With 2019 now behind us, it feels as if Namibia has lost its innocence. The exposure of systemic corruption has left us uncertain about the future, and unsure of how to pull ourselves back up. I, however, believe that these 10 guidelines for Namibia in 2020 might just rekindle Namibia’s confidence and prove the mettle of our nation.
1. We need to remind ourselves that Namibia is resilient, and it can and will stand back up – but only if we, individually and collectively, work towards it. Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
2. We cannot do so if we allow others whose self-interest works against our national interest, either via corruption or by co-opting national processes and institutions. We need to stand strong against those who would oppose the will of the people.
3. We need to show the world that while some in Namibia may be corrupt, we as a nation are not. We cannot denigrate our nation and expect others to respect us. Let’s show them we can be respectable even in the face of factionalism and adversity.
4. We need to remember our core values – Unity, Liberty, Justice. Together we can prosper, with freedom, as long as justice prevails. We as a nation can exemplify these values with dignity, a constitutional obligation that Namibia requires from each and every one of us. Our freedom, peace and justice will flow from there.
5. We need to ensure our high ethical standards are exemplified in our schools, work places, social media and other gatherings, showcasing our transparency and ethical culture. We should grow our culture of national dialogue in the spirit of give and take.
6. We must enable oversight to facilitate and entrench these ethical standards, so the supervision becomes the safeguard against those who would poison and destroy our brothers and sisters. With these tools in hand, we can start stamping out the cancer of corruption that has taken hold in our nation, and finish the cleansing process to strengthen the rule of law, and restore the dignity of those institutions that were assaulted by greed.
7. We need to respect our fellow brothers and sisters, our fellow citizens, and address the social ills of our nation. While we are facing corruption in government, at home we are faced with a corruption of family – Gender-based violence. Let us stand together to stamp out both.
8. We must unite against poverty and help our fellow citizens wherever they are struggling. We cannot begrudge success, and those who have achieved it, should not pull up the ladder and deny that success to others. We cannot punish the bad without also rewarding the good, and true success should not be brought under suspicion by the actions of those who fed off greed.
9. We must start creating our own wealth to combat economic lethargy, and support Namibian entrepreneurs. The rest of the world will not assist us, unless we can assist ourselves, and entrepreneurship is the bedrock from which wealth will grow.
10. We need to stop coveting what we don’t have, and start focusing on what we do have – only then will we be able to turn our country into a truly self-sufficient nation. We, as Namibians, must recognize that the root of corruption is caring about ‘wanting’ instead of ‘needing.’ The needs of our nation should inspire us, not the wants.
Many people desire prosperity only for themselves and their friends; they are quite content that their enemies should suffer. We have now become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be prosperous yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also prosper.
Let that be our position in 2020 for Namibia, and I can promise you that the troubles of 2019 will soon only be a distant memory.
I preemptively wish all of you a happy 2020, and hope you have a great year!