Namibians hopeful for a better year

Martin Endjala

As Namibians enter 2023, many are hopeful that it will be a better year compared to 2022, with the President declaring the year a revival year.

The Windhoek Observer Newspaper took to the streets to find out how Namibians ushered into the new year.

Sarah Shonghela highlighted that this time around was the first time she had spent new year eve outside the comfort of her home. Attending the City of Windhoek new year eve bash, she says she was pleased to see people coming together after a very ‘bumpy’ year and hopes that 2023 will be better.

“I look forward to upgrading myself, bettering myself and being a better teacher and role model for my children,” she added.

Member of the National Council, Paulus Mbangu in an interview told this publication that he, for the festive season holiday, has been in the field visiting villages in the Rundu district to better understand the needs of the people.

Mbangu however said he was not impressed by President Geingob’s New Year Message, which he says is a similar call to 2022. “It simply did not yield its intended results,” he said.

“The president last year declared that 2022 was going to be a year of re-imagining, in other words recovering. For 2023 he declared it to be a year of revival. These are similar trends and it is worrisome”, he stressed.

Mbangu added that 2022 was a year to learn from were the government felt short in terms of service delivery particularly the education sector.

Commenting on the just announced National results for grade 11 and Advanced Subsidiary Level, in which over 30 000 learners failed to qualify for tertiary education, Mbangu said it warrants a national emergency meeting by all sectors.

According to him, the Namibian education lacks ideology and standards to benchmark like in other countries, adding that Zimbabwe has the best ideology were students are taught to be self-reliance, to be job creators and not seekers, something he says is lacking within the Namibian education system.

Geingob said that the New Year comes with new thoughts, new ideas, emphasising that it is also a year of reflection.

“But one thing is for sure, in a year we were called upon to reimage Namibia, we did so, against all odds and created a new image of Namibia, a Namibia no longer burdened by the pessimistic atmosphere of an economic downturn and Covid-19, but a Namibia moving towards the green shoots on the horizon and the optimism of economic revival and the promise of a brighter future”, says Geingob.

After a protracted and costly two-year battle against the unwelcome visitor of Covid-19, the President was grateful to have seen Namibians prevailing, with the help of international partners.

He said that the country was able to lift all Covid-19 restrictions in August 2022, bringing to amend the most devastating challenge this nation has faced since independence.

“At this juncture, let me thank all Namibians for their heroic efforts and our partner countries for their display of international solidarity. Together, we weathered the storm and emerged more resilient than ever” he said.

He stressed that it is a collective responsibility to protect it and prevent anyone from stealing it from us.

“There are those that want to see Namibia crash and burn. Let us hold hands in solidarity and continue to prevent their efforts”, pointed out Geingob.

On a positive note, there are signs indicating that the economy is on the rebound and that 2023 promises to bring with it better fortunes. With a projected 5.6% growth in the second quarter next year.

It is also said that the economy is expected to perform better in 2023, compared to the last two years.

Agriculture, mining and ICT are the main drivers for this growth and given the fact that the Tourism Sector is experiencing a post Covid-19 rebound, there is room for more optimism in future.

With the acquisition of the world’s most advanced diamond recovery vessel, The Benguela Gem by Debmarine Namibia at a cost of US$ 420 Million, new jobs were created and the diamond sector is likely to see an annual increase of 45 percent.

The President also indicted that experts are expecting the SACU revenues to show marked improvement in 2023.

“For these reasons, as we conclude 2022, we have cause to look forward with optimism and renewed sense of an improving economic situation at the dawn of 2023, and beyond. In this regard, our country is now economically healthier and with brighter prospects than the recent past”, determines the President.

The President urges all Namibians to pull together as Namibian citizens, each at his/her respective level of responsibility to achieve inclusive and shared prosperity in the Namibian House, where no one should feel left out.

Furthermore, as a nation, the President believes that it now has a good reason, to cease looking backwards, but rather to look ahead and pull forward into the direction of inclusive progress and prosperity.

By Observer