Out-going President Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba receiving the Mo Ibrahim award, on behalf of the Namibian government and on behalf of the Namibian nation has been embraced yet criticised for promoting a culture of reward for doing what should be done.
Many blatantly see it as an award used to entice African dictators to abandon plans to cling on to power, to stop changing constitutions to award themselves more terms in power and a demotivation in self-proclamation of kingships.
It’s an award that comes with much criticism because, it’s an award seen not fit for Namibia regardless of Namibia’s achievements.
The walls have been talking and they have been saying that Namibia relatively had a good foundation for leadership after independence, because it is a nation that became independent when Africa had learned a little more about modern governance, modern ideologies, and modern technologies and that the award criteria should have been much tougher on the Land of the Brave.
The criticism is on the country as a whole because, one man (President Pohamba) could not have achieved on his own, it took not only a village to raise above all the other countries, but it took economic cooperation from the public, cabinet and the cooperate world to run a tight ship like ours.
The entire concept of the “award” can be compared to “present black father awarding”. Yes, present black father awarding because for some reason, this African society tends to celebrate men who are present in their children’s lives because so much less is expected from black men as fathers.
Black men or rather African man are expected to not be present in their children’s lives and those that are present receive praise from the African society for their presence when they are doing exactly what a father should be doing without rewards. They are doing what a woman does for a child without any thanks or praise because it is seen as something a woman is supposed to do, which has steered society into a horrible path.
The Mo Ibrahim does exactly that, it celebrates leaders for doing what they are supposed to be doing without praise. It is setting a standard that would make Africans to continue thinking that doing what is right should be praised and rewarded. Good governance should be acknowledge in forms of journals not in form of money.
With that said, I think it is to be expected that the country be in the position it is economically and politically, therefore maybe the Mo Ibrahim was a little bit more lenient on criteria’s for this country, we should be in an even better position economically, in a much better position politically (embracing and fully enforced the 50/50 gender representation in politics, we should be in a better position regarding fighting poverty, and we should be in a better position as finding a way to eradicate poverty because we are a new age kid compared to countries such as Ghana, or Nigeria or even Zimbabwe.
Namibia has had the advantage because, it has had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of those countries that were independent decades before it. It should have taken the lessons of its big sisters in this continent into all consideration so it can the misfortunes of countries whose economies have plummeted into chaos, countries devoured by greed, countries devoured by civil wars.
And for most cases Namibia has taken the unspoken advise from its sisters, that is why it is a safe haven for so many foreigners, it is almost equivalent to the African version of living the American dream.