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New state house inaugurated
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
President Hifikepunye Pohamba inaugurated the new State House in Auasblick, Windhoek, constructed and furnished for under N$400 million during Namibia’s 18th Independence anniversary on 21 March 2008.
IN ThIs Issue
All about Namibian education system
More state house pictures
Namibia @ 18: Read more about development Progress
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
From the Desk of the Minister
Namibia is 18 years old. this is the age significant to the right passage from childhood to maturity according to the Namibian Constitution, Article 17 (2), which states that every citizen who has reached the age of eighteen years shall have the right to vote. this means that Namibia has passed or grown from a newly independent country into nationhood. t this age Namibia has come to an end of a stage of searching for self-identity and is stepping into an era of self-knowledge, an era in which Namibians will apply their experience in creating strategic plans to ensure the provision of quality care, success and profitability in socio-economic, political and cultural areas.
Hon. N. Nandi-Ndaitwah
New state house inaugurated............................................ 1 From the desk of Minister.................................................. Education system Namibianised........................................ 2 3
There has never been automatic promotion in Namibian schools............................................................... 3 The role of NAMCOL in the education sector...................... 4 Is Namibia reaching the goal of ICT?................................. 4 Education wisdom – hear it from the horse’s mouth......... 4 ETSIP to make a difference in the Namibian education system............................................................... 5 “soldiers are working hard and not only eating and sleeping,” says Defence Minister....................................... NDF to recruit only top graduates in the army..................
This is the era that Namibians should plan to succeed over social evils of hunger, ignorance, diseases and vicious circles of poverty. The use of the rich experience accumulated through the national liberation struggle and the seventeen years of independence will now lead the nation into a prosperous country. A push towards systematic and successful planning, implementation and achievements of national goals will promise scores of prosperity, as a result of the applications of new visions, great values, morals, luminous spirit of peace, democracy, harmony, stability, unity of purpose and tolerance. These values will promote and encourage lurid economic growth and prosperity. Namibians must have learned enough from their experience in the seventeen years of independence the importance of a sense of hard-work. It is only through hard-work that productivity is maximised to improve earnings to uplift the living standards of our people promised in the goals of Vision 2030. Now that the youth have role models of leadership, born out of independence and freedom from slavery, they will have faith in their work, socio-economic, political and cultural systems, determined to achieve the national goals of wealth creation. When the seeds of prosperity are planted in the minds of the all citizens, in their will and emotions, the country will eventually produce a great economic harvest. Namibians should intensify the fight against HIV/AIDS with the aim to create an HIV/AIDS free generation for our country to survive and have a future. We must intensify and improve interventions by holistically work to stop the further spread of the disease. The government is doing its part in providing free Anti-retroviral drugs, efforts which have so far given hope of life in our society. The nation is expected to participate in the education of their children, supporting the Ministry of Education to achieve its goals. Read more in this edition about the government’s development achievements in the past year.
tears of sadness and joy: a story of HiV/aiDs pandemic in Namibia.......................................................... 7 What is TESEF?................................................................... 8 State House in pictures................................................ 10-11 state House: General information..................................... 12 Mineral exploitation in Namibia................................... 13-14 tougher days ahead: short and long-term measures to power the nation........................................... 16 if wishes were Gold: Oil exploration in Namibia will bring sunshine............................................................. 17 Gender Equality progressing in Namibia............................ 18 Hon. Mutorwa on Culture................................................... 19 Assist the youth to understand the world.......................... 20
Government Information Bulletin: Publicising Government
The Government Information Bulletin was established through Cabinet Decision Number 13th/04.07.06/002 as an official information bulletin to publicise the Government’s programmes, policies and activities for the benefit of Government institutions and the Namibian public. All Government institutions contribute towards the Bulletin. The Government Information Bulletin is published monthly by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. To meet the specific information needs of communities, the public is invited to send comments and suggestions on Government projects, programmes and policies, which will then be covered in the Bulletin. More Government news and information can also be accessed on the GRN News button on the Government Internet site at www.grnnet.gov.na Private Bag telephone Fax E-mail 13344, Windhoek, 061 x 2839111, 061 x 230170, email@example.com. The Bulletin is distributed free of charge to rural communities through the Ministry’s different regional offices. The public and organisations are welcome to subscribe to the Bulletin, but mailing costs will be for the account of the subscriber. Design Layout and printing DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi, Windhoek. Solitaire Press, Windhoek.
