The year 2016 is in my opinion the official year of the beginning of the end of the honey moon in which the country has been living within a mixed environment of comfort and could hence going forward determine the exact destiny in which it could find itself.
This specific year especially after more than a quarter century of political independence and stability marks the official launch of the 2nd phase of the Namibian struggle for economic independence due to a number of fundamental events and activities which transpired in the year 2016.
This assertion could be confusing to many people but the truth of the matter is that Namibia is not fully in control of its economic destiny due to the following two fundamental reasons: first is that the country is still very much strongly dependent on the economy of South Africa of which there are no real political and economic intentions to reduce this dependency and secondly is that the country is seriously failing to come up with an indigenisation procurement and empowerment policy to redistribute the country’s economic wealth to the majority of its citizens.
For the purpose of this article, I would like to highlight a few lime lights which in my opinion warrant an attention as they could going forward have an impact on the economic and social future of the country.
The year 2016 started off on a very high note when President Hage Geingob launched an aggressive plan to eradicate poverty in Namibia by the year 2021. This wonderful plan created the impression and expectation that the necessary financial resources and capacity were in place to turn the misfortunes of the nation around for the benefit of the masses, but is now unfortunately going to gather dust until the financial storm is somehow weathered.
The year 2016 whether intended or not has hence caught the government of the day extremely off guard and as a result panic and dismay has taken full control of the situation.
This event has further exposed government officials to be essentially lacking of effective planning and coordination to such an extent Namibia has truly reached a cross road which could either through unity of purpose propel it towards it being an industrialised nation by 2030 or it through disunity and division being a sad and miserable state lost in itself with dire economic and social consequences.
This negative political and economic blunder has since then set in motion series of events and activities which will eventually force Namibians to seriously reassess their survival mode as a nation in relation to its comprehensive human resource development needs and the effective utilization of its natural resources for its benefit.
Going forward, the year 2016 further witnessed the surprise dumping by MTC of the nation’s national football premier league putting it in complete disarray resulting in clubs and players feeling most of the blunt.
This decision has real and direct significant social implications and if not resolved soonest could further lead to the closure of some of the nation’s football clubs and the dismissal of players into the wilderness of poverty and misery.
The year however in this regard fortunately saw for the first time Debmarine Namibia entering the football arena with a massive sponsorship of N$14 million over a duration period of three years. This wonderful development for the NFA Cup should hopefully encourage other progressive private sector entities to play their part in social upliftment activities of the nation.
On a light and positive note, the year 2016 saw for the first time Namibia hosting an international economic investment conference which attracted many domestic and international interest of which its true impact still need to be felt in the coming years.
The only challenge in this regard is that there is no substantial economic policy direction that emerged from this conference of which as a consequence could lead to the status quo being maintained.
On a very sad note to the nation, the year 2016 saw the passing on of Cde. Hidipo Hamutenya, a stalwart figure in the historic annals and economic foundation of the country. His passing on whether noticed or not has robbed the nation of a thinker who had the best intentions for his country.
Cde Hamutenya had for some reasons among others the intentions to align the nation’s fundamental economic development plans along the path established by the successful Asian nations of Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and others which could result in mass employment and business opportunities for Namibians.
The year 2016 further saw the passing on of El Commandant Fidel Castro, a historic figure who single handedly stood up against western imperial forces to change the course of history for the benefits of many other nations. This significant development should going forward inspire Namibia to re-align itself towards the total true economic independence of which the social implications could be huge.
Namibia hence in the year 2016 finds itself at a very difficult cross road of which it really needs to ask itself some very hard questions. Those with the assumed power to effect economic and social change should be very sensitive and cognizance of the issues at hand and should handle with extreme care. The fabric of peace and stability that was supposed to hold the nation together has been further eroded due to the above mentioned very significant events that transpired during the course of the year.
In conclusion, the year 2016 is a terrible watershed year that will forever change the landscape and future direction of the nation.