Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the Deputy Prime Minister of Namibia and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, on the commemoration of Africa Day thanked countries of the world, that stood by Namibia during the Freedom Struggle.
Nandi-Ndaitwah reminded the group of African heads of diplomatic missions that Africans owe it to the founders of the OAU and the people of the world who stood by Namibia during the country’s fight for freedom from colonialism.
“I am referring to the government and the people of Cuba whom Africa must ensure we work together with them in prosperity. I am referring to the people of the former socialist countries led by the Soviet Union. I am referring to members of different Solidarity and anti-Apartheid groups in Western countries. To all of them, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our continental organization we are saying thank you,” she said.
According to the Deputy PM, Namibia started celebrating this milestone on Monday when the Group of African Heads of Missions made a generous donation to the visually impaired School in Khomasdal and a successful public lecture hosted by the University of Namibia on Tuesday.
She said the founding members of the OAU set for themselves the goal to get rid of Colonialism and Apartheid on the continent. Sixty years later, the Union celebrates Africa Day, under the theme “Our Africa, Our Future”.
“This theme speaks to the hope we have in our young people to drive the development of our continent, to achieve the Vision of the AU, namely, ‘An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena’. This Vision is elaborated in the AU’s Agenda 2063, which is the continental development blueprint,” she said.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, with only 40 years left to achieve the continental vision, it is incumbent upon citizens to re-dedicate themselves to attain the aspirations of the African people.
“There is no doubt that Agenda 2063 will only be realized when we as Africans change our ways of doing business in a holistic and unified manner. The AU Agenda is calling for an inclusive strategy led by the people of Africa including women and youth,” she said.
The Deputy PM said that Namibia has dedicated itself to Agenda 2063 of the AU to substantially ensure a wider input during the development process.
She added that the document was fully discussed in the Namibian Parliament and was taken to some regions where the general public, in particular young people, were given a chance to give their input.
In addition, a workshop was organized jointly by Namibia, the AU and the UN to integrate the aspirations of the AU Agenda 2063, and the UN Agenda 2030 into the national development plans.
Namibia has also fully participated in the development of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area which if implemented correctly, will bring about the economic independence of Africa.
“Namibia is a member of this trade instrument, and we call on our businesspeople and our young entrepreneurs to pay attention to this agreement for Namibia to benefit as we move forward,” she said.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, Africans must take advantage of its youthful population to turn the tables for the better.
“We must pick up a strong political will, commitment, and determination for Africa to become a force to reckon with in the world economic agenda. We have the people, we have the natural resources we just need the right mind, good governance and focus to take the people of Africa out of poverty as that is the ‘Africa We Want’,” she concluded.