Historically advantaged Namibians should share their gains: Geingob

31 Jul 2019 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 31 JUL (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has called on people who historically benefited from Namibia’s economic wealth to be willing to share their gains to redress the skewed nature of the economy.
Opening the two-day 2019 Namibia Economic Growth Summit under the theme ‘Economic Revival for Inclusive Growth: Strengthening the Namibian House’ here on Wednesday, the Head of State said Namibia has one of the most unequal societies in the world due to historical structural exclusion.
He said while some previously disadvantaged Namibians have benefited from empowerment opportunities, the government acknowledges that it has not yet yielded the desired level of broad-based transformation.
“In order to equitably redress structural inequalities, empowerment opportunities must benefit a wider population. I have repeatedly stated that when we speak of poverty eradication and shared prosperity, we are not connoting that every citizen will live in opulence and excess,” he said.
Geingob added that the government’s aim is to ensure that it creates a society in which every citizen has an equal opportunity to receive the basic requirements for dignified life and to pursue their talents with equal opportunity.
“As we forge ahead towards a new economic identity that is reflective of a more equitable post-independence Namibia, I should make it categorically clear that it is not our intent to take away from those who have, but rather to grow the Namibian economy so that more Namibians can own and manage productive economic assets,” he said.
The president said Namibia’s governance approach is built upon consultation and partnership, where people are treated as equal in ongoing efforts to deepen trust.
Geingob stated that despite Namibia’s achievements in governance, deficits persist in the country’s socio-economic architecture.
“The status quo cannot continue and these structural imbalances will be redressed,” he said.
Geingob explained that it was against the background of the prevailing economic climate that he appointed the high-level panel on the economy in March 2019 to look at alternative solutions aimed at redressing unemployment, income and wealth inequalities and poverty.
“I underscore the historic significance of this event, as this is no ordinary economic summit, but rather an undertaking to determine the economic destiny of our country,” he said.
About 600 international and local potential investors, to whom a portfolio of local investment projects in several sectors will be showcased, were invited to the summit by the panel.
The summit falls under its activities to turn around Namibia’s ailing economy and deliver US.dollars 1 billion (N.dollars 14.8 billion) to the local economy over the next 24 months.