Regierungsmitteilungen

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. HAGE G. GEINGOB, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA, WINDHOEK, 11 APRIL 2018

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(...)

Today, I am in front of you to deliver my penultimate State of the Nation Address, as the third President of the Republic of Namibia. It also marks the mid-term point since the launch of the Harambee Prosperity Plan on 06 April 2016. As enjoined by the Constitution in Article 32(2), the State of the Nation Address accords opportunity to the Head of State to account to the nation on how far we have come as a people. This Address will account on the implementation status of national developmental programmes for the period under review, and inform priorities for the year ahead against the thematic pillars of:

  • Effective Governance and Service Delivery
  • Economic advancement
  • Social progression
  • Infrastructure Development
  • International Relations and Cooperation

In my inaugural SONA delivered on 21 April 2015, I envisioned a strong, united, inclusive and prosperous Namibian House, a place of peace and refuge for all its residents. This narrative is now widely embraced and expressions such as “No Namibian should feel left out”, “pull together in the same direction”, “the spirit of Harambee” and “One Namibia, One Nation”, have all become part of the daily discourse and shared notion of nationhood. (...)

Please click here to continue reading the President's full State of the Nation address

Speech IndependenceDay28th Independence Celebrations, 21 March 2018

The President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Hage Geingob, addressing the audience at the independence celebrations on 21 March 2018 at Tsumeb. (Please click on the photo to watch part of the President's speech as broadcasted by Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC)

President Dr Geingob reminded Namibians that "(o)ur goal was to unite the people of our vast land, irrespective of race, religion, gender or ethnic origin – for a democratic, vibrant and peace-loving nation to prosper." He recalled that "we needed to build a new Namibia. A Namibia in which the chains of the injustices of the past would be broken and the protection of each citizen the reason why a Government is elected became a reality."

Taking stock of the period since assuming office as Head of State, he noted that "after speaking to Namibians in town-hall meetings, (I) rolled-out the Harambee Prosperity Plan as an implementation tool of the 2014 Swapo Party Manifesto. A narrative around nation building and inclusivity, and fast-tracking the National Development Plan is now part of our Governance Architecture".

"We have made tangible gains in infrastructure provision, social protection, economic advancement and effective governance. Recently, our roads were rated the best in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty rates have fallen; more children are in school; and better social services are provided to the majority."

He admitted "that we would have loved to sustain a higher rate of progress and implementation. But we had to contend with independent intervening variables beyond our control. The past four years have been fraught with “headwinds”, brought about by a global economic downturn, characterized by falling commodity prices and exchange rate fluctuations. This “perfect storm” as some have termed it has had a direct impact on our economy and revenue base".

"We have as a result implemented the biggest expenditure cuts since independence."

The President cautioned that in this Year of Reckoning, the nation "should guard against the existence of 'Silo Mentalities' across Government Ministries, Agencies and Offices and the overall lack of cooperation and coordination between officials. We must equally guard against tribalism and racism".

"The Namibia we fought for belongs to all of us, and we will not allow the retrogressive mentalities to return to our land." (...)

H.E. the President explained that the "Government has high hopes to deliver on development and for the prosperity of our people" , and emphasised that "(w)e are aware that if we are to deliver these results, we will need to tackle corruption, crime and poor implementation of policies and programmes. It is disheartening to note that allegations and perceptions of corruption continue to taint our Government. This has led to the public losing faith and confidence in a few Government Ministries and Agencies. We cannot allow corruption to sabotage 28 years of progress. Corruption undermines stability and social cohesion."

The President calls on his fellow Namibians to "(l)et us adopt the fraternal characteristics of sharing and looking out for those in our society who are entrenched in poverty, for as Nobel Prize in economics Prof. Joseph Stiglitz states, “Growth that is not shared, will not be sustainable”.

Read the President's full speech, Accomplishing the Task of Unity and Shared Prosperity by clicking here, please...

President Dr Hage Geingo's statement delivered at the occasion of the OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE CABINET WORKSHOP ON THE NATIONAL EQUITABLE ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT FRAMEWORK (NEEEF), 27 FEBRUARY 2018, WINDHOEK

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(...) Good morning to all of you.

Income and wealth disparities remain a global and local concern. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report of 2017, the growing increase in income and wealth distribution is the trend most likely to determine global developments over the next decade. Furthermore, a report released by Oxfam on the 22nd of January this year, states that 82 percent of the wealth generated in 2017 went to the richest one percent of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world population saw no increase in their wealth.

Namibia is no exception to income disparities and inequalities. In fact, according to the World Bank - in terms of the Gini Coefficient - Namibia is unfortunately one of the countries with the highest levels of income disparities in the world. Yes, since 1990, we have made good progress in reducing poverty, with the overall poverty rate declining from 70 percent in 1993/94 to 18 percent in 2015/16. However, the fall in income disparities as measured by the Gini-Coefficient, has only seen a marginal decline from 0.70 to 0.58 during the same period. This amply demonstrates that while poverty and income disparities are inter-related, the two should not be conflated.

With poverty on the decline, the argument is advanced that there is no need to proceed with reforms aimed at addressing underlying structural inequality. This argument is faulty. A World Bank Report on the Distributional Impact of Fiscal Policy in Namibia, released in 2017 argues correctly that the main reasons for the decline in poverty and the minimal decline in income disparity may be attributed to Government interventions, such as our relatively progressive tax policy and a system of comprehensive social safety nets. In terms of the progressiveness of our tax system, the World Bank report states that the top ten percent income earners accounts for 70 percent of tax collection. The Namibia Statistics Agency reinforces the earlier point I made in its 2009/10 Report on Income and Expenditure. It highlights that about 16 percent of the population directly and indirectly benefited from social grants back then.

