We can never afford ourselves the luxury of either forgetting or denying our past history owing to the recentness thereof as well as the fact that our daily lives, whether religious, economic or political are affected by it.
Apartheid was thoroughly crafted to execute the strategy of divide and rule based on tribe, ethnicity and skin pigmentation from the cradle to the grave at all costs. The main driving factor here was economic plunder through command and control.
That which our countries on the continent offered, from their greatest resources, the people to the infinite wealth discovered in the belly of the earth overcame our oppressors with so much greed that they did not only discard of our humanity, but their own as well as they sold their souls to the demons of materialism without realising that one day we would free ourselves politically and take back what was taken from us, our human dignity.
We continue the conversations and discussions that express our loathing of practices such as racism, tribalism, ethnicity and nepotism because they still plague our society albeit off the statute books.
However, due to the type of liberal hybrid, democratic system of government we have put in place and the capitalist society we have, our political rights and economic needs are loud and clear.
The clarion call to uphold unity and to work on sustaining the unity should never be rubbished as part of political jargon or a cliche being used as a panacea to either tickle the hearer’s ears or pacify the speaker’s conscience.
I dare say that after political emancipation, the people desire economic relief through the establishment of working public institutions that serve the common good of all in an environment where transacting business or carrying out our daily work are not undermined by personal agendas but enhanced by professionalism.
Our national symbols, which we revere, cannot on their own unite us in a sustained manner for as long as economic inequalities are glaring at us and the masses are dissatisfied.
Whilst the narrative definitely needs to major and focus on our economic growth and provision for all our people, it is also incumbent upon our political leaders and economic drivers such as captains of industry and those in the economic know how to work at simplifying concepts and programs so that the psyche of the masses is changed from negativity to positive patriotism because of a clear understanding of the vision.
These economic conversations, while being robust and energetic, need to be simplified in both their articulation and implementation so that inclusivity does not remain a mere dream or political figment or far off desire of our imagination.
Our country, like all other countries is not confined to its geographic borders, but spans the globe through the presence of embassies and the constant travel carried out by the citizenry. The focus of our embassies abroad is, like any other foreign embassy in our country, the advancement of economic and political interests driven by mutual understanding and agreements as directed by constant threat and opportunity analysis.
As much as we are part of multilateral families in the nation states of the world, Namibian, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African economic interests on these platforms cannot be over emphasized for obvious reasons.
Without selling our country to the highest bidder, we need to emulate our President, the First Lady, Cabinet and the leaders in the market place and the tourism industry by advertising Namibia as a reliable investment destination and a safe tourist haven as we change the conversation regarding Namibia from a negative one to a positive outlook.
However, one of the major game changers here is the radical eradication of the corruption that deprives skilled and positive thinking citizens of contributing meaningfully to the economic advancement of the country where able bodied citizens, irrespective of their color, creed or religious inclination are able to fulfill their dreams and provide for their families and communities.
One of the direct results of globalisation is that we compete with other countries with the sole purpose of developing our country.
Our country has to compete for markets, for technology, for investments and for skills. We compete to raise our living standards.
In his book, How Countries Compete Richard H. K. Victor writes;
“In this competitive environment, it is government, invariably, that provides distinctive advantages to firms: high savings and low interest rates for investment, sound property rights and good governance, a technologically motivated and committed workforce, a low rate of inflation, and rapidly expanding domestic market.”
We must work to prepare our nation to compete. (to be continued)