We are very pleased to take this opportunity to wish our readership, all our independent expert content contributors and all patriots, a very Happy New Year. On behalf of the Editorial Team, we should like to express our gratitude to our contributing and growing readership.
2018 should come with renewed hope and conviction to exploit this nation’s unlimited growth potential through dedication, hard work and honesty on our journey to economic prosperity.
Challenges such as inequality, corruption, poor service delivery, government bureaucracy need our collective and undivided attention.
The global focus on economic recovery should be the cornerstone in 2018 because the fight against poverty needs a full complement of ammunition.
The 2017 economic crisis is still a raw issue for thousands of Namibians, and continues to serve as fodder for populists and government critics. But, in reality, the situation can improve if all stakeholders play their part.
The President’s 2018 buzzword is “reckoning”.
He did not go into much detail when he said 2018 is the year of reckoning, but it is our hope that the reckoning President Hage Geingob was talking of is one which involves doing things differently and finding new ways to effectively serve the people instead of the traditional methods which has rendered politicians as self-serving individuals in the eyes of the public.
The level of trust the public has in politicians is nothing worth celebrating. But all is not lost at this stage, much can be done to turn things around.
The culture of service rather than expecting to be served should be the moral compass of all public office bearers. Politicians should not be oblivious to the fact that they serve at the pleasure of the voters, so in essence they are slaves and not leaders.
Populist politics must also remain in 2017.
Populism is a phenomenon that is researched widely in the world nowadays.
In his recent book, What is Populism?, Princeton University professor Jan-Werner Muller says that a rejection of pluralism is at populism’s core. Populists declare themselves to be the only legitimate representatives of the masses and divide the nation into two: the masses and the exploiting elite. Populists propose simplistic solutions for complex social and economic problems; they are strong on rhetoric and weak on policy.
We cannot have a democracy run under populist tactics because it shuts the doors on effective debates that can result in converging but divergent views for the greater good of our society.
Education, housing and health
Those in positions of power must start working on smart ways to prevent future chaos that could erupt as a result of the high cost of land and houses. The dilapidated state of our health and education systems remain a growing concern.
When you have 40 000 learners failing grade 10 or 12 per year, and you multiply that over 10 years, it effectively means 400 000 people are on the streets if the figures are collated. This is a recipe for disaster and a threat to national peace and stability.
The education and health systems are the backbones of the country’s social avenue, in their current state there is not much that can be done to ensure a bright future for the country. After all, a healthy nation is a productive nation.
All is not lost for Namibia, despite the current challenges that persist. Without zeal and deliberate action to address societal challenges, little change can be expected.
The world is moving to a stage where each nation caters for its own needs, therefore we need to strategically map our routes on the international trade and diplomatic arena to ensure that we are not one of the pawns, similar to those sacrificed first in a game of chess.