Celebrating 31 years of freedom, peace and stability

21 March 2021 | Government

The 31st independence anniversary of the country is symbolic of the coming of age of Namibians says President Hage Geingob.

According to the president celebrating the intrinsic values of nationhood and identity will enable Namibians to withstand the rough seas and enable them to continue the journey towards a destiny of shared prosperity and sustainable development.

“Together, over three decades, Namibians have forged love out of hate, peace out of conflict and common purpose out of self-interest. As our vibrant democracy matures and transitions into the fourth decade of independence, we stand on the cusp of a new era –a frontier of promise and possibility, firmly anchored in our history,” the president said in his speech on the 31st Independence Day anniversary of the country.

Geingob said that Namibians should be appreciate of how far they have come and take courage in the fact that from a poorly governed occupied territory, defined by racial hatred and division, they have managed to build an admirable home through unity, hard work and patriotism.

“Let us never forget that it has taken a united and collective effort to build this nation. Not one tribe, not one race, not one gender, not one religion has achieved this but all of us, together.”

Challenges

Geingob added that it is not an understatement that over the past several years, Namibians have faced untold challenges.

“Unstable global markets and the subsequent fall in commodity prices, coupled with an unprecedented period of drought have created a perfect storm for economic decline. We are also in the midst of a war against Covid-19.”

The president acknowledged that the arrival of the Coronavirus on Namibian shores on March 13, 2020, has compounded the already existing challenges.

“Covid-19, has caused upheaval around the globe and we have not been spared. Namibians have lost their jobs and a number of businesses have closed down. Yes, we are facing challenges, but there has not been any nation or people in this world that have not faced challenges on the path towards destiny.”

He called on Namibians to remain resilient.

For better

Geingob further emphasised that the Namibia we live in today is a far cry from the Namibia of yesteryear.

“The Namibia we inherited at Independence and Namibia today, are miles apart. Without question, we have a better Namibia, a better country than the one, which existed under Apartheid rule. We have dismantled the infrastructure of Bantustans and collectively buttressed democratic institutions with the citizen as the ultimate sovereign, through regular and free elections.”

The president said that Namibia’s democracy, reinforced by effective governance, is the basis for peace, stability and the rule of law.

He pointed out that by spending a significant percentage of the national budget on health, education, social welfare and infrastructure, Namibia have managed to reduce poverty, which stood at 70% in 1990 to 18% today.

“We continue to spend a large proportion of our resources on young people as an investment in a sustainable future for our country. The number of Higher Education Institutions have been countrywide, taking education to the people by increasing access to higher education. As a result, the total enrolment at public higher education institutions increased by more than 9 times since independence, moving from 4,240 in 1992 to 40,442 in 2019.”

Patriotism

Geingob called on Namibians to take ownership of the future of the country by understanding that for Namibia to become a well-developed nation, everyone must play a role.

“Let us renew our patriotism, our sense of solidarity and our love for our country. For these concepts are the mortar that bind us as a people and as a nation. We should all endeavour to do what is best for our nation as a whole and support our quest to achieve a prosperous country.”

Commitment

The president also reiterated his commitment to the war against poverty and corruption, to empowering Namibians and focusing governmental efforts on national interest rather than on individual pursuits.

“In order to make our vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous Namibian House a reality; we must translate this vision into actionable plans and policies. Most importantly, we must execute so that we can deliver on the dreams of our people.”

The president said that the launch of the Harambee Prosperity Plan in 2016 and the subsequent launch of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II three days ago, speaks to the desire of government to deliver on the promise of a prosperous Namibia.

“These plans do not replace, but complement and accelerate the implementation of the long-term goal of the National Development Plans [NDPs] and Vision 2030. Through the HPPII roadmap and building on the successes of the past, I am confident that Namibia will strengthen its Effective Governance Architecture through responsive processes and systems, and accountable institutions that deliver quality public services.”

Geingob also acknowledged that government have responsibilities to fulfil towards Namibians.

“We are aware that the second struggle for the economic liberation of all Namibians, that of growing the economy and improving the livelihoods of our people, will be severe. However severe it may be, this struggle will be waged with all the confidence, the resolve and the resources that inspire our great nation. It is a commitment we made at independence 31 years ago.”

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