From postmaster to vice-president

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Nickey Iyambo, the country’s first vice-president nominee, worked as the country’s first black postmaster between 1962 and 1963 while he was also Swapo branch secretary for Katutura between 1962 and 1964.

Iyambo was born on May 20, 1936 at Onayena in Oshikoto Region and left for exile in 1964. He was part of the small group of Namibians based in Tanzania who developed Swapo into a dynamic international force in the 1960s.

Iyambo, a medical doctor, studied medicine at Helsinki University in the 1970s during which period he was also the Swapo chief representative to the Nordic countries.

Iyambo is one of the popular figures in Swapo Party, always topping the list at the party’s elective congress. In the last congress Iyambo came out at number 29.

As the first health minister Iyambo is credited with getting Namibia’s HIV/AIDS awareness campaign off the ground and setting up the primary health care system.

He has held various ministerial portfolios since independence including stints at agriculture between 2002 and 2005, as well as regional and local government between 1996 and 2002. He is currently the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

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