Inequality disrupts sound governance: Geingob

11 May 2016 22:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 MAY (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob says social deficits still exist despite the progress Namibia has made over the years.
Such deficits include high unemployment, poor income distribution, limited access to land and urban hunger and poverty, which represent a looming threat to the peace, stability and democratic fundamentals, he said while opening a three-day Leadership Seminar in the capital.
The seminar is hosted by visiting Economics and Academic Professor Joseph Stiglitz and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes.
Geingob said inequality is a potential disrupt of sound governance.
“Namibia wishes to rid itself of this ailment before it becomes fatal and thus we have declared an all-out war against poverty and concomitant inequalities.”
He said the country's focal point in this war against poverty will be to address inequality, poverty and hunger that will involve exploring a range of choices of how to go about tackling these issues.
Geingob explained that reducing inequality is no mean feat, and Namibia will set a benchmark for the world to follow on closing the gap of inequality.
“In the Land of the Brave [Namibia], we are not afraid of what could go wrong. We are positive about what could go right, and if we approach this challenge with a collective and united mindset, there is no doubt we will attain the unattainable.”
The president noted that another challenge is the unfair classification of Namibia as an upper middle-income country by the World Bank, which he stressed divides the gross domestic product (GDP) by population without taking into account distribution of income.
Geingob added that although many outsiders would believe Namibia is doing well in terms of income, the fact is due to historical imbalances, a large number of black Namibians remain on the margin of the economy.
“We are faced with a situation in which Namibia as country is rich, but Namibians as people are poor. The challenge now is how to redress the imbalances of the past. We have already made inroads into this challenge, but more needs to be done.”