NAIROBI, Kenya — In the second series of our exclusive interview with Namibian Sun Editor-in-Chief Toivo Ndjebela [pictured], he told SmartCompany.Africa that the three country’s leaders since independence, have done their best to execute their mandates apportioned during their respective reigns.
For instance, founding President Dr Sam Nujoma’s rare leadership skills during the country’s political transition from South Africa colonial regime, proved invaluable, he said.
Further, second President Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba’s steady hands ensured a sustained peace and stability, built on the foundation laid by his predecessor.
And, current President Dr Hage Geingob’s mandate to drive Namibians to economic prosperity, is a brilliant idea with its share of challenges.
“President Geingob’s mandate is prosperity. To say yes, the foundation has been made, stability has been acquired and now let’s now prosper and grow the economy. So, that’s where we are,” he said.
“So, looking back where we were and where we are now, we can say that good inroads have been made. But, there is always room for improvement, we could have even done better,” he said.
Mr Ndjebela, who is also a member of Editors’ Forum of Namibia and this year’s nominee for the World Press Freedom Day, remains optimistic that Dr Geingob’s economic plans for the country can still be achieved.
The president’s economic blueprint “The Harambee Prosperity Plan [HPP]”, in its second phase of implementation, has irked a section off the country, who are impatient with its pace of delivery.
However, when Dr Geingob launched the second version of his development plan in March 2021, to be implemented from 2021 to 2025, reaffirmed his commitment to its delivery, even in the face of the global pandemic.
“The second phase is a targeted action plan to accelerate growth, development and prosperity in Namibia, based on the lessons learnt during the implementation of the first Harambee Prosperity Plan (from April 2016 to March 2020),” he said during the launch.
“As we enter the second year of the fourth decade of our independence on March 21, which coincides with the implementation of the HPP II, it is self-evident that the journey of Namibia is one of hope, resilience and progress.”
Mr Ndjebela attributes his optimism based on the country’s past success stories that has earned it top investment destination in Africa, riding on political stability, freedoms, including that of the press and an enabling business environment — colossal strides which he cautions, should not be taken for granted.
“We are good in many aspects. But of course, there have been enormous challenges we have faced. But there is that gradual strengthening of our economy. So, yes, we have done better,” he said.
Namibia celebrated 31st independence anniversary on 21st March 2021. How would you gauge the country’s economy after three decades of self-rule?
Mr Ndjebela: Our economy is small compared to countries like Kenya’s that has a bigger economy because of the size of its population and industries it has established over the years.
However, Namibia has done very well for a small economy like ours. I think we have done an incredible job to put ourselves out there as a good investment destination for many investors.
And, our three presidents each have their own mandate. Our First President Dr Sam Nujoma’s mandate was to lay the foundation from 1990 when we got our independence to 2005 to make sure we got some stability where industries can be built.
Our Second President Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba’s work was to ensure that there is continued stability on the foundation that’s been laid.
Then our current President, Dr Hage Geingob mandate is prosperity. To say yes, the foundation has been made, stability has been acquired and now let’s now prosper and grow the economy. So, that’s where we are.
So, looking back where we were and where we are now, we can say that good inroads have been made. But, there is always room for improvement, we could have even done better.
But we are good in many aspects. But of course, there have been enormous challenges we have faced. But there is that gradual strengthening of our economy. So, yes, we have done better.
Would you like us to feature you and your smarty business/company?
Please, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org