Llewellyn le Hané
In the New Year’s speech that President Geingob gave to ring in 2021, he reflected on what has been one of the most tumultuous years in modern history. There is not a single person in Namibia, or around the globe who would argue that description, it has certainly been trying. Taking our people, our resources and our socio-economic infrastructure to their breaking point and beyond.
The stroke of midnight ringing in January 1st, 2021 was not the magic wand we hoped for. We are not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. However, with vaccines slowly being rolled out, we are seeing light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.
This is the hope that we have clung too, and this is what will make us bounce back. As the President put it; “2021 will be the year of resilience,” and I for one have no doubt that the Namibian people will demonstrate this resilience.
Namibia’s harsh climate means that we are hardy people and yet we preserve and even prosper. People have suffered, have been retrenched, businesses of all kinds have closed down or shrunk beyond recognition.
The whole socio-economic fabric of our country, the region and the world has taken a massive hit. Yet, as we know with just a bit of rain a desert can bloom again and with just a bit of hope and collective effort our nation can and will flourish. We will be resilient, it is in our nation’s DNA.
This is why His Excellency Hage Geingob has no problem calling this the ‘Year of Resilience’, he knows what we are made of. He knows we will pick up the broken pieces of our economy, fix them and make them part and parcel of the parts of the economy that are still working. He knows the people will be resourceful and set up new businesses for themselves and work together to provide for themselves and their communities. It is imperative that we work to together if we truly want to be resilient, and be ambitious. After what Namibia and Namibians have gone through it is not wrong to be ambitious and focused on recovery of the economy. In fact, ‘unmasking’ our ambition, telling the region and the world that we as Namibia are ready to bounce back and are resilient is exactly what is needed. It is also the only time we should be unmasked at the moment.
We can achieve this by establishing an environment where everything is set up to stimulate the economy and the infrastructure and processes are in place to do just that. Whether it be by creating innovative solutions from a grassroots level and be the catalyst for an innovative economic sector in Namibia or stimulating our investment climate, public and private sector organisations working together, or leveraging the agri-sector. Working together as Namibians, investing in our own businesses, our own people and becoming self-sufficient and self-reliant where possible.
Namibia has faced many challenges, setbacks and seemingly insurmountable hurdles, but we have not quit, we have not moved and left this beautiful country. We can and will preserve, but it will take a collective effort and willingness to work together. Our economy depends on each and every one of us to do their bit and show our resilience as a people, as an economy and as a nation.
*Llewellyn le Hané is the Managing Director at Green Enterprise Solution