KEETMANSHOOP – Seaflower general manager of operations Inocencio Verde says the challenges facing Namibia requires brilliant young minds to solve and it is up to young people to come up with pragmatic solutions to these problems.
Speaking during the University of Namibia (Unam) southern campus cultural festival opening ceremony at Keetmanshoop on Thursday, he said as students who are enhancing their knowledge, they must be able to come up with innovative ways to tackle any challenges that the country faces, and therefore it is about time they start thinking big and come up with smart solutions to the nation’s problems.
Verde pointed to the current economic situation, saying as bad as it may be, this is supposed to bring the best crops of individuals to the front, individuals that will come up with solutions to the current situation instead of waiting on government to bring about solutions.
“The current economic status should bring the best crops out; individuals that will do something to make things better and not just wait for the president,” he said.
He also expressed his disappointment that after almost three decades of independence, Namibia imports most of its food items, while the //Kharas Region and Namibia at large has an agricultural potential that remains untapped, and he urged the students to change this.
“Let us enhance agriculture, we import about 80 percent of our food, can you imagine what will happen if those suppliers close their doors?” he asked.
He added that leadership still remains one of the biggest problems in Namibia and therefore each and every one should ensure that they lead positively in their own capacity and space. Verde said each and every individual is a leader and thus it is up to everyone to decide where and how they want to lead, and whether they want to lead in a positive or negative way, and urged them to make a conscious decision to live and lead in a good direction.
“Each and every one of you is a leader and you are leading in whatever way and whatever you do – if you are leading in terms of alcohol consumption you are leading, or in terms of economic progression, you are also leading, but the leadership we want is the one that makes positive impacts in your communities,” he said.
The southern campus assistant pro-vice chancellor Dr Erold Naomab in his brief remarks said that it is important to celebrate cultural diversity as a university and he urged students to fully participate and showcase their cultures, saying this serves as a reminder to protect common core values.
He said despite cultural norms, there are unfortunately many negative attributes that are taking communities hostage, which include gender-based violence and drug and alcohol abuse, social evils that he said should not be allowed in society. “These are not our cultural norms and values and shall never take a common position of substantial equivalence to our identity – the proliferation of so-called drug hubs in our villages and towns should be rooted out,” he said.
This year’s festival is being celebrated under the theme enhancing diversity and cultural awareness.