State of the Nation Address eagerly awaited

Martin Endjala

President Hage Geingob will be delivering his annual State of the Nation Address tomorrow, 6 April 2022 in the National Assembly chamber on the government’s future policies and draw a comparison to last year’s plans as laid out in the 20021 address, as well as responding to questions from parliamentarians.

This was announced by the acting public relations officer Rafael Hangula in a media statement dated 5th of April 2022.

The address is in accordance with Article 32 (2) of the Namibian Constitution that accords the executive branch responsibility of government to the legislative branch, which stipulates that the

President and the Cabinet shall each year during the consideration of the budget attend Parliament.

During this session, MPs will engage the President after he concluded his address with relevant debatable questions affecting the nation.

Henning Melber, a renowned political analyst, told the Windhoek Observer today that he expects the president to address the budgetary constraints and how to handle the debt burden in times of little to no fiscal manoeuvring space for developmental investments by the State.

Melber also hinted that the implications of the war in Ukraine with regard to rising cost of living and petrol prices, food security as well as whether there would be coping mechanisms to reduce the burden for the ordinary people is another matter that needs addressing.

The clarification of what the government’s approach to the genocide negotiations with the German government are, is also one that needs addressing. The matter still seems to be simmering after the National Assembly debates.

Melber said that Geingob will be emphasizing more on the ongoing projects, as a means of marketing Namibia to the outside investment world.

“He will sell himself as an efficient marketing manager of Namibian resources to the outside world, with reference to the recent attendance at the Dubai Expo, but also the promised deals for green hydro energy”.

The issue of oil and gas exploration and the government’s approach to foreign direct investment is one of the hottest topics in the country. However, Melber opines that, these are just pipe dreams than realities with a short to medium term gain for the ordinary people.

The analyst lamented that it would be a nice surprise and a matter of integrity if President Geingob would be humble enough to offer an unreserved apology for the blunder at this year’s Independence Day, when the elite celebrated without the people.

“I am afraid, however, that this is too much to expect,” says Melber.

The august house has often seen tension between the opposition parties and the ruling party benches and one cannot rule out the possibility of these tensions unfolding again.

“It remains to be seen how the members of the opposition behave and if they live up to the minimum standards of behaviour. Political exchanges, after all, can be critical and controversial without being ill-mannered”, Melber pointed out.

The secretary general of All People’s Party (APP) Vicent Kanyetu emphasized that economic recovery should not only be driven by the green hydrogen, stressing that, there should also be other role players involved in the growth of the economy.

“It is not enough for economic recovery, the just announced green scheme project initiative, introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform is another way of looking at alternatives,’’ Kanyetu suggested.

He expects tomorrow’s session to deal with these issues at a more formidable trajectory.

Due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, public will not be attending but they can watch the live broadcast on NBC TV and Facebook social platforms. All media practitioners are invited to cover the event for the broader audience in the country.




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