WELGEMOED – Former president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Horst Koehler, has been impressed by the Namibian government’s resettlement programme, and was optimistic that by 2020 government would have reached its land redistribution target of 15 million hectares.
Koehler was speaking during a visit to two resettlement farms in the Khomas Region on Sunday. He was accompanied by Director General for Sub-Saharan Africa and Sahel in the Federal Foreign Office Ambassador Georg Schmidt, Germany Ambassador to Namibia Onno Hȕckmann and acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land Reform, Dr Nashilongo Shivute.
Since 2003, Germany, through its Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), provides support to the now Ministry of Land Reform with N$503.52 million (38.62 million euros). BMZ also provides support to emerging farmers.
“I think I am very much impressed with what I have seen today. I think this is a success story that the Namibia government should continue doing,” he said.
“This shows that we are engaging in this land reform. So far I have learned from the 15 million hectares which have to be resettled, half of them have already been done and I am convinced that by the year 2020 the government will reach its goals,” he added.
Koehler, who was country’s president between 2004 and 2010, said this shows the trust and the good working relationship between the governments of Germany and Namibia.
Speaking at the same occasion, Shivute called on landowners to respond positively to government’s appeal for land. “We are not far from achieving our target, so therefore [it] is very important for those with land to sell land to government,” she said.
“The government this year has allocated quite a good amount of money all we are appealing for is for those farmers to follow government call,” added Shivute.
“There are some of those land owners who are refusing to pay land tax and I am using this opportunity to appeal to them to please pay the land tax as refusing to do so is disruption of the hard-earned peace and stability of the country,” she said.
Since 1990, the ministry has purchased 385 farms, with 21 in Erongo Region, 73 in Hardap, 26 in Oshikoto, 64 in Omaheke, 51 in Otjozondjupa, 97 in //Kharas, 11 in Khomas and 42 in the Kunene with a combine size of 2 786 026.50 hectares at total cost of N$1 094 957 649.51.