Budget review: new taxes and cuts loom large

New Era, October 28, 2016, by Desie Heita

CalleClick here to read the Minister's full speech

Namibia has officially entered a period of belt-tightening – this time tighter than previously – while re-allocating funds and freezing a whole lot to restore stability and confidence in the economy.

The country’s projected earnings are weak, because Namibia would not be able to export and sell as many of its products as it did last year. And although the situation is not quite frightening as yet, it does require that Namibia review how the country spends what is in the kitty.

That means cutting expenditure and re-allocating funds to assist those whose purses would otherwise be hard-hit by slow and low economic growth.

Hence, the austere fiscal policy statement that Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein tabled in parliament yesterday cuts the operational budget by N$1,82 billion.

The cuts amount to N$634 million on personnel expenditure; N$528 million on travel allowances, material suppliers and transport; N$379,6 million on subsidies and current transfers, as well as N$278 million on the acquisition of capital assets.

The development budget was cut by N$2,7 billion, which weighs on future construction of office blocks and extensions.


CNBCNamibian President Hage Geingob talks about the economy and investment

Please click on the photo to watch the video.


Columbia World Leaders Forum - Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia

Uploaded on Sep 26, 2016

This World Leaders Forum program features an address by His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, titled, Transparency and Governance Reforms in Africa, Development Reforms and Constitutional Democracy, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

Please, click here or on the photo to watch the video.

Pres Dr Geingob Columbia University

693940H.E. Mr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, speaks before the General Assembly, 21 September 2016

Statement Summary:

HAGE G. GEINGOB, President of Namibia, said the world’s people had implored the United Nations to increase its efforts in more spheres of activity, locations and challenging circumstances than in the Organization’s history. Implementation of the new 2030 Agenda would require coherence and complementarity among global, continental, regional, national, local and other platforms. In addition, the success of the Sustainable Development Goals would require efforts to integrate economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship. “We need to talk now about inclusive growth that would translate to decent jobs for our citizens,” he said, urging a shift away from the current growth models.

To make a dent on poverty, Namibia had to grow at a higher level, he said, stressing his country’s commitment to responsibly managing the economy. There was no risk it would not honour its near- and medium-term debt obligations. The private sector had a crucial role to play in stimulating growth. On the social justice front, he expressed concern about the current refugee crisis, which required immediate and collective action. Notably, factors that forced people to flee needed to be addressed, rather than just addressing the symptoms of the problem.

Today, Namibia had ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said, stressing that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sendai Declaration on Disaster Risk Reduction were the central frameworks for cooperative action in that regard. Among the world’s driest countries, Namibia had taken mitigation and adaptation measures to staunch losses due to climate change, including through the development of solar, wind and hydroelectricity. He emphasized his support for the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in that regard, adding that Namibia also had offered to host the African regional hub of the Green Climate Fund.

Turning to the United Nations, he said the Security Council was too important an organ to be left to the interests of a few and he called for its reform to make it more democratic and transparent. Namibia was committed to the African common position from a belief that the Council should reflect the United Nations’ diversity. “Fairness and justice warrant that Africa be part of the equation,” he said, also calling for implementation of all relevant resolutions on Palestine and urging support for Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination. Recalling Morocco’s support in helping Namibia achieve independence, he urged implementation of all resolutions calling for a referendum on Western Sahara so that people there could freely express themselves.

Please click here for the full speech as pdf...

Click here to watch the video of President Geingob's speech....

Inside the House Namibia Built: Open Windows and a breath of fresh air

Greg Mills interviews President Dr Hage Geingob  Africa 12 Sep 2016 02:59 (South Africa)

849x493q70Mills Geingob Interview MAIN PHOTOJust a quarter-century ago, Namibia was only, and frequently, in the news for conflict and a failure to compromise. But the Namibia of today holds lessons for South Africa. By GREG MILLS.

The names of Windhoek’s streets are evidence of Namibia’s difficult past – but also its pragmatism.

Where Fidel Castro Street intersects with Independence (formerly Kaiser Street) Avenue, there are signs to Christus Kirche, Reiterdenkmal and Alte Feste. Kenneth David Kaunda, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and Nelson Mandela are among those honoured with street names from Africa’s liberation history, and today they crisscross a pantheon of local heroes and German colonists.

The German colonial period was short, just 30 years, and brutal, including the slaughter of between 25,000 and 65,000 Hereros and 1,000 Namas, respectively 50-70% and 50% of their populations. This was followed by 75 years of South African occupation, reinforcing the colonial patterns of identity and racial privilege. Please click here to read the full interview...

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