Fish is the answer

Kawana criticises self-enrichment

06 October 2020 | Fishing

Swakopmund • Erwin Leuschner

“Some of you are Johnny Walker Specials who came to Namibia with nothing and who became millionaires thanks to our natural resources, while our people suffer,” fisheries minister Albert Kawana said.

“On top of that you feel justified about the recently held quota auction and believe that this quota should be yours.”

Kawana used the opportunity to accuse players in the fishing industry of feeling entitled to use the country’s resources even though they had received fishing quotas from the government for “next to nothing”.

“Namibia’s marine resources need not only benefit individuals or companies who are active in this sector or who have fishing rights,” he said, saying that all Namibians should benefit from this resource.

He now wants to address this “negative mentality of entitlement” in fishing.

During his ministerial address in Swakopmund, Kawana stated that the phrase “it is now our time to eat” is common in Africa. People would cheer when someone from the same tribe became the leader in a certain economic area and benefited from it economically.

“This approach is dangerous because everyone else is excluded. This is also the main reason for conflict in Africa,” Kawana said.

Therefore, in Namibia the approach of common prosperity must be taken.

“This will not only promote peace, stability and harmony, but will result in balanced economic development throughout the country,” he said.

According to Kawana, government can generate enough income from fishing to solve all problems in Namibia, listing challenges like poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment.

“Our marine resources should play a positive role and ensure quality in education and healthcare and ensure decent living conditions.”

To achieve this goal, Kawana now wants to consult all stakeholders in the sector and address all aspects of fishing and seek solutions.

Kawana has held the post for six months after his predecessor, Bernhard Esau, was implicated in the Fishrot scandal.

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