Not sure how to dissect President Hage Geingob’s third State of the Nation Address. The Patriot lists the most vital points the President touched on.
Geingob said at the first year of implementation of any new programme inevitably has teething problems.
“The valuable lessons learnt have been incorporated into our approaches and processes.
After all, Government is and must remain adaptable to change and responsive to new ideas. In order to reap the full potential of our country, each of us needs to sow with hard work.
There is a need for all of us to rededicate ourselves to more responsive implementation. It is for this reason that I have declared the year 2017 as the Year of Rededication,” he said.
Corruption: “We continue to tackle cases of perceived and alleged corruption, head on. Concrete actions taken to demonstrate the resolve of Government to fight corruption include: Cancellation of N$7 billion airport tender, oil storage facility probe and investigations into money laundering and tax evasion.”
Service delivery: “Introduction of e-Services in critical sectors, such as e-Birth notifications at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. The business registration process is partly digitised, while applications for funding from the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund can now be completed online.”
Rating agencies: “We have contained Government debt, with a good domestic versus foreign debt mix and we continue to enjoy investment grade ratings by Fitch and Moody. We have worked very hard over the past 18 months to avoid being downgraded, despite the fact that some variables that impact grading decisions of rating agencies, are outside of our control.”
Bloated civil service: “Let us also be reminded that there is historical context to the current size of the civil service. One such contributing factor was the reconciliatory approach that Government adopted at independence.”
Job creation: “The high unemployment rate, especially among the youth, which is estimated at 39.2 percent, is a source of concern. It is not that our economy does not have the ability to create jobs, it is the rate of job creation that is problematic.”
Youth unemployment: “Youth unemployment has the potential to undermine the peace and stability in our country. We must summon the urgency and energy to implement transformational solutions.”
Private sector: “We recognise the need for a stronger private sector. We made concerted efforts to engage private sector stakeholders and through these engagements we are mindful what government can do better to ensure a competitive enabling environment needed for job creation.”
NEEEF: “while NEEEF maybe imperfect, most commentators are avoiding the inequality question wherein NEEEF is located. Despite the self-regulation approach adopted in some key economic sectors, such as the mining, financial services and tourism, we have not seen significant transformation in the last 27 years of Namibia’s independence.”
Food production: “Namibians should be able to produce food throughout the year and not only during the rainy season. Some countries that are drier than ours export food, through the use of controlled farming.”
Land: “The land question should therefore not be confined to redistribution, but also take into account the need to increase agricultural productivity. As such, the underlying concerns regarding under-utilisation of agricultural land must be addressed. As we approach the second land conference, the question of how to unleash the full potential of land, should be central to the discussion.”
Sport: “This year, we will also pay more attention to the importance of sport in creating opportunities for young people.”
International front: “We welcome the admission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the African Union. We expect the Kingdom to fully abide by the provisions of the AU Constitutive Act, in particular with regard to the principle of self-determination and not to use their influence to oust Western Sahara from the African Union.”