The year 2018 has indeed been momentous and very challenging politically, socially and economically.
The nation is enduring a long list of socio-economic challenges such as the record figures of unemployed university graduates, the high number of school-drop-outs, the shortage of medicines at state health facilities (and this problem is still persisting). There is also the limited provision of basic services by the various local authorities while crime is also on the upsurge. Thousands of workers lost their jobs in Namibia this year. The unresolved killing of Cheryl Avihe Ujaha, the killing of Nust student Naeman Ibe Amakali in a road rage accident in Khomasdal and the despicable horror endured by an eight-year old girl who was sexually defiled and had her genitals mutilated by a suspected serial rapist are among the horror GBH crimes chronicled in 2019 that shocked even the most hardened Namibians.
As if that is not enough, we now have a growing army of beggars. This has become a universal phenomenon in Windhoek and in most towns across the country where these beggars ply their trade outside supermarkets and at street corners where they ask for loose coins all day long. Our leaders should tackle poverty in all its forms by proving basic services such as water, health and food to those who qualify for food handouts particularly from the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare. In 2015, Namibia had committed itself to eradicate poverty by the year 2025.
Poverty is the root cause of our country’s problems. Most of Sub-Saharan Africa - is in the World Bank’s lowest income category of less than US$765 Gross National Income (GNI) per person per year with Ethiopia and Burundi worse off with just US$90 GNI per person. It should be noted even middle-income African countries such as Namibia and Botswana have a large percentage of their populations living in extreme poverty despite the fact these two countries are endowed with gem-quality diamonds and export quality beef among others.
Though there were many economic challenges brought about by a seemingly comatose economy, one among the few rays of light was the inauguration by President Hage Geingob of a N$200 million Peugeot assembly plant at Walvis Bay that will in the initial phase create 50 jobs because this plant is partially automated and requires minimum human labour.
We hope the contingent of diplomats recently appointed by the president in various countries will not sit on their laurels but would actively seek to market Namibia as a favourable investment destination. Luring investors to Namibia could bring much needed investments and subsequently jobs. We cannot perpetually live on sloganeering and politicians should play their part and bring about an industrial revolution that could propel our country to prosperity and confine poverty to the dustbin of history.
All leaders should be appointed on merit and not on the basis of patronage. We hope the year 2019 will bring about social, economic and political change for the betterment of the lives of ordinary Namibians. No Namibian should feel left out in 2019 which should be a year of true reckoning.
That said we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
2018-12-21 10:25:48 6 months ago