There are great signs that Namibians are uniting in their determination to win the battle against the dreaded and disruptive Covid-19 pandemic. But victory will be meaningless if the nation cannot rise from a generational economic battlefield where the forces of a world economic recession, the worst prolonged drought in Namibian history and Covid-19 attacked in wave after wave for the past eight years.
Namibian GDP has fallen N$1.4 billion in four years. To put that in perspective, it means the average household has NAD 9709 less in income per year (inflation adjusted) or about NAD 809 less per month.
The nation, in collaboration with good and sensible government must rebuild and create wealth to address deepening poverty and inequality that Covid-19 has exposed in the cruellest way. After four years of economic downturn, and an eight year drought, the Covid-19 cut is the deepest cut.
Only isolation and social distancing seems to yield positive results against Covid-19. It was one of the most difficult decisions, but true to its reputation, Trustco acted preventatively before the announcement of the State of Emergency. It turned out to be a life-saving and health preserving decision that will put the Group in a healthy position to act nationally, continentally and internationally to take advantage of any economic opportunity to the benefit of thousands of shareholders and Namibia in particular.
We always have to take time and consider duty against our preference. It is one of the many lessons of the Coronavirus pandemic that we will still learn as we move forward and reclaim the national health inch by inch to all corners of the Namibia.
Since the declaration of the Namibian lockdown and the establishment of the National Emergency Disaster Fund, I have been inundated with requests to donate to the fund. While that is certainly an option for me, I am looking beyond the pandemic, because recover we will; we are resilient and we are Namibians.
Thanks to technology, Trustco remains in contact with businesses throughout the world and it will be much more productive to accumulate N$1 billion to invest in entrepreneurship. An alliance of resilient Namibian businesses and a responsive government will launch Namibia into the new world that will rise from the ashes of Covid-19.
As such, I’m currently engaged in supporting my staff, Trustco’s hundreds of thousands of clients and convincing investors that Namibia is still the best destination on the planet.
The bleeding of disposable income of Namibians will not be stemmed by a bandage, but by radical interventions spearheaded by good government and strong leadership of the state and the private sector. The amputation of bad decisions, poor service delivery and failing leaders is unpleasant, but it has saved many patients and will do so again.
Trustco is preparing for more radical interventions and procedures to get the wounded Namibia healthy and then wealthy, because there is a national consensus and an obligation that in a just Namibia every Namibian should have dignity. Dignity, which is easy to give and all deserve.
Many a road to prosperity runs through hell and therefore I believe that charity begins at home. The isolation of Covid-19 ironically starts with loving your neighbour, respecting authority, playing by the rules and respecting the dignity of others before claiming it for oneself.
Patriotism must be unconditional.