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First meeting of the president's advisory council

08 MARCH 2016

Comrade Sam Nujoma
Comrade Hifikepunye Pohamba

On this international day of women, I would like to welcome you Comrade Nujoma, our father of the Nation, Father of the Namibian Revolution and the first President, and Comrade Pohamba our second President and another icon of our liberation struggle. Welcome in this Cabinet Chamber.

This is a historic day as it is the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council. This is an informal arrangement that I have initiated to exemplify the New Africa. In the New Africa, coup d'états are no more. In the New Africa, our leaders are democratically elected, serve their terms and stay in their countries after their terms of office. In the New Africa, our retired leaders are respected as Fathers of their Nations. That is what we are doing here, by bestowing you in the annals of history as the Fathers of this Republic of Namibia. Respecting our former Presidents has become the norm in Africa, and Namibia is an example par excellence of the New Africa.

It is because of this that we are here today, as first, second and third Presidents in the same room. In Namibia, your legacy continues; the legacy of, Peace, Stability and Prosperity.

During the official opening of Parliament last month I briefly introduced the "trinity" notion in Namibia. In the context of leadership, the "trinity" refers to us, the Namibian Presidents. You two, Comrade Nujoma and Comrade Pohamba, will forever be hailed for having brought peace, reconciliation, security and entrenching stability in our Republic. Now, Yours Truly has been tasked with the daunting assignment of bringing prosperity to Namibia. I vow to leave no stone unturned to ensuring that we all deliver on the Prosperity mandate.

This meeting is further important, because as incumbent President, I am proud to be associated with, you, my predecessors. Like you, I have dedicated my life to the struggle for Namibia's political independence. I am committed to be at the forefront of the second phase of our struggle, which is for Namibia's full economic emancipation. I am humbled to have learnt from the best, or to say it in the words of Apostle Paul from the Holy Bible, to have sat at the feet of Gamaliel. It has prepared me very well for the difficult task of bringing Prosperity to Namibians. I am optimistic about the future, because I stand on the shoulders of the Giants.

Comrade Nujoma
Comrade Pohamba

I am committed to building on your legacy and I am dedicated to delivering on the Prosperity promise. Since my inauguration as Third President, I have been hard at work reigniting the spirit of "one Namibia, one Nation" that the two of you personify.

I was also deeply preoccupied with canvasing a shared Vision of a Namibian House, in which the spirit of Harambee will lead us towards prosperity and economic transformation. I have consulted extensively, through the political structures of the SWAPO Party, Cabinet and the ultimate sovereigns, the people of the Republic of Namibia, via Nation wide town hall meetings. During the last year, my team and I were hard at work developing an action plan for prosperity in Namibia. This plan is called the Harambee Prosperity Plan. I am confident that it will usher in, the Epoch of Prosperity in Namibia.

Today, I would like to present to you the broad parameters of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. I want the plan to benefit from your wise counsel, before it is finalised and released early next month at the State of the Nation Address.

Comrade Nujoma
Comrade Pohamba

To deliver on the prosperity promise, I thought it wise to address income inequality by declaring an all-out war on the scourge of poverty. In order to win the war on poverty and deliver on the prosperity promise, a strong unified Namibian House, wherein all are pulling in the same direction and no one feels left out is of paramount importance.

I would also like to make it clear upfront that the Harambee Prosperity Plan will complement our National Development Plans and Vision 2030. It therefore, recognizes and builds on your successes and achievements. It is designed to have high impact and take us closer to the attainment of Vision 2030.

As I have mentioned, the Plan will be called the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Prosperity was the key election promise of the SWAPO Party during the 2014 National and Presidential Elections. We can only propel towards Prosperity, if we pull together as a united team in the same direction; therefore "Harambee".

When referring to our key promise of prosperity, we are referring to food, clothing, decent shelter, water, infrastructure development and education, to name but a few. We want to ensure that every Namibian has access to the basic necessities of survival.

The Harambee Prosperity Plan will be an acceleration or impact plan aimed at significantly reducing poverty levels, reducing inequalities and uplifting the living standards of all Namibians. It will not, as I noted before, replace NDP4.

Having a targeted, high action plan, alongside existing National Development Plans is not unusual or unique to Namibia. To ensure flexibility and to remain agile, countries around the world have deemed it necessary to, from time to time, have an additional push in the form of a complementary plan.

You may recall that under the leadership of Comrade Pohamba, the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth [TIPEEG], and the Mass Housing Initiative were initiated to accelerate implementation. The details of this plan, Comrade Nujoma and Comrade Pohamba, will be unveiled to you during the closed session of our meeting.

I would like to thank the Right Honourable Prime Minister for availing the Cabinet Chamber, during her deliberative session of Cabinet, for the opening of the first Presidential Advisory Council meeting.

I thank you for your attention.


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Windhoek, Katutura