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Opinion - Don’t politicise Redline transformation 

2022-09-13  Josef Kefas Sheehama

Opinion - Don’t politicise Redline transformation 

The economic growth cannot be realised without the inclusion and active participation of northern regions. The 1896 Redline radical economic transformation requires Cabinet’s economic cluster to ensure that the priority interventions and key enabling reforms are implemented rapidly and effectively and that those responsible for their implementation are held accountable.

Given historical constraints, the policy of restoration remained merely a formal political hope, especially given the continuing legacy of structural inequality in the sphere of the economy. The northern communal farmers have for years been deprived of markets due to rampant diseases in the area, while their counterparts in the south of the Redline had access to lucrative export markets. 

If we are to make inroads into changing the legacy of inequality and fostering new ways of being with one another as fellow Namibians, we need to consider critically these everyday injustices and actively work toward dismantling the 1896 Redline which perpetuates negative thinking. Economic inequality and expansionism were deliberate systems, therefore, efforts to bring about positive social change must be conscious and equally deliberate. 

The truth is that many of today’s policies and regulatory frameworks are an obstacle to radical economic transformation. The dream of Namibia’s economic emancipation can’t be deferred any longer. The commercial and communal farmers have to join hands to assist each other in farming challenges. Therefore, we cannot afford to replicate the inequalities and injustices that continue condemning the 1896 Redline radical economic transformation. The sooner we redefine communal setups in terms of their benefits and strengths to livestock farmers as opposed to their weaknesses, the better our farmers will become. As independent economics and business analyst, I, therefore, urge communal and commercial farmers to work together. We cannot continue building walls between the northern and southern regions. We cannot build walls that undermine a radical economic transformation that needs to work in a united way.

Moreover, we should not politicise the economic development of the country. The dismantling of the 1896 Redline is not meant for government alone but that everyone must be involved. Everyone to put politics aside and work together to make sure that efforts being made in this process of the economy are successful. The dialogue between the commercial and communal farmers is what we are calling. This is not owned by the government but owned by all Namibians. Let’s remove politics from this thing. Let’s talk about the economy and the nation. Namibia is a country that contains great economic potential, a potential that has not gone unnoticed to part of the global market. The northern region contains a number of characteristics that put the country in a great position for potential integrate 1896 Redline in full economic development. We failed as a nation and we need to wake up. As a leading sector of most economies, livestock farming helps facilitate industrial growth and structural economic transformation. Farming plays a multi-dimensional role in the development process, which includes eliciting economic growth, generating employment opportunities, contributing to value chains, reducing poverty, lowering income disparities, ensuring delivering environmental services and providing foreign exchange earnings, among others. Due to the neglect of this sector, development progress has been hindered. Most young people would shun a career in farming.

We need to see an enhanced interface between both farmers and policymakers working together to grow this economy. So, therefore, let’s make sure this is not a talk show, but it’s a serious business to grow the economy. The idea of working together to implement economic development is very good. There is nothing to hide, but to grow the economy of our beloved country. The problem that we have is a pull Namibia down syndrome. Some want the process to fail and other regions to succeed but what we are doing is killing people, we are killing the economy and we are killing all the prospects that we have. We are talking about industrialisation, Namibia is rightly at the hub of the region, and all neighbouring countries are our market. Greater inclusiveness so that all Namibians share in the benefits of economic growth would help ensure continued success and economic and social stability. Economic inclusion and poverty reduction require support to smallholder and family farmers who represent most of the poor in Namibia. At the same time, supporting those farmers and enhancing their productivity and their linkage to markets.

Therefore, radical economic transformation in Namibia must mean radical transformation on a number of levels. It must mean radical transformation of the productive structures of our economy. It must mean radical transformation of production relations, less conflictual, characterised by more equitable benefit sharing and by less inequality. Let’s not go into blame and shame. Let’s assist, and help key communal economies accelerate the transition. A vital part of growing our industrialisation effort are the sectorial master plans, which bring all farmers together to agree on specific measures to improve productivity, investment and competitiveness. Our ability to reignite our economy rests on the decisions we take in this moment, and the urgency with which we address this 1896 Redline radical economic transformation. We shall not rest until we have fulfilled the potential of our country. We shall not rest until we have built a new economy based on fairness, justice and equality. This is the task of our generation to renew, repair and rebuild. We shall not rest until the redline fade away. 

To this end, government should implement policy measures to promote economic transformation, particularly in dismantling the 1896 redline. The policy development and implementation to spur development in the crosscutting sector and be a catalyst for economic growth and radical economic transformation. The future of the Namibian economy lies in our hands.

Therefore, we dare not take a moment to pause. Together, we will build a radical transformation economic. The time is now.

2022-09-13  Josef Kefas Sheehama

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