By Kuvee Kangueehi
A renowned Bishop of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Eddie L. Long, says “the time has come for Namibia” to become a prosperous nation.
Speaking at a gala dinner in the capital on Wednesday evening, Long said the time has come for Namibians to become the architects of their own destiny and create a generation that would make an impact on the lives of future generations.
Long said Namibia has a lot of wealth and does not need handouts. “You only need to put your hand into the wealth and you could start handing out wealth.”
The Bishop also urged Namibians to stop blaming the past, saying that as citizens they should become comfortable with their history. “Slavery harmed us more spiritually than physically because it broke down our spirit.”
The Bishop noted that Namibia’s Vision 2030 can be achieved if business people, the government and the church join hands to reach the goal.
At the same occasion, Prime Minister Nahas Angula said the current human condition in Namibia is affected by poverty, skewed income distribution, inequality of opportunities, youth unemployment and the impact of HIV/Aids pandemic.
He said Namibia is one of the most unequal societies in the world, and he highlighted a survey report which indicates that German-speaking households on average have a level income 31 times higher than that of individuals in a Khoisan-speaking household.
Angula said poverty levels are such that 28% of the population are characterized as severely poor, or poor. He added that poverty in Namibia is also gender-based, and female-headed households have a lower average annual per capita income compared to male-headed households.
The Premier stated that statistics clearly illustrate that Namibia is an unequal and unjust society, as far as the sharing of national resources is concerned.
“Namibia cannot build its future on injustice and inequality,” he said, “and Namibians should shout in order to gain access to their resources and take them.”
Angula said, however, that Namibia is determined to build a fair society through the policy of Transformational Economic and Social Empowerment Framework (TESEF). He said the principles of the policy are based on wealth accumulation, wealth regeneration and wealth redistribution. He said TESEF also aims at articulating a policy for removing barriers for participation and access to opportunities by those who have been excluded.
He stressed that a vehicle to promote transactional empowerment should be created to enable the previously disadvantaged to buy equity in established enterprises, including State-owned enterprises.
“This,” he said, “will create a balanced ownership of the economy.”
He added that TESEF will also deliberate policies for increasing the number of previously disadvantaged in professions such as engineering, stock brokerage, law and accounting, to ensure balanced management control of the economy.
Long is the pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia, Georgia, United States. He first served as pastor in 1987 for a congregation which at that time consisted of just over 300 members. Since his installation, New Birth’s membership has multiplied to well over 30 000 members.
Born in Huntersville, North Carolina, Eddie L. Long received his Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the North Carolina Central University, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Atlanta Interdenominational Theological Centre.
He has received honorary doctorates from North Carolina Central University, Beulah Heights Bible College of Atlanta and the Morehouse School of Religion. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Located in DeKalb County, Georgia, in the city of Lithonia, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church seeks to impact the community through many outreach programmes and community-empowering projects orchestrated by Bishop Long.
Long also serves as the founder and CEO of Faith Academy, a Christian school operated by New Birth.
The occasion was attended by the Speaker of the National Assembly, cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament and prominent business people.