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What will Namibia look like in 2030?

By Josephat Inambao Sinvula
Yes, it is true that humanity shares one planet. This planet, however, has two worlds, the world of the rich and the world of the poor. The UNDP postulates that three quarters of the world's people live in developing countries, such as Namibia, but they enjoy only 16% of the world's income whereas the richest 20% have 85% of global income.

Conversely, according to the UNDP, Namibia has the highest levels of inequality in the world. Alas, 24 years after independence, the country is still highly fragmented and masquerading as a melting pot but let truth be told that whereas the upper and middle class are on top and middle of the pot, the majority of the under- class are being burnt at the bottom of the pot! My hypothesis is that Namibia has no other choice but must emerge as a newly industrialized country by the year 2013 but only if and where we incorporate the following four developmental objectives, namely:

- To ensure the availability and widen the distribution of basic life sustaining of goods, such as food, shelter, health and protection;

- To raise the levels of living, including, in addition to higher incomes, the provision of more jobs, better education and nation-states but also to the forces of ignorance and human misery; and greater attention to cultural and humanistic values, all of which will serve not only to enhance material well-being but also to generate greater individual and national self-esteem;

- To expand the range of economic and social choices available to individuals and Namibia by freeing itself from servitude and dependence not only in relation to other people and nation-states but also to the forces of ignorance and human misery; and,

- To focus on where Namibia will be with the successful implementation of Vision 2030 by the year 2030 by briefly delving into the issues of peace and security, decentralization and good governance, economic growth, health promotion, poverty alleviation, education and training, information and communication, technology and unemployment. The term "development" is used here to refer to life-sustenance, ability to meet basic human needs; self-esteem, meeting basic and other needs with a sense of dignity and freedom from servitude which involves emancipation from all forms of oppression and empowerment.

According to the 2011 Census, Namibia has a population of 2.1 million and hence makes up a little over 3% of Africa's land area and a little over 0,2% of Africa's population. It has one of the lowest population densities in Africa. The bulk of Namibia's land surface is too dry for human settlement, but on average, it has about 2 people per square kilometer and the majority of its population lives in the North and North-East of the country in Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto, Kavango and Zambezi Regions. Mamibia is one of the richest countries in the world. It has an abundance of mineral resources, such as diamond, copper, uranium and all types of fish along its coastal line. This is one of the reasons why Namibia became one of the last colonies in Africa. It obtained its independence on 21 March 1990 after a protracted armed struggle between SWAPO- Party Movement and the Apartheid colonial system of South Africa.

After independence, Namibia's economy was characterized by a "significant financial", huge social and environmental debt that caused great impact to the development of the country. The financial debt was written off by the South African- ANC led government after "comradely negotiations" with the SWAPO-Party led government in 1994.

Since independence, Namibia has taken major steps towards developmental objectives that meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of the incoming generations, to have a bright future. To meet its goal, the Namibian government has adopted planning systems as its management tool, the 5 year National Development Plans that started with NDP1 as its 5- Year Development Strategic Plan. These Medium Term Plans will go as far as NDP 7. These short=term development plans cover Namibia's Vision 2030, the Blue=Print Policy Framework Strategy that aims to ensure that by the year 2030, Namibia will be a prosperous and industrialized country with a developed human capital. To achieve this, an enabling environment of good governance is already in place, to facilitate the Namibian people to use the resources for sustainable development to improve the quality of life of our people so as to enjoy prosperity, harmony, peace and political stability and tranquility in our country by the year 2030.

Namibia Vision 2030 thus presents a clear view of where we are, where we want to go from here and over what time framework. It is a vision that will take Namibia from the present into the future, a vision that will guide us to make deliberate efforts to improve the quality of life of our people. It is designed as a broad unifying vision, which would solve to guide the country's five-year development plans from NDP 4 through NDP7 and at the same time provide direction to government ministries, the private sector, NGOs, civil society, regional and local government authorities towards a prosperous society.

In order to realize this dream, Namibia Vision 2030's major objectives, broad strategies and milestones are based on shortterm and long-term prospective plans and milestones that are necessary targets to monitor progress for the achievement of desired objectives. Peace and Security Peace, tranquility and security is of great importance for the development of any country to take place. Peace in itself is thus essential for social and economic growth in any country. Since independence, Namibia has committed itself to defend its hard-won peace, freedom and democracy at home, making it possible until now to prevent any serious threat to peace and security in Namibia.

During the late 1990s, the country dealt accordingly with some cross border hostilities caused by UNITA rebels and armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that culminated in a peaceful settlement between Angola and DRC's armed conflict in 2002, the Kasikili Island dispute with Botswana and Namibia, Caprivi Secession and Walvis integration into Namibia. By so doing Namibia created an enabling environment that is conducive for the development process of the country.

At international level, Namibia has positioned itself very well by participating in many international UN Missions in the DRC, Liberia, Sierra Leone to mention a few in order to strengthen its democratic governance, peace, political and civil stability, the rule of law and low level in the management of corruption. Now Namibia is a member of SADC States, African Union, United Nations, European Union, Comesa, Ecowas and East African Community for the realization of its Vision in International Relations that calls for "a new international economic order based on sovereign equality of nations, where sustainable development, peace and human progress is guaranteed. Indeed, such an enabling regional and international environment makes Namibia to have a high international profile to continue receiving donor support for the development of the country focusing on important sectors of social and economic development.

Since independence, Namibia has thus been involved in a number of peace keeping efforts to curb organized crime, money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms smuggling and natural resources crime syndicates. Now the government is focusing on maintaining peace and security, strengthen its capacity to have a strong and effective intelligence information system and enough infrastructure for the entire Namibian Defence Force to achieve a "collected regional and international peace and security" by the year 2030.

To be continued


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