Despite all the development milestones Namibia has achieved thus far, it is still a developing country. These were the words of Minister of Economic Planning, Tom Alweendo, at the opening of the Development Partners Forum attended by ambassadors and high commissioners in the capital yesterday.
“We have not reached the pinnacle of our development. We still have a number of areas of our development where more still needs to be done,” Alweendo told those in attendance.
He said that, for example, there is no denying the fact that the economy still needs to grow at a higher level – “that our economic growth needs to be more inclusive; that we need to create more employment opportunities, especially for young people”.
Moreover, he said, the income generated from the economy needs to be shared on a more equitable basis among the members of society and “that we need to pay particular attention to the quality of our human capital development”.
“We still have a journey ahead of us – a journey during which some of us might become apprehensive and even fearful. We still have an expedition to undertake – an expedition where some will start to despair and become discouraged,” he added.
“Already,” Alweendo said, “there are some among us who have become rather cynical about our ability to achieve great things.”
“Their starting point now is to always remind us of what has not happened and conveniently remain silent about what has happened,” he said, adding that for them it is to emphasise failure and disregard success. He said “instead of recognising the greatness in our ability to make things happen they constantly remind us of what has not succeeded.” “I would therefore want to invite all our development partners to join us on this journey.”
“We hope that you will continue to encourage us on this journey. We expect not only that you assist us financially but also to learn from your experiences,” he said.
He said he is aware that development experiences can be different from one country to the other – ‘but I also know that there are general principles that can be applicable across countries”.
“I also know that on this journey of our development there will be successes and disappointments.”
“There will be things that we will do well, just as there will be some that we will be less successful,” he added.
“That happens to all expeditions. However, what we don’t want to do is not to try again just because we are afraid to fail.”
According to Alweendo, “our attitude is that important successes are delivered by those who believe that you succeed through failure and that what is more important is not the failure but the courage to keep trying.”
“Our motto is that failure cannot be a reason not to try again and we believe that every failure is a lesson well learned.”