WINDHOEK – The well-known Clem Sunter (former chairperson of Anglo American Gold Division) says religious differences are the number one threat in the world, but which must be taken into consideration. He said this last week as keynote speaker at the Namibia Employers Federation’s annual general meeting.
The theme of his speech was ‘Think like a Jackal’, which is based on his latest book.
Before a strategy is determined the environment should be scrutinized, he noted when he discussed the factors which he said would influence the future and economic growth in Namibia, South Africa and the world after 2015.
Sunter says the second biggest factor in the world arena right now is Russian president Vladimir Putin’s new striving towards power formation against Europe, which could escalate into a nuclear war. “Number three is the ageing of the world population. The amount of people over the age of 50 years is increasing steadily which could hinder economic growth. As a result Japan and Europe’s growth already hit the ceiling. Africa is the youngest economy in the world with the biggest potential for economic growth.
“Another factor which will influence the future of the world is environmental and climate change. The world is getting warmer and parts of Australia reached temperatures of over 50 in the past two years. Rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions (floods and droughts) also occur. Extreme droughts are occurring in California which is busy drying out,” he noted.
“Regarding South Africa, the most important factor which will influence the future is corruption. The quality of infrastructure is another hugely important factor of which the most important is the current power crisis. Poor inclusive leadership is number three which resulted in the SA population currently being more divided than ever since independence,” says Sunter.
Sunter says this “underlying division is not noted in Namibia and that South Africans envy Namibians” in that regard.
He praised Namibia’s leadership for the country’s peace, stability and unity, “which is an important prerequisite for economic growth”.
The main challenge for Namibia is economic growth and employment creation, he added.
He was of the opinion that economic growth and employment creation lay in the hands of entrepreneurship and small businesses.
A culture of entrepreneurship (business aptitude) must be nurtured amongst the population and the government must create and promote the climate for small businesses.
Sunter has released two t best-selling books in SA.