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Below is the full speech of Secretary General Cmd. Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, at the launch of the SWAPO Party Think Tank

Cde Dr. Abraham Iyambo, Minister of Fisheries and Chairperson of the SWAPO Party Think-Tank,
Comrades Members of the SWAPO Party Think-Tank,

Allow me at this historical juncture to welcome you all to the SWAPO Party National Headquarters for the Inaugural Meeting of the SWAPO Party “Think-Tank”. This meeting, dear comrades is convened at a time when western nations are experiencing debt and soaring unemployment that might negatively affect developing countries in their attempts to quell unemployment, increase economic growth and development. In the past few weeks we have seen hundreds of billions of US dollars written off as many of the financial instruments in the United States, and now elsewhere, have collapsed. Overstretched bad loans and reckless lending have been exposed due to the collapse of the United States housing market. Indeed, this is likened to the Great Depression. The only difference is that at the time of the Great Depression there were few effective government-owned central banks and there was little global economic co-ordination. Already, the financial tsunami waves are predicted in some African countries, hence a need for us as a nation to be prepared to withstand the resultant effects.

It is imperative to note though that this might not only affect the banking sector but the overall key economic sectors such as mining and agriculture. In some cases coal prices might increase, whereas our export capacity especially in the prime sectors such as beef and fishing might struggle to withstand the heat. It is instructive therefore that I forward my gratitude to the Governor of the Bank of Namibia and his vigilant team, and to all Commercial Banks, in this global economic meltdown, for trying their level best to continue to drive the ship with discipline and calm. I am confident that we shall overcome these, despite all odds against us, as shown by our European counterparts.

It is in this context of harsh global economic environment and its resultant impact on smaller countries like Namibia, more especially on the performance of our economy that I am deeply privileged and humbled to convene the trailblazing “Think-Tank” of the SWAPO Party.

Comrades, in our efforts to implement the Political Programme and Election Manifesto of the Party, we should be critical and analytical, as to how our programmes, projects, and policies are strengthened to complement the planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and coordination of the central, local and regional government’s national development planning. Therefore, the “Think-Tank” must provide a new contemporary content, context and historic tasks to the latter task. Thorough study and comprehensive implementation of all programmes and national projects are an important manifestation of the Party’s advanced nature in this historical epoch. This then means that we need to strengthen the Party ideologically, organizationally and institutionally and improve its work style in order to fodder feed the greater SWAPO Party’s working sessions such as the Central Committee, Political Bureau, and the Secretariat. This will further ensure that the Party entrench its theories, principles, work line and accelerate the implementation of policies in line with current development trends regionally, and internationally, and the requirements for Namibia’s political, socio-economic progress and ensure that that they reflect the interests and desires of the masses of our people. Maintaining and developing the advanced nature of the Party should result in improvements in governing the country and in constant development of advanced productive forces, democracy, heritage and culture, the creation of a harmonious society and the satisfaction of the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people.

Dear Comrades, the formation of the SWAPO Party “Think-Tank” has been necessitated by a need to seek voluntary service (gratis) from the Party’s professional cadres to identify policy areas and programmes that emanates from Congress, Central Committee and Political Bureau, with a view to conduct analytical research and swiftly prepare advisory policy documents on socio-economic and political developments in the country. The creation of the Party “Think-Tank” has been endorsed at the last Politburo meeting, which was convened from the 16-17 October 2008.

The “Think-Tank” may be divided into the following sectors, which shall be headed by cadres who should be empowered to establish sub-committees made up of cadres from various strategic sectors such as:
a. Political and Diplomatic spheres
b. Productive and Economic/Financial Sector
c. Infrastructure development
d. Social and
e. Governance, Security, Law and Order spheres

Comrades, the “Think-Tank” shall on a continuous basis evaluate the process and rate of implementation of the 2007, SWAPO Party Congress Resolutions, 2004 SWAPO Party Election Manifesto and Party Political Programme and provide appropriate and alternative advice for remedial measures by the Politburo.

The “Think-Tank” shall also assess the status of the organization and management of all structures nation-wide, namely Sections, Branches, Sections, Districts, and Regional Executive Committees and advice the Party Secretary-General for prompt intervention and correctional measures to be taken.

In addition to the above, the “Think-Tank” will critically and regularly evaluate international developments at the regional, continental and multilateral institutions with the ultimate view to advice the Party leadership on the SWAPO Party Government’s Foreign Policy stand and the advancement of the SWAPO Party Policy of Anti-Imperialist Solidarity and the maintenance of Peace and Security in the World.

Comrades in final analysis, in all our practical actions, we must as members of the “Think-Tank” always be modest, prudent and free from arrogance and rashness in our work. This further requires from us to adhere, at all times to the basic principle of hard work; refrain from hedonistic manners; and be committed to the cause of eradicating our people from the gruelling and demeaning poverty. This then means that we should always avail ourselves for the “Think-Tank” meetings, and identify areas of research and engage ourselves in practical fieldwork. We should try to minimize absenteeism and if need be, request for recusal from the “Think-Tank” rather than leaving your name as a member just for the sake of being associated with the brains trust of our revolutionary movement. Remember, this is an effort to fight back the frontiers of poverty and fast track the identification and implementation of pro-poor, pro-growth policies and there is absolutely no time to waste!

Comrades, it is with these few words that I wish to commend you all for assuming the historical tasks bestowed upon your shoulders by our ancestors to make sure that indeed, the SWAPO Party belongs to all who lives in Namibia, and that it is a Party at work, to better lives of all our people!

I thank you.
Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana
Secretary General: SWAPO Party of Namibia

The members of the SWAPO Think Tank will be uploaded soon


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura