Killing Nujoma’s dream softly

• By Tracy Tafirenyika

and Erasmus Shalihaxwe

PRIME Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s recent statement points to the death of Founding President Sam Nujoma’s beautiful Vision 2030 dream.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who served as the National Planning Commission director general for 10 years from 1995, admitted that half of Namibia’s population is impoverished.

Nujoma launched Vision 2030 in 2004 as a guide on how government would improve the people’s quality of life.

Addressing Cabinet in January 1998, Nujoma spoke about the need to be clear about where Namibia is, where Namibia wants to go and over what period.

The vision was to deal with inequalities and social welfare; political stability, peace and sustainable development; human resources, institutional and capacity building; macro-economic issues; population, health and development; natural resources and environment; knowledge, information and technology; and the external environment.

The milestones for Vision 2030 are the five-year National Development Plans (NDPs). The first NDP was launched in 1995.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, however, admitted while launching NDP 6 that government’s economic achievements have been nearly entirely nullified.

In March this year, the National Planning Commission director general, Oberth Kandjoze said Cabinet extended NDP 5 with two years and directed that NDP 6 should now cover 2024/25 to 2030/31 financial years.

Kandjoeze also said the National Planning Commission was documenting Vision 2030 achievements, challenges, and recommendations across thematic areas and sectors for future consideration.

Apart from Kuugongelwa-Amadhila admitting that Namibia may not realise the aspirations of Vision 2030, several reports over the years have pointed to that effect.

Figures released by the gender equality ministry show that 618 110 Namibians have been reduced to depend on the government. The World Food Programme says 30 000 others are in dire need of food.

The annual UNFPA 2022 report states that Namibia’s inequality is 57.2 percent, with unemployment at 33.4 percent.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said NDP 6 must bring a renewed zeal to drive the country’s progress, identify game changers across various sectors and ministries, adopt innovative strategies, and enhance stakeholder collaboration and coordination.

It is unclear how NDP 6 can bring the expected results if it was launched one year after NDP 5 ended. In any case, NDP 5 was extended by two years to cater for the unmet goals.

When he launched NDP 4 in June 2017, former National Planning Commission director general, Tom Alweendo said although Vision 2030 seeks to make Namibia an industrialised nation, not enough had been done to identify the industries that need to be developed and grown.

“At the rate that we are going, I still maintain that we cannot achieve Vision 2030, and we need a serious paradigm shift and implementation of the programmes we create,” Alweendo said then.

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