'Don't despair,' President
By Staff Reporter
Today, the 21st of March is a day with no equal in the history of our nation. It is the day of triumph and the realization of the cherished goals and aspirations of the Namibian people to self-determination, freedom and
the restoration of our fundamental human rights and freedoms.
It is for this reason that the current and future generations of our people will always honour and commemorate this historic day.
Today, we join hands in a
common celebration and recognition
that freedom was
achieved because Namibians
from all corners of the country
spared no effort to pursue the
just struggle for national liberation.
As we celebrate 23 years of
independence and the enjoyment
of fundamental human
rights and freedoms, we pause
to extol and pay homage to the
thousands of our people who
made supreme sacrifices during
the struggle against foreign occupation
of our Motherland and
the tyranny of apartheid oppression.
With greater zeal and dedication,
we continue with the historic
and important task of nation
building, which started on
21st March 1990. We take pride
that Namibia has come a long
way since that historic day, 23
At this juncture, I would like
to recognize the historic role
played by the Founding President
and Father of the nation,
Comrade Sam Nujoma, who
led us during the national liberation
struggle and also as the
first President of our Republic.
At the same time, I recognize
the stalwarts, men and women
of our revolution who resisted
apartheid colonialism. Thousands
of them have sacrificed
their lives and others have been
disabled permanently during
the war of liberation. May I
now request you all to rise and
observe a minute of silence in
honour of our heroes and heroines.
(I thank you).
I am proud to say that
Namibia is forever independent.
As an independent nation, we
have created a stable and democratic
society in this Republic,
where our people have the opportunity
to realize their potential.
We have put in place functioning
public institutions to facilitate
the orderly conduct of
public affairs at central, regional
and local levels.
The delivery of public services
and social amenities has
been expanded to reach more
Namibians, including those in
rural areas. The social and economic
development of our
country continues at a steady
pace. However, we must do
more to lift all our people out of
poverty, to create employment
opportunities and to further strengthen our systems of governance
so that Government can
deliver more effective and efficient
services to all across our
As a Government, we have
identified the national priorities
to accelerate the attainment of
our national development objectives.
These priorities have
been outlined in our National
Development Plans (NDPs).
Several programmes such as
ETSIP, TIPEEG, and others
have been designed to
strengthen the execution of the
NDPs. These policies have been
translated into practical and tangible
outcomes for the benefit
of all our people.
It is my strong conviction that
in order to be meaningful, our
stated policies must be fully carried
through. They must be
taken to their logical conclusion
and bear the desired fruits.
Thus, it is the duty of all institutions
and individuals charged
with the task of implementation
to ensure that this happens, so
that the desired outcomes are
There is no doubt that political
leaders and the civil servants
have a duty to deliver. They
must carry out their mandates
without fail. The nation is entitled
to see results.
Therefore, relevant policy
tools and mechanisms must be
utilized to track and evaluate the
progress being made and the
difficulties being encountered in
the implementation of Government
policies and programmes.
It is particularly important to improve
performance in those sectors
where the rate of success
has not met the nation's expectations.
I wish to further state that the
successful realization of our
goals is not only good for the
development of our country, it
is also the most appropriate way
of ensuring that freedom and
independence become meaningful
to all our citizens.
Building a more prosperous
society implies that all our citizens
should have equitable access
to opportunities and services
such as health care, education,
housing, food and other
It implies that every Namibian
child must have an equal opportunity
to access tertiary education.
Each and every Namibian
child must have the opportunity
to realize his or her dream of becoming
what he or she wants to
become in life. That is the true
meaning of freedom and independence.
In order to realize this goal,
the SWAPO Party Government
has initiated policies and
programmes aimed at addressing
the development challenges
facing our nation. We are currently
seized with the implementation
of the Fourth National
Development Plan (NDP4) as
well as the Resolutions of the 5th
SWAPO Party Congress, which
was held towards the end of
The priority areas outlined in
these documents are therefore,
receiving the priority attention
of our Government.
Already, specific steps are being
taken through the 2013/2014
National Budget, where provision
has been made for tax relief
for individuals and corporations,
increase in social grants for
the elderly, as well as salary increases
for civil servants and
public office bearers. Furthermore,
there are increased allocations
of financial resources to
the critical sectors of education,
health, housing, food production
and other priority areas.
We are also forging ahead
with the expansion and improvement
of our physical and
through the deepening of the
Walvis Bay Port, the building of
the Neckartal Dam, road construction
and other national
Here in Oshana Region, the
Kandjengedi and Oshiko
Bridges in Oshakati and
Ongwediva, respectively are
Two weeks ago, I inaugurated
the Fresh Produce Hubs
at Rundu and Ongwediva, respectively.
