To add insult to injury one of our leading lights made a complete gat of himself, and us, abroad.
Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob says Namibia’s mining sector is highly vulnerable to the world commodity price fluctuations because its minerals are mostly exported in raw form.
Geingob was speaking in Berlin, Germany, last Thursday at a conference on ‘Sustainable Raw Materials Industry and Development Policy’. It’s like we haven’t even been here for the last two decades.
I get the feeling we were all just rudely awakened by the alarm and we are now struggling to find it and shut it off with our eyes still closed. We’re not really awake yet. It’s not easy waking from a 22-year slumber.
While we fumble, the source of the noise in our ears and the world outside our window implodes rapidly and violently.
Our slums sprawl aggressively despite all the good work and noble intentions of the City of Windhoek to arrest that unwanted growth. These slums are filled to the brim with unemployed, unemployable, illiterate and unskilled malnourished masses. Products of an education system the likes of Geingob championed and imported. The country’s education system underwent more ineffective changes in the last few years than a veteran Tal Street hooker had seen dicks in her career. And the quality of products doesn’t seem to improve.
Instead of telling us over and over what the problem is, Geingob should have said; we have failed, we are ashamed and we are not worthy.
Despondency is a squatter that smothers all life out of you slowly but surely. She’s taken residence in my lungs and every time one of our so-called leaders open their mouths that bitch jumps out, farts in my face, rolls around on the floor, pointing and laughing at me.
Geingob told the gathering of more than 200 people, “An economy that is focused almost exclusively on the extraction of resources with only limited manufacturing and value addition is highly vulnerable to the vitality of world commodity prices and market vagaries.” For real? He should have told them how much Knowledge we’ve gained and how many millions ‘legitimate’ Namibian businessmen make from exclusive prospecting licences. Empowerment mos!
Geingob said exporting Namibia’s minerals in a raw form is problematic, because it does not promote economic growth, create jobs, diversify the economy or promote local value addition. You don’t say! This is a man who helped write our Constitution, was Prime Minister and is now tasked with attracting investments and making business flourish while eyeing the job in the big house. Why do we still not have a processing plan for each mineral mined in Namibia? Why is it that we have more stories about mine layoffs, skelmstreke and strikes than stories of how mines are adding more value to their raw materials and creating more jobs?
We must be the only country that imports milk, facecloths, and even handkerchiefs.
Benefits that can be enjoyed by countries such as Namibia, which host international mining companies, are technology and skills transfer, direct participation in investment projects and local procurement. But in most instances this does not happen. How is the emphasis still on ‘can be’?
And how do we change this rudderlessness of our servants who think they are our bosses? After all, we only have one good vote every five years.
We don’t need huge discoveries, we only need to do the basics Hageb, isn’t it? When someone told you your job was to charm and amuse people they were wrong. Your job is to do things. Now get on with it!
If you still don’t know how, send me an email. I’ll give you and your colleagues the name of brilliant financial advisers. You’d need them to spend that pension wisely.