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...