One Ethnic Group Not Enough for Economy


New Era’s article of 17th November, 2006 titled “Shift in the Economic Power to Blacks” by Namibian economist, Martin Mwinga, is a ‘dirty joke’ gone bad. Since when did the world re-write the economical terms and concepts, where others are now insulted as being ‘economic passengers’ when every day they are sweating to bring food to the table? Or are ‘Economics not a study of mankind in the ordinary business life’? Which involves the use of all factors of production to make it happen. Entrepreneur, Labour, Land and Capital being the four factors of production which have to be realized in the production-distribution and consumption of the final product. And without one, nothing can be done. Therefore, to solely create an impression of one ethnic grouping to be Namibia’s economic pillar – is going to far, based on the economic factors needed to produce or get a business undertaking going. If one group of people has entrepreneurial skills, it doesn’t end there, since they would need even the illiterates from another area to mix the cement. Even if such people were paid peanuts, production or the desired economic activity cannot be accomplished without them. Then, terming others as ‘economic passengers’ is not proper. So can one argue that even the consumers of a product are not idling, but are purchasers of the final product to enable such an organization to make profit and pay wage, plus taxes. Or are the so-called consumers of wealth given free hand-outs? Economics is a wide field that should not be narrowed to a few ‘baseless’ conclusions. For instance, which Caprivian would not want to be rich because of religious beliefs? How can the Kavango, with their ‘baby boom’ be misdirected energy, if not a plus for Namibia which has a small population, so much so that investors think twice to come over. Just among other reasons, is our population size. AIDS/HIV is claiming a number of the young ones, who are economically productive. Won’t we need a refill? If Damaras/Namas are on a spending spree, is that not good for the economy rather than having money kept in safes? As for the Herero and their superiority in education, doesn’t that balance up with those who make up the labour industry with skilled and trained manpower. So are the Ovambos, who are prone to taking the lead as entrepreneurs – people prepared to take the risks. Can they do the miracle by themselves? Talk of boxing, even Namibia’s best need professional coaches to make it to the top. Is it so difficult to see why trying to judge and speculate on Namibia’s economic activity based on ethnic/tribal ‘dances’ cannot paint a true picture. Again, Namibian regions are not inhabited by such tribal groups only. And how, for example, do we justify the economic contribution of such different ethnic groupings labouring in other regions where they don’t come from? Like teachers, nurses and various employees in different establishments. The San and Ovahimba are likewise making their stronger economic contributions to the tourism industry. By their very nature, they are an attraction to thousands who come to Namibia. With the Whites, they will keep Namibia’s economy ‘burning’ because no matter how small their numbers or if they are discriminated against, Namibia must be grateful for their ‘brains’, the love and dedication for what they do for the country. And their falling behind is not accidental but goes along with the government policy of affirmative action that now disadvantages them, like we were before independence. Therefore, such research, if not a ‘comedian script’ should not be one-sided, forgetting that those people one samples on have a right to tell of their shortcomings – which all stakeholders can view with an open heart. And learn. Otherwise it is all but a cheap ‘shot’ meant to serve the writer for his misdirected ambitions. Cheerleading! Last, but not least, today many roads lead to the so-called ‘Four O’ – because of the population, infrastructure; talk of second City, High Court , Central Bank, second University plus more that allows even the housing industry to be captured by people from that area. So are political ties that butter all financial transactions! Thank you, Mulife Muchali Vancouver – Canada