Namibia is gripped with a frenzy of happiness. Rightly so, because achieving a silver jubilee of independence peace and stability can only be a dream for other countries that have been ravaged by wars and insurgents.
There are some countries on the continent that have never felt the sweet taste of power transition and do not know what it means to have leaders passing the baton of power.
The inauguration that took place over the weekend surprised many worldwide because of its attendance. Judging from the level of attendance from former heads of state and current heads of states, one should see that Namibia is a maturing democracy.
The whole world was very well represented with heads of states from as far afield as Cuba, attending the inauguration of President, Hage Geingob.
A glimpse at the dignitaries showed an overwhelmingly subscribed inauguration by most of the leaders in the continent, something that Namibians should be proud of. Some of the Heads of State who attended the inauguration and swearing-in ceremony of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister included Zimbabwean President and African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson, Robert Mugabe, Botswana President, Khama Ian Khama. South African Vice President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Equatorial Guinea, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Zambian President, Edgar Lungu, Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Zambian President and liberation icon Kenneth Kaunda to mention but a few.
All those in attendance would concur that Namibia has taken a lead in developing its democratic structures that are acceptable to everyone. While Namibia is like any other state in the SADC region that is administered by a revolutionary party, the type of power transition that the country has been able to institute for the past 25 years is second to none.
There has never been a time in Namibia when personal interest has overshadowed national interest.
It was proud moment to witness the outgoing President, Hifikepunye Pohamba, handing over the symbols of power to the current President Dr He Geingob with ease and happiness. Pohamba expressed confidence in front of many heads of state that Namibia is in good hands and is well-poised to prosper under the leadership of Geingob.
For such a transition, the country’s leadership deserves a pat on the back. While others would want to look further for the model type of transition and democracy, the reality is that Namibia has set a benchmark that many can emulate on this continent. The very few countries that have managed to have such smooth transitions are old nations like Ghana. It thus goes to show that among its age-mates, Namibia is doing pretty well to stand these challenges.
There is an African adage that says ‘it takes a Village to raise a child’. With reference to this and the fact that our country can, with ease, produce leader after leader, this is testimony to our understanding of the fact that the growth of a country, like a child, cannot be left in the hand of a single individual. Let us continue to work together in building the prosperity of our nation.