Geingob receives highest honour from Fordham University

23 Sep 2015 11:00am

By Maggy Thomas NEW YORK, 23 SEP -

President Hage Geingob on Tuesday received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, the highest honour of Fordham University in New York.

The honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters is conferred upon individuals who have made distinguishable contributions to humanity. The Namibian Head of State is in New York to attend the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which takes place on Friday.

Geingob received the honour for his lifelong efforts to bring freedom, justice and prosperity to Namibia.

"We, the president and trustee of Fordham University in solemn convocation assembled, and in accord with the chartered authority bestowed on us by regents of the university of the state of New York, declare Geingob Doctor of Humane Letters," Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Eva Badowska said during the event.

Badowska explained that Geingob has been striving for justice in Namibia for more than 50 years, starting while the country was ruled by the South African regime. Today as President of Namibia, she added, he has shown exemplary leadership in the country?s fight to end poverty and ensure sound governance and economic progress.

Badowska noted how Geingob spent decades in public service, bringing modern management techniques to Government as Prime Minister and bringing new support to small and medium sized companies as Minister of Trade and Industry.

Since being sworn in as the third democratically elected president of Namibia this year, Geingob has promoted effective governance, private sector job creation and sustainable economic growth, while also shining new light on the plight of the poor, she indicated.

"After declaring 'all-out war' on poverty in his inaugural address, Geingob followed up with an unprecedented series of community meetings on the problem," she said. He seeks to achieve nothing less than the complete eradication of poverty by involving all sectors of Namibian society, the Dean added.

A visibly moved Geingob said: "I am normally a strong man, I don't get touched easily. But this moment is something unusual. I am moved, I did not expect this," he said. He went on to say the honour he received is not his, but is dedicated to all Namibians who sacrificed their lives during the liberation struggle that brought about democracy in Namibia.

Geingob explained that Namibia is a truly democratic country, adding that first President Sam Nujoma brought about peace and former President Hifikepunye Pohamba brought stability, while he is now tasked with bringing about prosperity.

"People enjoy democracy and a good constitution, but we don't eat those things. People want to eat food, people want decent shelter and employment," he said.

The Head of State said during last year's Presidential Elections, he obtained 87 per cent of the votes through democratic elections. "I got worried and frightened. It is not because I am popular that I got 87 per cent- This is a heavy responsibility placed on my shoulders, bringing about prosperity to our people," he said.

Geingob thanked the university for encouraging him to keep on fighting the war against poverty.