We Are the Government – But What?

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Namibia is 16 years independent and as the Namibian nation are we satisfied with what Government is doing in its effort to fight poverty and to root out corruption in the country, but what are we doing to socially uplift ourselves and contribute substantially to our economy. The cost of living is on a tremendous rise, the poor have become poorer, jobs are scarce, “education for all” is no reality with many of our young children staying at home, we are facing HIV/AIDS and the scarce land is occupied by the minority white community while many disadvantaged black communities have got no land. Where is the Namibian nation heading to, would we continue to indulge ourselves in corrupt and bad practices, engage in drunkenness, become lazy and stay jobless, stay landless and ultimately face the cruelty of poverty, hunger, starvation, crime, war, etc. From the observance of things as the years bypass we are convinced by the Government that Vision 2030 is a future guide to what we expect should be realized by Government in all aspects of development, but in the true essence not everybody will agree that Government’s expectations towards reaching the goals of Vision 2030 are reflecting what will be accomplished by then. Foremost it can be said that for the past sixteen years our Government still lacks innovative and practical ideas to advise our people to become self-reliant Namibian citizens to reduce poverty and to address the challenges that faces its citizen’s socially. Corruption has taken its toll in the country at the expense of the ordinary citizen and high officials in government ministries and parastatals who are supposed to spearhead Government’s effort to fight corruption have become the culprits of dishonesty and nothing or little is being done on this serious matter. The time has come that we as Namibians would like to be experts on poverty reduction initiatives, like for example, to start gardening projects, plantation fields, engage in new methodologies of cultivation, establish food processing plants and factories, allow for the promulgation of poverty reduction policies that are peculiar to our situations and environment, get involved in whatever best practices to fight poverty, become experts in the mining and fishing industries, etc. But how involved is the Government in our willingness as a nation to involve ourselves in the fight to reduce poverty, share best practices not only in the regions but also learn from other countries, educate ourselves and become self reliant? We need the opportunity to become an educated nation, therefore the need for facilities and resources is essential in various fields of learning to become an educated nation. How best can we be assisted by our Government to get the resources so that at the end we can plough back what we’ve learnt towards the development of our country? How as Namibians do we create jobs for ourselves, what role should sub-national institutions play to identify potential developmental projects for ownership by their electorates and also train them to sustain these projects? The issue of sharing ideas and gaining experience is also important, especially to learn from those who have prospered with their businesses whether small or big. Which mediums of communication can we use to promote our successes and to educate and spread rural and urban poverty reduction programs? Citizens of other countries are all over in Namibia to engage in small businesses, while Namibians have showed ignorance to start their own SMEs. However suddenly the SME businesses in Namibia are looming and many Namibians are involved, because they’ve learned and seen from the others. What further assistance can the Government give to SMEs to continue with their businesses? Sixteen years of independence are many, but Namibia greatly relies on South Africa’s exports of goods into the country, though we can produce. Either we are not exposed enough to learn from other countries, resources are not adequate to become experts ourselves and there is a lack of available facilities in the country for food processing. I am raising all these concerns so that something drastically is done by the Government. There is a need for Government to promote good governance and ethics in an effort to fight corruption in the country, The process is considered as very slow and leaves room for dishonesty to further takes its toll. The land issue needs to be re-looked at by all stakeholders including the grassroots people on what measures are to be taken to accommodate our people on the available land. The process is very slow to accommodate the landless and those who’ve got land lack experience, ideas, resources how to utilize the land to feed themselves. With regard to poverty, Government and sub-national institutions should come up with appropriate laws and poverty reduction initiatives for our people to become self-reliant and spearhead exchanges visits to gain experience and learn from others. Government should do a feasibility study and make resources available in the form of scholarships, subsidies, loans, grants to cater where the need is. There is a need to inform and educate the nation at large via radio, the press, electronic media, etc., on programs to reduce poverty in the country. We all hope the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission will fulfil Government’s commitment to enforce preventative measures, come up with reform efforts as well as to enforce effective legal sanctions. Let us unite and work together in peace and harmony and merge our efforts to build further our country, for overall we are the Government.