Namibia needs to ideologically find, define “shared prosperity”, and the route thereto

Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

True to the theme of the country’s 32nd Independence Anniversary celebrations, “A People United for Prosperity”, a common thread was discernible through most of the interventions of those who took to the podium, from the Director of Ceremonies to the Vote of Thanks, all in tandem with the keynote address by His Excellency, Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia.

The common thread being from one continuum to the other, the peace and stability that the country has been enjoying for the last 32 years, to the reality check that nothing has as yet been won, which is the shared prosperity, this year’s theme, and ala the Governor of Erongo, “sharing in the abundant natural resources which the Erongo region” is endowed with. And according to the Prime Minister in her Vote of Thanks, the economic emancipation, which remains an outstanding matter.

There’s no denying indeed that Namibia has over the last 32 years been enjoying peace and stability. As much Yours Truly Ideologically could not but have observed from the leaders, that indeed the Namibian Revolution is far from having been won, let alone that the struggle for economic emancipation, which is the Second Phase of the Namibian Revolution, has as yet to begin in all earnest, admittedly by the HE, the President, in that the 32 years of independence has not been plain sailing for the country’s development trajectory, whatever this trajectory is and may be. Because despite the significant efforts that the Namibian government has been engaging in, and the challenges it has been facing since independence in meaningfully embarking on socio-economic transformation, or/and economic emancipation , as you may wish, there is no denying that as yet the country has to embark full swing on a socio-economic transformational trajectory. But is there a common thread, let alone among government and/or the Swapo Pa
rty of Namibia leaders, as to the nature and/or form of such a transformation trajectory?

According to HE, President of both the country and the Swapo Party of Namibia, such a transformation must be driven by investments, with the government playing only a facilitative role.

The question begging an answer, and indeed deep pondering and reflection, is whether all let alone most of the Swapo Party of Namibia’s leaders, as indeed most leaders of and in government, not to mention the country’s citizenry, do share in “ A People United for Prosperity”? For needless to say the whole country must share in this transformational ideal for it to be effective and efficient. It is not as if Namibia, since independence, has not been able to attract investors. Granting the independent variable factors HE, the President, alludes to for since 2015 mitigating against investors flocking to Namibia, there have been those investors who have been able to invest in the country nevertheless. But have these investments brought about the much craved for and desired “shared prosperity”? This is the question that the Swapo Party of Namibia, its Think Thank not excepting, needs to belabor in all earnest. Because through his recent interview with the Al Jazeera network, HE has left the country and the world
, in no shade of doubt that from these investments Namibian’s, who are and should be the owners of the country’s natural resources, are actually not the owners. But through contracts, the real owners have to content with the bare minimum like taxes, from the exploitation of these natural resources. Not only this but HE was also categorical, something which he reiterated in his independence anniversary speech, that the role of the government is just facilitation.

In Yours Truly Ideologically’s interpretation, this means facilitation as opposed to the State being in control and/or command of the country’s economy and her natural resources. Because as long as the State shies away from controlling and commanding the economy and the country’s resources, as the saying goes, who pays the piper calls the tune. In this vogue Namibia and/or her natural resources would not be her’s but that of investors, as HE realistically recently pointed out in his interview with Al Jazeera. Thus, the question that begs, needless to point out, would this development and/or socio-economic transformation trajectory that the Swapo Party of Namibian, and the current Namibian government envisages and/or been dreaming of and about, take the country towards the perceived “shared prosperity”? And what are the fundamentals of such a “shared prosperity”?

Yours Truly Ideologically cannot agree more with HE, that Namibia’s flag independence indeed cannot be compared with Apartheid Colonialism. But only on one aspect, which is the indigenous were on the fringes of exploitation with little or no stake whatsoever during Apartheid Colonial Capatalism. Which is no longer the case now when the indigenous under the banner of Neo-Colonial Capitalist exploitation, have assumed a very active role as agents of capitalist exploitation, while making the country believe they are politically in charge. Yes, they may be politically in charge but what use is it being politically in charge, if economically they are not in charge now and ever? Admittedly, economically Namibia is not in charge of her natural resources, hence not in charge of her economy.

“Legally” she does not own these resources. HE was spot on and realistic. But the question remains, being that the case, is this the route towards “shared prosperity”?

And is the prosperity alluded to by the powers that be actually the crumbs from the continued exploitation of the natural resources of the country. An exploitation, which no Namibians, especially the masses ever shared anything in but their hard labour, toiling and sweat. And if any, only the politicians benefit anything from which only them knows what they benefit from the continued exploitation of the country’s natural resources which has been and continue to be wholesaled for foreign investors, Capitalism!

 

 

By Observer