WINDHOEK - The first ever Swapo Party National Policy Conference officially ended yesterday with a clarion call for unity as the ruling party’s watershed congress draws near.
“The strength of our party lies in our commitment to unity and our rejection of the retrogressive tendencies of division, tribalism, ethnicity and factionalism,” said President Hifikepunye Pohamba. Pohamba, who is also president of the party, asked that those elected to decision-making positions place the interest of Namibia’s people and that of the country before anything else.
The ruling party vowed to ensure that planning permeates all of its actions in its quest to become a stronger and more modern organisation that has the ability to respond effectively to current and emerging challenges facing the country.
“Proper planning is always at the centre of the success of any organisation. If you fail to plan, you are setting yourself up for failure. The Swapo Party is not and cannot be expected to be different or immune from this truth,” urged Pohamba.
“Let us put the interest of the people first,” said Pohamba, adding that it is the only way the Swapo Party could continue enjoying the confidence of Namibian voters and gain more support from all sections of the population.
An optimistic Pohamba was confident the policy options considered during the conference would provide renewed momentum to the party to carry out its mandate of nation-building, as bestowed upon it by the voters.
“Policy documents compiled for the discussions at the conference were designed on the basis of the resolutions of the fourth Congress of the Swapo Party, which in turn, are closely aligned to the priority areas of our country’s development agenda as reflected in our Election Manifesto and the policies that our government has pursued over the years,” said the President.
The 13 conference documents that the 350 delegates discussed throughout the course of the conference will be prepared and presented to the fifth congress that will take place towards the end of the year.
“The conference has enabled Swapo Party to set a clear policy roadmap on the future of our party and our country. It provided a welcome platform for us to revitalise our approaches to the issues of national development and to share views on the priorities that require urgent government attention,” stated the President.
“The outcomes and recommendations on burning issues such as unemployment and poverty; economic growth and income distribution; youth development and economic empowerment; the New Equitable Economic Empowerment programme; generational transition and other topics on the conference agenda challenged the delegates to think innovatively and creatively in order to come up with appropriate and effective solutions,” underlined President Pohamba.
He urged Swapo members to perpetuate the new culture so that the party becomes stronger and a modern political organisation whose responses are in sync with emerging challenges.
The National Policy Conference was attended by delegates from all party wings, with delegates deliberating on development topics such as gender equality, land acquisition and distribution, nation-building, generation transition, inner party governance, youth development and other equally pressing topics.