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Opinion - Namibia at 31 years

2021-03-23  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Namibia at 31 years
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Petrus Mbidi


The 21st of March 1990 gave birth to an independent Namibia – and in 2021, the country is now 31 years old. However, at 31 years of independence, Namibia should be able to have her future in certainty – but unfortunately for Namibia, she is still figuring herself out. In 31 years of independence, the country has experienced both good and bad moments of life. We, therefore, have to analyse all key sectors that define our country in the past 31 years.

At the political sphere focal point, we have to applaud the smooth transition of sharing power shared between the three head of states. We equally have to praise the rule of law, which allowed for a change in the political arena at various levels of government, thus allowing for new leadership at both regional and local government levels without any threats and or violence taking place. For the past few years, even though the political sector has been volatile, political fights, infightings and divisions have been the order of the day. 

One cannot talk about Namibia’s political sector at 31 years without shedding light on South West Africa People’s Organisation (the Swapo party), Dr Job Shipululo Amupanda and the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) – and to a quantitative extend, Dr Panduleni Itula and the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC). 

Swapo went into the 2018 elections with an extraordinarily divided congress. In simple terms, some party members belonged to the then so-called “Team Swapo”, while others belonged to “Team Harambee”. 

Three years after the extraordinary congress, the Swapo party is still divided; the party’s poor performance in elections could be drawn back to the division. Dr Amupanda and Dr Itula are both former members of Swapo, and to date one of the former members is the Mayor of the City of Windhoek while the other one is the president of a political party that is governing the Erongo region. The comparative case study of Dr Amupanda and Dr Itula present similar findings of former Swapo members.

In the 21st century, the economic sector has an instrumental role to play in the attainment of economic independence. Much more alike, in a household context when you are faced with a financial crises, as central government, you do not reduce the expenditure because national expenditure is national income and government expenditure amounts to the GDP growth that will later contribute to the reduction in poverty, job creation and increase economic activities. 

The easier basic economic alternative to pursue when a country is facing fiscal challenges is to increase its economic activities. The finance ministry in 2018 tried to look at the prospect of creating a solidarity wealth tax, which was never fully implemented and could have eased the Namibian nation deal with the effects of covid-19 currently. 

The Namibian repo rate dropped to an all-time low rate of 3.75% - but because of a lack of increased economic activities and the continuation of fiscal challenges, this decline did not do much in terms of mitigating financial burdens. Now, to determine where the Namibian economic sector stands in terms of growth, we have to subtract the influence that international and regional bodies have on the Namibian economy as well as that of other countries, as the aim is to measure the progression of Namibian economic sector post-independence. 

Is the Namibian dollar (N$) even strong enough to stand on its own, provided we delink from the South African Rand (ZAR)? A question many Economic specialists can answer and lecture us on.

The industrial sector is practically non-existent in Namibia; we are still lingering as a third world country; however, if we elevate to a second world country, then we will be certain we have industrialised – but for that to happen, there is a need to invest heavily in the establishment of different industries. Our agricultural sector looks promising and central government is paying attention to the essence of food security and its direct contribution towards economic growth. Moreover, Covid-19 taught us how important a nation should be independent when it comes to local food production.

We have abandoned our cultural ways of being and doing things. Even I have failed in the cultural aspect. Olufuko is the only cultural festival we celebrate on a national stage… very disappointing. It is the responsibility of the traditional authority to ensure the Namibian nation does not forget its true African identity.

Namibia has a bright future, and it has one of the best national tarred roads on the continent but we keep driving our national agendas and goals on the gravel road. Our guiding tools are well formulated but there is a lack of proper implementation and execution. 

Looking at some of the few projects such as the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG), the mass housing project and the first Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), they are well drafted but their implementation and execution are not in line with the written plan. 2021 being the year of resilience, at 31 years, this notion is in direct communication with the Harambee Prosperity Plan II (HPP-II). Let us just hope the past actions taught us enough on the essence of sticking to the plan – both in writing and executing the plan. 

Happy birthday Namibia, and happy Independence Day to every Namibian. May God bless this beautiful and peaceful Namibian nation!

2021-03-23  Staff Reporter

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