Change Should Be The Key

Change Should Be The Key

THE eve of the 14th anniversary of Namibian Independence is a good time to take stock of where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

There have been achievements, but there have also been disappointments and even outright failures. With elections on the cards later this year, the prospect of a change in the Presidency could herald a slightly different approach to the management of our country; but depending on the new incumbent, of course, it could also mean that the status quo remains because Swapo will unquestionably remain the ruling party.Under President Sam Nujoma, the country’s stability has been secure.Apart from a failed insurrection in the north-east of the country, Namibians have been at peace with themselves and our neighbours.Peace is, of course, a relative term.Namibia has not been at war in the traditional sense of the word, but there are battles that are being fought and that must still be won.* Since Independence, no major gains have been made in solving our unemployment problem, probably the most burning issue of all.Government has made promises of thousands of jobs, but these have not been realised.Even if land reform takes place at an accelerated pace, this is unlikely to diminish or replace the need for a higher rate of employment.* The HIV-AIDS pandemic continues to take its toll and, despite huge amounts of money being poured into this sector, the battle is far from being won and the cost in human lives is escalating.* More children are attending school in Namibia, which is obviously a positive development, but the quality of education at primary, secondary and tertiary level still leaves a lot to be desired.* Violent crime, especially rape, is on the increase and is making serious inroads into the fabric of our society, destroying the lives of women and young children on a daily basis.Against this background, it is worrying that despite calls by MPs for life imprisonment for perpetrators, law enforcement has not been bolstered sufficiently to tackle this evil.* Corruption is also a problem that is not being dealt with decisively enough to stem the increase in graft and mismanagement.Apart from its negative effect on the economy, it is also sending out the wrong signals to the emergent work sector to join the pursuit for ‘easy money’.* Another problem that permeates all areas of Namibian life is an attitudinal one.A democracy can have all the right things in place – which we do to a large extent – but it takes a very determined nation to put shoulder to the wheel to promote economic success and wellbeing.It is all very well to carry on ad infinitum about the struggle and the victories won, but we are fooling ourselves, and successive generations, if we do not realise that it is incumbent upon us in the here and now to be sustainable as a country and a people.Despite a new future, Namibians still tend to live in the past.They blame most of today’s ills on apartheid and fail to look at themselves critically and yes, their leadership too, to identify the impetus for the way forward.Dealing with this mindset, and changing it for the better, will go a long way towards ridding Namibia of many of the problems plaguing us, some of which we have listed above.A nation intent on working hard and making a success of things, as well as improving themselves in the process, can only make Namibia a better place.We would encourage Namibians to re-commit and rededicate themselves to working towards a more prosperous future for all.With elections on the cards later this year, the prospect of a change in the Presidency could herald a slightly different approach to the management of our country; but depending on the new incumbent, of course, it could also mean that the status quo remains because Swapo will unquestionably remain the ruling party.Under President Sam Nujoma, the country’s stability has been secure.Apart from a failed insurrection in the north-east of the country, Namibians have been at peace with themselves and our neighbours.Peace is, of course, a relative term.Namibia has not been at war in the traditional sense of the word, but there are battles that are being fought and that must still be won.* Since Independence, no major gains have been made in solving our unemployment problem, probably the most burning issue of all.Government has made promises of thousands of jobs, but these have not been realised.Even if land reform takes place at an accelerated pace, this is unlikely to diminish or replace the need for a higher rate of employment.* The HIV-AIDS pandemic continues to take its toll and, despite huge amounts of money being poured into this sector, the battle is far from being won and the cost in human lives is escalating.* More children are attending school in Namibia, which is obviously a positive development, but the quality of education at primary, secondary and tertiary level still leaves a lot to be desired.* Violent crime, especially rape, is on the increase and is making serious inroads into the fabric of our society, destroying the lives of women and young children on a daily basis.Against this background, it is worrying that despite calls by MPs for life imprisonment for perpetrators, law enforcement has not been bolstered sufficiently to tackle this evil.* Corruption is also a problem that is not being dealt with decisively enough to stem the increase in graft and mismanagement.Apart from its negative effect on the economy, it is also sending out the wrong signals to the emergent work sector to join the pursuit for ‘easy money’.* Another problem that permeates all areas of Namibian life is an attitudinal one.A democracy can have all the right things in place – which we do to a large extent – but it takes a very determined nation to put shoulder to the wheel to promote economic success and wellbeing.It is all very well to carry on ad infinitum about the struggle and the victories won, but we are fooling ourselves, and successive generations, if we do not realise that it is incumbent upon us in the here and now to be sustainable as a country and a people.Despite a new future, Namibians still tend to live in the past.They blame most of today’s ills on apartheid and fail to look at themselves critically and yes, their leadership too, to identify the impetus for the way forward.Dealing with this mindset, and changing it for the better, will go a long way towards ridding Namibia of many of the problems plaguing us, some of which we have listed above.A nation intent on working hard and making a success of things, as well as improving themselves in the process, can only make Namibia a better place.We would encourage Namibians to re-commit and rededicate themselves to working towards a more prosperous future for all.

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