Don’t forget an elemental fact: these grants are directly funded by the state from the national budget. In the current Financial Year - that is 2017/18 - an amount of N$6.7 billion was allocated for the administration of various social safety nets.

We are proud that we are able to cater for most of our vulnerable citizens, through social grants. But we cannot build a prosperous nation around that model. We have to address the underlying structural impediments, which make it difficult if not impossible for many Namibians to effectively participate in the economy, and engage in wealth creating opportunities.

Income inequality is aggravated by our unique political history, including the burning land question. It is an unfortunate reality and daily experience - black Namibians continue to bear the biggest brunt from this dark period of our history. It is why we will intensify corrective interventions during the remaining period of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Later this year, we will convene the second Land Conference. The conference will aim to deal with inefficiencies and challenges around land redistribution; restitution and tenure. I shall not dwell on that here.

The NEEEF consultations and the implementation of the strategy constitute a necessary intervention in dealing with structural inequality, of which income disparities and lack of participation of the black majority in the economy remain a glaring legacy of our past. We will not allow the status quo to continue.

Please, click here for a pdf version of the President's sptatement on NEEEF

 

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H.E. Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia opens the 7th Session of the
6th Parliament, Windhoek on 13 February 2017:
I am pleased to be here this afternoon to mark the Opening of the 7th Session of the 6th Parliament under the theme, “Enhancing partnership to strengthen good governance in Namibia.”

As you are aware, the opening of Parliament is a ceremonial event and I will therefore not dwell on a detailed accountability report, which will be comprehensively presented during the State of the Nation Address. I will rather use the opportunity to highlight important aspects of our governance architecture, in line with your theme for the year.

During the official opening of Parliament last year, I briefly introduced the concept of the “trinity”. In the context of Institutions, the “trinity” is reflected in our Executive, Judiciary and Legislature, which operate inter-dependently. I had the honour to open the Legal Year for the Judicidiary on Wednesday last week and the following day I opened the First Executive meeting for the year. Today, it is once again my honour to preside over the opening of the Legislative year.

It is apt that we focus our attention on strengthening good governance, or what I term effective governance. It is of utmost importance that members of this august House pay particular attention to the agenda for the year and ensure that the Bills tabled are thoroughly debated and passed timeously.

During the National Elections just over three years ago, the People of Namibia exercised their democratic right to elect me as the President of the Republic of Namibia and yourselves, as Members of Parliament. We were elected to govern on behalf of the People who, through the voting process, delegated their sovereign power to us. I therefore repeat this important phrase – That we are first and foremost accountable to the People – to serve their interest and not our personal interests.

Our ability to govern effectively will face scrutiny this year and that is why I have declared the year 2018 the Year of Reckoning. We have the responsibility to demonstrate that we are committed to administer the Organs of State - for the People and by the People. Our ability to meet these expectations will face the ultimate judgment in 2019, when the People will either extend our mandate to govern on their behalf, or rescind that mandate by voting us out of office.

Serious work therefore awaits all of us this year, as the Nation will be watching. I am informed that a total of twenty (20) bills are likely to be tabled in Parliament during this year. I have learnt with disappointment that only nineteen (19) Bills were passed, out of the forty (40) Bills tabled during the last session. I look forward to quality debate around these Bills, such as the Education Bill; Plant Breeders and Farmers’ Rights Bill; Financial Institution and Market Bill and Prevention and Combating of Torture Bill, to name but a few.

I expect that this august House, in its deliberations, will keep in mind the Executive theme for the year, that of Reckoning, which includes due recognition for delivery and consequences for non-delivery.

Please click here to open the full speech in a pdf format....

Please click here to open the pdf format of the President's Statement on the occasion of the Opening of the Legal Year 2018...

Namibia congratulates Gawanas, Ashipala-Musavyi on UN appointments

The Southern Times, Jan 17, 2018, by Ellen Shihepo

DPM

Please click here to read the official Press Statement by Hon. Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on the appointment of Advocate Bience Gawanas and Ambassador Ashipala-Musavyi

Windhoek – The Namibian Ministry of International Relations on Tuesday congratulated Advocate Bience Gawanas on her appointment as new UN Special Advisor for Africa by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

In her new position as Special Advisor on Africa, Adv Gawanas follows in the footsteps of African luminaries such as the illustrious and distinguished diplomats and scholars that includes Professor Ibrahim Gambari of Nigeria; Ambassador Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, former Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Botswana to the UN who served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Namibia during the implementation of Resolution 435 in 1989.

Bience GawanasAdv Gawanas (picture left side) becomes the first woman to be appointed to that exalted position taking, over from Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt. The ministry further congratulated its permanent secretary, Ambassador Selma Ashipala-Musavyi (below right side), on her appointment as a member of the United Nations Secretary-General Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. Amb Selma Ashipala Masavyi

“Since assuming office as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, I made it my priority to advance the case for Namibian citizens to join international organisations, including the UN, AU and the Commonwealth Secretariat,” said Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah in a statement. “I am proud that our collective lobbying efforts at the ministry, with the support of friends, have paid off handsomely with the appointment of Adv Gawanas and Ambassador Ashipala-Musavyi.”

Gawanas was the AU’s first woman Commissioner for Social Affairs for eight years. Ashipala-Musavyi was Namibia’s first resident Permanent Representative for the UN office in Vienna, Austria.

Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is Namibia’s deputy prime minister, also commended the UN, saying that “the government of Namibia expresses appreciation to UN Secretary General Guterres for selecting Adv Gawanas and Amb Ashipala-Musavyi from amongst equally qualified candidates.”

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