The two facilities
are aimed at promoting local
food production and were
funded by our Government at
a cost of more than N$200 million.
In the field of education, I am
proud that the Faculty of Engineering
of the University of
Namibia at Ongwediva, which
opened its doors in 2010, will
hold the graduation ceremony
of its locally trained engineers
in April this year. This is an
important achievement in the
area of capacity building and
human resources development
in our country.
It is imperative that we fully
dedicate our energies, our creativity
and ingenuity to the development
of our country.
Each and every one of us
should make a contribution to
this noble goal. Let us all work
more, and talk less.
From businesspersons to
academicians, from workers to
subsistence farmers, all of us
have a role to play. We should
not let any obstacle stand in our
Our young people must use
their knowledge, creativity and
skills as their contribution to the
development of our country.
Those in school must study
hard and complete their studies.
I call upon all our learners
to make it a personal mission
to succeed in their studies.
I believe that Namibia will
make sustained progress when
we root out corruption, crime
and violence from our society.
Let us all work together with
the Police and the Anti-Corruption
Commission in this regard.
We must all do our part to
combat crime and violence, especially
violence against our
mothers and children.
I encourage all parents and
guardians to instill and reinforce
the values of respect and
discipline in our young people.
Furthermore, I urge our traditional,
spiritual and community
leaders to teach our young
people, especially our young
men, that violence is not the
answer to the challenges and
difficulties that they may face
We, the Namibians must continue
to embrace unity and the
Policy of National Reconciliation
as the foundation for harmony,
peace and stability in our
In this manner, we can create
and sustain an enabling environment,
for our Government
to pursue the national development
agenda in a climate of
peace and stability.
For the sake of progress,
unity and nation building, it is
vital for all our people to always
strive for a common national
identity and inclusiveness in the
spirit of "One Namibia, One
Our nation is facing a serious
challenge of a drought due to
poor rainfall in different parts
of the country. The Emergency
Management Unit and other relevant
Authorities have carried
out an assessment of the possible
impact of the drought on
the expected harvest of various
crops and on the grazing.
The aim is to ensure an effective
and timely response by
Government to provide relief to
affected communities and
households. Our farmers are
also facing increased pressure
due to diminished grazing,
however, Government would
not be in a position to provide
fodder to more that 3 million
livestock. Farmers are therefore
advised to reduce their herds by
selling them to abattoirs.
Namibia continues to treasure
the strong bonds of friendship
and co-operation between
our country and our neighbors
in the Southern African Development
we will always treasure the support
from our friends and peaceloving
people and organizations
from the international community
who stood by us during our
national liberation struggle.
We are committed to doing
our part in order to promote
closer regional co-operation, as
a catalyst for greater continental
integration under the auspices
of the African Union.
In an increasingly competitive
global environment, our
continent must work harder to
improve our performance in the
areas of trade and commerce,
and to address the challenges of
poverty and conflicts affecting
At the same time, we remain
mindful of the unresolved question
of Western Sahara. As we
celebrate our own freedom, our
brothers and sisters in Western
Sahara, continue to be denied
their inalienable right to self-determination
We must urge the international
community to implement the
relevant UN resolutions in order
to bring an end to this historic
In the Middle East, the people
of Palestine must be allowed to
exercise their right to self-determination
and nationhood without
pre-conditions. Similarly, I
call for the lifting of the economic
blockade against Cuba.
Namibia calls for peace in all
parts of the world, where conflicts,
violence and war are being
experienced. We congratulate
the Catholic Community
around the world on the election
of His Holiness, Pope
Francis, The First.
My message to the nation on
this happy occasion of our 23rd
Independence Anniversary is
this: While the task of nation
building is challenging, we
should not despair. We must
summon our collective energy
and determination to forge
ahead. We must stand together
in unity to make Namibia a great
nation among nations.
We must continue to honour
the bravery and sacrifices of our
heroes and heroines.
I thank our people for their
commitment to the maintenance
of peace and stability since
DAY ONE of our freedom and
independence. I thank you for
promoting the Policy of National
Reconciliation and tolerance.
I also commend the men
and women in uniform, who are
responsible for law enforcement,
for working hard to maintain
law and order in our country.
Peace and stability are vital
for building a better future for
our country. Let us all make it
our personal goal in our daily
On this special occasion, I
wish you all a happy, peaceful
and enjoyable 23rd Independence
Long Live the Republic of
I thank you.