• September 29th, 2020

Opinion: My first 100 days in Namibia after 20 years in exile

After having lived in exile in Canada for almost twenty years, I will be reaching my 100 days mark in Namibia this week. During those days, I was able to travel in many parts of the country, namely: Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Tsumkwe, Grootfontein, Otavi, Otjiwarongo, Okakarara, Okahandja, and Windhoek - and I saw first-hand development and progress. 
In short, I am impressed.

From the onset, Namibia’s social, economic, and political advancement in the last twenty years has been highly remarkable. Under such a gaze, there will still be many socio-economic challenges and mountains to climb, but luckily the country has a steady pair of hands that is leading the nation – President Hage Geingob. A technocrat. A great Statesman!

Despite the troubled times, Namibia is doing quite well. The country has experienced many great achievements. As a people, Namibians are hard working, thirst for knowledge, and explore. All such things symbolize potential for growth in all sectors. 

With that quick transformation of villages, towns, and cities that are booming with the construction of high-rise buildings, houses, and new business complexes coupled with a diverse Namibian identity, one can truly attest that there have been massive changes in the country. The bone of contention will always be if that change has been for the good or worse.

Certainly, as it is in any given situation, there will always be those ups and downs. As they say, there are two sides to a story. As a nation, Namibia has achieved more in a span of twenty years compared to many African countries – politically, economically, and socially. 
For that, Namibians must be happy.

From the political angle, Namibia is a flourishing democracy where all her citizens are enjoying the basic freedoms. If anything, the political climate is very peaceful and stable. Under such a calm and conducive environment, the country could easily forge new alliances with other countries – knowing that Namibia is a friend to all and enemy to none. A smart foreign policy.

For governance, Namibia is blessed to have a visionary leader, the People’s President Geingob has managed to lead this beautiful country in the last four years with that Statesmanship. Given the well thought policies and legislations, the country is heading towards the right direction. Prosperity for all is within reach. There is hope for Namibia.

The Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) has been a success story. With so many well-crafted programs targeting specific goals – inequality, poverty eradication and alike, the government has delivered on those key areas. For example, the increase of pension by a hundred-fold, the creation of food banks around the country, the grants offered to the less privileged in society, and many other programs meant to empower society.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” The Geingob presidency has delivered on those fronts. Truly, the marginalized and disadvantaged masses are being taken good care by the government of the day, which is highly commendable.

Now, with the recession that have hit Namibia like many other countries, the government was able to contain the mess. Today, even though the economic growth has slowed down, the political leadership has put in place good policies to mitigate the damage. Namibia had followed many of the advice given by the International Monetary Fund. Meaning, the country has performed well under the circumstances.

On the social front, Namibia has managed to merge all folks from different groupings in one pot. With the Geingob mantra that “no one should feel left out”, citizens have surely embraced the analogy of building the Namibian house. That oneness is more reflective when national events, Heroes Day, Independence Day, and sports, are taking place. Undoubtedly, the Namibian face has become so diverse – providing that cosmopolitan outlook.

Amidst all the challenges, the country has transformed for the better. Namibians must pat themselves on the back for keeping the country intact. Indeed, the many infrastructural developments that have changed the face of the nation symbolize a country that has a working agenda and a great vision that with time will make the country prosperous.

All in all, under a well-oiled political leadership from Sam Nujoma, Hifikepunye Pohamba, and Hage Geingob, the country has been blessed with great leaders. With President Geingob, Namibia will realize her great potential. I will conclude by saying that Geingob is a thinker. If all Namibians could embrace the Geingob vision, Namibia will be a success story. In working together, there is hope for a better and prosperous nation. 

•The author Mulife Muchali is a Namibian who recently ended his self-imposed exile in Canada.

Staff Reporter
2019-10-14 06:43:17 | 11 months ago

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