Last week, one of Namibia’s most renowned intellects, Mihe Gaomab II, landed the converted post of the Director of the African Development Bank. The appointment also received Government’s blessing. Having served as the Chairperson of the Namibia Competitions Commission (NaCC) and also being a renowned competition expert, Gaomab II has shown his influence in the Namibian business sector with much prowess. He has also been a strong pillar in mapping the way forward for the Government Institution Pension Fund (GIPF) that he also chairs. Perhaps the fact that he can chair an organisation with assets in excess of N$70b could be the major reason why he was an obvious candidate for the position. It is indeed a great achievement for Namibia to get such recognition although the position comes on a rotational basis. The African Development Bank, a multilateral lending institution that caters for different projects, has also proven that the lack of skills in the country could actually be exaggerated. While it is certain that there is a realistic shortage of some professionals, the appointment of Gaomab to such a big institution is proof enough that Namibians have the talent and skill to do what any other Africans can do. • Tiri Masawi A quick check of the African Development Bank’s staffing shows that the institution attracts the best of the crop in their fields. Gaomab is among the best that are needed to steer the fortunes of the bank going forward. It is also now more important that Gaomab also takes advantage of his appointment to steer the institution in a manner that also stimulates development in the Southern African Development Community. Previously the African Development Bank has been skewed towards funding major projects from the West African and the Northern part of the continent. Perhaps the question that many should ask is if Gaomab II can make such strides professionally, how many more Namibians can attain such appointments? The appointment of Gaomab II also gives a clear indication that while Namibia attracts skills from many other countries in other fields, the world actually has an appetite for Namibians. It also shows that there is nothing that can stop anyone who has ability to grow from growing. More importantly the appointment of Gaomab stands as a motivation to all Namibians who have dreams that they thought could not be achieved.
Namibia is only but one of the smaller countries in the African continent population wise, but the appointment of Gaomab to such an institution with membership of 54 countries also shows that there is nothing small about ability. It also shows that the achievements attained by Gaomab II at home also speak for themselves. Perhaps what also distinguishes Gaomab from many intellects is that he sets the targets and has the ability to achieve them. Last week when The Villager made the call to him to confirm the move he could not really give much away, but that is understandable for a person who has just broken all the shackles and proven that Namibia is not so small after all. There has also been the notion that the country continue to tap into expatriate skills to sustain a deficit that exists, but perhaps the rise of such intellects like Gaomab shows that if enough resources are channelled to skills development it will not take long before Namibia achieves the levels that are met by many other countries. Gaomab has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that there is very little that distinguishes most African countries in terms of skill and ability as long as the opportunities to further studies and practice what is studied is availed.
Facts about AFDB The African Development Bank is the Group’s parent organization. The Agreement establishing the African Development Bank was adopted and opened for signature at the Khartoum, Sudan, conference on August 4, 1963. This agreement entered into force on September 10, 1964. The Bank began effective operations on July 1, 1966. Its major role is to contribute to the economic and social progress of its regional member countries - individually and collectively. As of 31 December 2011, the African Development Bank’s authorized capital is subscribed to by 78 member countries made up of 53 independent African countries (regional members) and 25 non-African countries (nonregional members). The institution’s resources come from ordinary and special resources. Ordinary resources comprise: the subscribed shares of the authorized capital, a portion of which is subject to call in order to guarantee ADB borrowing obligations; funds received in repayment of ADB loans; funds raised through ADB borrowings on international capital markets; income derived from ADB loans; and Other income received by the Bank, e.g. income from other investments.