President Dr Hage Geingob delivered a speech to other heads of state and Government at the 25th Ordinary African Union summit under the theme: Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The President delivered what the Judgement Call labels as the President’s legit debut since his inauguration as the 3rd President of an independent Namibia.
He stood in front of other African state heads and he simplified to other countries in less than three paragraphs how Namibia has grown and where we stand economically. I am sure what he said to his comrades no other can easily say about his state.
As the HoS he cared enough to be honest to other heads about Namibia’s economic condition and where it’s lacking enthusiasm.
His speech read “While we have our democratic fundamentals in place, we have an unequal distribution of resources, meaning that not enough of our citizens are economically empowered. Our Socio-Economic Architecture is still not fully in place and this means that many of our citizens struggle to get access to decent houses, employment, schools and other basic necessities that are needed to improve one’s quality of life.
These are the basic needs of the people. People do not eat democracy or good governance. They need food, clothing, schools and shelter. This is why, before I had even set foot in office; I declared all-out war on poverty in Namibia”.
Indeed it is true, most county heads will not admit their weaknesses especially at summits such as the African Union’s. Everything is sugar coated which makes it difficult for solutions to be created.
What Geingob did is to lay the ground for improvement. He stood like a man among men and admitted that while Namibia is viewed as a middle income earning country all is not rosy. Such a stance is one that is taken by a man who knows the tasks that lay ahead and perhaps the fact that he is admitting that there are challenges it makes it easy for him to keep pushing policies that improve the situation.
Namibia is facing an unemployment crisis especially amongst the youth, it is facing a crisis of housing which has given birth to movements such as AR, made up of disgruntled youth in search for land to call home.
The President continued in his speech saying “our challenge in Africa is equitable wealth distribution and thus the eradication of poverty. We have an important task ahead of us, which is to transform our economies from resource-based economies to knowledge based and technology based economies. We need to remedy the situation of poverty and unemployment through value addition and beneficiation. We cannot continue being resource rich but economically poor nations”.
Geingob took his stance to indicate the indirect challenge that all the African countries are facing.
What we are waiting for is to see what the President has to offer other states especially with issues such as wealth distribution. This is a huge problem in Africa, it’s one of the cause of civil wars as well as the main form of corruption in government.
One certainty though is that Namibia’s problems are not peculiar to Namibia alone but a continental problem. It actually gives a sigh of relief to know that the leadership in Africa is moving towards an era where reality and honesty is the order of the day. Leaders do not hide the reality that they have problems and they need to deal with them after all. This never used to happen in the past and the fact that today Geingob has become that lead who admits to weaknesses means he is eager to tackle them head on.