CAN more jobs creation, and even what one may consider increased investment flow lead to increased, better and/or requisite socio-economic transformation that Namibia craves for, and has been even since independence been so much desirous of and for, which indeed was, is and must be the essence of independence?
Yours Truly Ideologically cannot but raise this pertinent question, especially at the backdrop of the recent oil and gas conference last month, where some Namibian ministers delivered what they presented. But their deliveries at the said conference, more than charting the way forward, in terms of the country’s let alone the individual ideological outlook of the ministers, when it comes to the exploitation of the country’s natural resources, created more confusion and an impression of a blatant and gross lack policy direction. If not a complete lack of ideological disposition when it comes to the flow of foreign investments in the country, and their application in giving the country the requisite push towards radical socio-economic transformation.
Radical socio-economic transformation in the real polic of capitalism, admittedly, is and may not be the reason that any investor would wish to come and invest in Namibia in what could be the political proverbial win-win situation. This win-win situation foremost must be pushed by Namibia, given the political and ideological will, but which willfully is and has been wanting. By especially the political party at the helm of the administration of the country, the Swapo Party of Namibia, as informed and guided ideologically by its Think Thank.
But thirty-three (33) years into independence, when the country must be, in the least, start to make some significant strides in the requisite beginning towards radical change , one sees let alone hear a little in terms of the bare minimum whereto the country is headed and is heading regarding fundamental transformation, if not radical socio-economic transformation.
Instead what has been reverberated and regurgitated by the leaders of the Swapo Party and government, are empty and hollow phrases like good governance, equitable economic growth, doubling of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), maximising socio-economic benefits thereby heralding socio-economic development, if not transformation. At best what one has been hearing and experiencing from our would-be policy makers and politicians, of all political hues and shades, are fancy-sounding hollow phrases, which they have been and are using generously, as if they are independent variables and in themselves they will make a difference, especially in the livelihoods of the masses of exploited and impoverished Namibians. Most of them coming from the background of capitalist colonial Apartheid over hundred years of exploitation, subjugation and economic deprivation, manifested by poverty and other attendant socio-economic ills akin to capitalist exploitation.
Because for this grand-sounding phrases to have any meaning, one cannot ignore the context and reality of the pertaining mode of production. Which is capitalism, the very system that during colonialism, was and still today in an independent Namibia, is still intact. Yours Truly Ideologically really needs convincing that the capitalist system, which is prevalent and dominant in Namibia till this day, can without any fundamental overhauling, realistically be expected to provide, let alone, satisfy the needs of most, if not all exploited and impoverished Namibians. Other than benefiting only a selected coopted group. Because one phrase our political principals, irrespective of their political spectrum, from ruling to the opposition end of the political pendulum, have been shouting about on top of their voices, are natural resources benefiting or being exploited in the interest of the entire Namibian society. Such benefitting and interest(s) has never been defined. As much as the other many popular political ph
rases and jargons they are so fond of, always oblivious to their practical meaning, in the least. Before daring to bring in their philosophical and/or ideological overtones and/or undertones.
A laissez-faire attitude and approach that has been the hallmark of many of Namibia’s would-be statespeople , which at best has been bordering on an absolute lack of empathy for the people, and worst of no interest and empathy for the destiny of the country and its people. While at the same time cajoling the very exploited and impoverished masses to show loyalty and pride. In what? In their continued exploitation and impoverishment?
Yours Truly Ideologically cannot but be cautious nor oblivious that revolutionary transformation from a capitalist base can be the most arduous undertaking. Begetting both subjective and objective consciousness. Especially in a country like Namibia where during and and on the eve of independence the country has never reached the requisite objective and subjective conditions for a revolution. Despite the hollow and opportunistic reference to the second phase of the revolution, which is the economic revolution, which to this day remains undefined. If not totally confused with the comprador bourgeoisie given a pseudo stake in the economy whereby it provides a false sense of stake-holding while the capitalist system remains intact. As the experience of Angola should and must be a lesson, ideological consciousness is and cannot be the panacea let alone the springboard towards radical-socio economic transformation. Because Angola has since independence, and since emerging from years of an internal civil strife
, been led by a socialist vanguard party in the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). And on top of that its economy has seen growth , if not stability because of the petro-dollar. But inequality and poverty cannot be said to have subsided during the said period. Nor are there any indication that the country is headed and/or been heading towards equality and significant alleviation of poverty.
“Politically, there has been a continuation rather than a break with the top-down socialist post-independence project of national reconstruction. In many ways, policies aimed at petro-development have been pursued alongside the curtailment of democracy. Fewer Angolans are free to participate in the country’s governance while the unequal nature of the economic growth that has occurred makes it more difficult for many to share the government’s successes so far,” concludes, Jesse Salah Ovadia and Sylvia Croese in a chapter titled Post-War Angola: The Dual Nature of Growth Without Development In An Oil-Rich State in the book Towards Developmental State in Southern Africa edited by Godfrey Kanyenze and others.
Exactly Yours Truly Ideologically’s postulation that fancy projects, Green Hydrogen and/or any other investment, may at the end of the day proof a cul-de-sac in terms of radical socio-economic transformation, if not well defined, and especially when not in a defined ideological context.