21 Mar 2016 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 21 MAR (NAMPA) President Hage Geingob has called on all Namibians to dream big and work tirelessly to implement Namibias lofty poverty eradication ambitions and aspirations.
Pulling in the same direction is critical in making headway to this goal and resisting centrifugal forces that seek to pull us apart, said the Namibian Head of State during his address to a packed Independence Stadium in the capital.
Thousands of Namibians gathered there on Monday to celebrate 26 years of the country's independence.
Namibia was liberated from the yoke of colonialism on 21 March 1990, after a 24-year liberation struggle.
Monday marks Geingob's first year as the third President of Namibia, and he said that while some think Governments priorities are wrong, he will embrace the opportunity to reply.
There are some, and they are a small minority, who would like to suggest that no progress was made since independence and that Government spending priorities are misplaced, he said, adding that his State of the Nation Address in two weeks time will dedicate adequate time to provide rebuttal to this wrongly placed notion.
Geingob highlighted some facts proving that pre-independence Namibia and post-independence Namibia are miles apart.
He said Namibia's economy has continued to grow at an average of five per cent in recent years, despite the global commodities downturn, which has severely affected resource-based countries, such as Namibia, that relies heavily on mining as a source of income.
The country's macro-economic architecture is sound and characterised by decades of growth and stability, he said.
It is pertinent that we focus our attention on the gaps within our socio-economic architecture and the disparity in income inequality.
Geingob said it is noteworthy that in 1990, the country country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at a mere N.dollars 5.5 billion and the per capita GDP was only N.dollars 2 425.
At present, Geingob stressed, the country's GDP has increased to N.dollars 166 billion; an increase of 30-fold.
At the same time, he noted, per capita GDP had increased to N.dollars 63 000 by 2014.
He further indicated that in 1990, the manufacturing sector was worth only N.dollars 290 million, which has increased to N.dollars 15 billion.
That is not all, the total budget tabled in 1990 was N.dollars 2 billion and the capital or development budget only N.dollars 254 million.
In this current fiscal year, he boasted that the capital budget alone is worth N.dollars 9 billion, of which N.dollars 1.2 billion will be spent on students funding through the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund.
The education and health sectors continue to receive the bulk of State resources. This clearly demonstrates our commitment and prioritisation of developing a Namibia where all Namibians may prosper.
The celebration of Namibias 26th Independence Anniversary was attended by various prominent figures and foreign dignitaries, including Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who was the guest of honour.