vein improve our capacity to provide protection to strategic economic investments in all sectors of our economy and national key points,” he said.

“We must further ensure that our territorial space is never used as a launching pad for the destabilisation of security in our neighbouring states,” he added. -

2022-04-21  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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