On behalf of the CNFA, on my own behalf and surely on behalf of every person in the fishing Industry of Namibia as well as in many other countries around the world allow me to register our heartfelt condolences to the Head of State, His Excellency the President Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, The Founding Father of our Nation, Dr. Sam Nujoma, who groomed him, cabinet ministers, his family and to the many, many friends of the late Hon. Dr. Abraham Iyambo.
His sudden departure left a void which will be difficult to fill.
Dr. Iyambo came into the fishing industry in 1995 when he was appointed by the Founding Father as deputy Minister of Fisheries (MFMR).
The MFMR was at that time under the guidance of His Excellency Hon. H. Pohamba.
President Pohamba has many times praised the valuable collaboration, services and commitment pledged by his then young Deputy and also recognized how well deserved was the appointment of Dr. Iyambo as Minister of Fisheries in 1997.
He carried out his responsibilities with dedication, patience, bravery and decisiveness, qualities that earned the respectful nickname of Dr. Fish in the process.
During his tenure as Minister of Fisheries, our industry went under a complete overhaul and transformation, prioritising sustainability and preservation of the resources and introducing the policy of Namibianisation which allowed hundreds, if not thousands, of Namibians to directly benefit from our rich fishing grounds.
The main aim and objective of this policy was, and still is, to involve previously disadvantaged Namibians in the value chain of the fishing industry from quota allocation to catching, processing and marketing of our fish.
Furthermore, he made sure that the control and monitoring of the fishing activities was done by Namibians and introduced numerous capacity building measures to eradicate skill shortages within the fishing sector.
We pride ourselves to believe that the fishing industry as a whole always cooperated and supported the transformation process driven by Hon. Dr. Iyambo and that we all shared in his success.
Even during the last days as Minister of fisheries he continued to enjoy recognition from the international community, as we all remember the Margarita Lizarraga Medal for sound management and responsible fishing practices awarded to him and by extension to all of us and the country at large shortly before he moved on to his next Ministry.
For sure it was a surprise to all of us when he was appointed to a different but also more important and challenging task which “elevated the standards of the Namibian Education system”.
Yes, it was a surprise; however, I am quite sure that each and every one of us with a child or a toddler was very glad when we learned that Hon. Abraham Iyambo had been the man chosen for such a task. If somebody could do it, he was the man to do it!
Unfortunately, our loved Dr. Fish will not be able to transform the Education system with his vibrant personality, hardworking character and strong leadership.
Still, he has not left without making a difference and his life of dedication to public service, his work and his example will guide many generations of young Namibians whom hopefully will make such meaningful contributions to our Country as those made by the late Honourable Dr. Abraham Iyambo.
Every person who knew him well, Our Industry and Our country will deeply miss him.
May his soul rest in eternal life!