Namibia must move forward in unity

Niël Terblancé

Independence without economic emancipation will impede the peace and stability that Namibians have been enjoying for the past 33 years.

President Hage Geingob during his keynote address during Namibia’s 33rd Independence celebrations at Outapi said that the government intends to move with lightning speed to seize opportunities and capitalise on the myriad of economic endowment the country is blessed with. Geingob added that the process will occur in a coordinated manner to ensure that sustainable jobs are created as a matter of urgency.

“Indeed, it is a given that we must be forward-looking and there is no better time to move forward than at this time when green shoots are on the horizon and our revival is within our reach. However, for us to forge the road ahead, we must acknowledge the path that has led us to this very day, this very year, in which we commemorate 33 years of nationhood. It is this path that will inform us of potential dangers, threats and opportunities,” the President said.

He added that as the nation celebrates the gift of freedom and sovereignty, Namibians should endeavour to pursue economic emancipation with determination.

“We should endeavour to place the national good above personal interest, bias, or prejudices. We must cultivate the positive aspects of our national identity and realize that only by holding hands and pulling together in one direction, will we be able to continue our journey of development. Wherever there are shortcomings, we should all take responsibility to correct them for this is our national duty, this is our country and this is the only place on earth that we can call home,” Geingob said.

The President said that he is fully aware that after 33 years of sustained progress and numerous milestones, there is still work to be done for the country to achieve the dreams and aspirations outlined in its National Development Plans and Vision 2030, which are augmented by the two versions of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

“For this reason key government policies and strategies aimed at taking advantage of our natural resources and economic green shoots. Through these policies and strategies, we plan to develop the green hydrogen industry and oil and gas sub-sectors, as well as enhance agricultural production as a means for accelerating industrial development and job creation in Namibia. As a Government, we understand the needs of our people for jobs, shelter, food and self-actualization, and therefore we remain seized with improving the livelihoods of all Namibia’s citizens with the understanding that only through shared prosperity can peace be maintained,” he said.

Geingob, however, cautioned that the struggle for economic emancipation must not be allowed to become a justification for the fomenting of social unrest and division.

“We should reject any efforts to divide our citizens based on tribal, ethnic, racial, gender or religious differences. As a Government committed to the improvement of the social welfare of Namibians, we will always strive to protect the fundamental rights of all and ensure that we all follow in the spirit of One Namibia, One Nation,” the President said.

Geingob said Namibians live in an ever-changing world with numerous challenges as well as opportunities.

“Therefore, as we navigate our course towards prosperity and a better life for all, we must remain vigilant in order to circumvent the various obstacles that are ahead of us. Let us take courage from our recent successes in curbing the onslaught of Covid-19 and adopt the tried and tested principles of unity and teamwork which have enabled us to prevail against all odds,” he said.

The President stated that he has strong confidence that if Namibians continue in the spirit of Harambee they are bound to enjoy countless successes as they move forward as a nation.

“On this 33rd Independence Day, we are encouraged by the fact that we have made tremendous strides as a people and as a nation, enjoying peace and stability and development. With each step we take, we get closer to the realization of our collective dreams and aspirations,” he said.

Geingob also paid a heartfelt tribute to the icon who took centre stage in the struggle for Namibia’s freedom.

“I speak of none other than Comrade Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, Founding President and Father of the Namibian Revolution, who is also the former President of SWAPO and Commander-In-Chief of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Namibian Army. This living legend, through his extraordinary leadership and his unyielding commitment to the freedom and independence of Namibia, provided the motivation and driving force for thousands of brave Namibians to sacrifice their lives in the name of freedom,” he said. Geingob also paid tribute to his predecessor, Namibia’s second President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who equally played a significant role in the liberation of Namibia.

“He is not with us today, but he sent his greetings to wish us a Happy Independence Day,” Geingob said.

The President also paid tribute to the many people, who through their ultimate sacrifice, ensured Namibia could attain independence.

“Today, thanks to the blood of the brave that waters our freedom, we stand as a people free from the shackles of bondage, free from the pursuit of tyranny, free from the scourge of war. Today we stand united as one people, one Namibia, one Nation. Today we celebrate 33 years of unity, liberty and justice.

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