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
education system Namibianised
By Kaleni Hiyalwa
n the determination to establish an education system which has meaning to the Namibian nation, its culture and heritage, people and ecology and scientific space, the Ministry of Education has set a ball rolling to implement an improved and quality education system. The Minister of Education, Hon. Nangolo Mbumba will, for sometime from now on, engage his management teams to see how to improve professional training programmes and the enrollment of as many learners as possible. The Ministry wants to find out which subjects must be a primary concern for all learners who did not get good marks in grade ten. This is to make sure they improve their marks to be able to proceed to the next grades like all the other children. It all started when a new education system was implemented by the Ministry of Education after dropping the cambridge education system, the HIGCE and IGCE. Now a new Namibian education system is being implemented with changes and differences visible in the examination system. The new system seeks to reflect the Namibian realities which the students would be comfortable with. For instance, questions for the examination will rather ask what distance is between Windhoek and Otjiwarongo rather than ask for the distance between London and Cambridge. Mathematics would be considered generally universal and will still use kilometres as measurement of distances. The idea is only to localise or Namibianise the subjects as much as possible without lowering or watering the
system down. The difference between the previous education system and the new one has already been marked in the outcome of the 2007 examination. The Ministry of Education indicated that quality was noted and assured through strict control and marking. However, there is still a link between the Namibian and the Cambridge examination system. The Cambridge system will continue to be bench-marked on the local examination system to ensure that the new system is internationally recognised. The aim is to make it possible for learners to enroll at higher learning institutions in Namibia, South African and other universities within the SADC region and abroad. After President Pohamba came to power in 2005 he was unhappy that children could not find places in grades one, eight and eleven. On the bases of President Pohamba’s concern and the Namibians’ outcry for change, the Ministry found it appropriate to do something to change the previous education system and introduce local examination arrangements. Access to education has increased and all learners are now proceeding to the next grades, depending on the continuous monitoring by the teachers and schools the learners are going to. There will be no general continuous examination in grades one to eight as would have been the case. Grade eight will be the check point for the learners moving through from grade one.
It is in grade eight that learners’ ability and capacity will be measured as to whether they would be ready or not to proceed to the next grade. Grade ten will be the national examination point and kids will be competing with the best students in the best schools. For instance, a child in Okongo will be competing with a child in Oshakati and a child in Oshakati will be competing with a child in Tsumeb. A child in Tsumeb will be competing with a child in Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Keetmanshoop. This is considered to be a major challenge because not all the schools are equipped equally with books or have capable principals who would be providing leadership or teachers in Mathematics and English. Again, the Namibian communities do not speak the same mother tongues. The Ministry of Education is aware and understands the challenge that for learners to become fluent in the English language at this level is not easy. The system is open to all but it is not at the same level. Other constrains hampering the education system are human and financial resources, software, books, computers, dictionaries and reference materials. The Minister of Education, Hon. Nangolo Mbumba made it clear that there is no turning point to the old system “because we do not have the capacity to go back”. “We must make sure that we address this. As years come we will gain more experience and will have more resources,” he added.
There has never been automatic promotion in Namibian schools
By Kaleni Hiyalwa
he Minister of Education, Hon. Nangolo Mbumba, denied that there has ever been automatic promotion that is said to cause failures and low pass rates in schools. He said that the promotion of young learners is wrongly interpreted because what is true is that the promotion of a child to the next class is based on her/his ability and capacity identified in the class. The ability of the child is measured by the existing and continues records in the class. The responsibility is placed in the hands of the classroom teacher to monitor and assess progress of the child. In this way the learning difficulties can be identified at the class level. “What we are saying is that we can identify these children ahead of time to give them extra lessons in language, Mathematics and extra tutor,” the Minister explained. He said that teachers, school principals and inspectors are also charged with the responsibility to check the home background of learners to
point out what difficulties the children are faced with. “Is this child loved, taken cared of or fed? Is the child having a medical history or health problem or any other problem or why is the child is not passing?” the Minister said of the role of teachers, principals and school inspectors. Hon Mbumba said if this is not practiced in schools now, it is not a question of lack of human resources because no principal is having full time teaching period. “That is the reason why they have to manage the schools. And managing the schools does not mean sitting in the principal’s office,” he asserted, emphasing that principals and teachers ought to do the assessment of learners. “That is why we are saying let us, wherever you are in the country, go to their neighbourhood schools so that, as a teacher, you can check on the background of
Hon. Nangolo Mbumba
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Government Information Bulletin March 2008
The role of NAMCOL in the education sector
NAMCOL remains a government programme. It has a Director, Board of Directors and Management. It gets money from the government. NAMCOL was established to cater for learners who are above sixteen years of age and students who need to improve their marks in few subjects so that they can move up to universities and colleges. Unfortunately the negative public perception, due to lack of understanding the objectives of the institution, has sparked bad publicity. Talking tough on the current situation of NAMCOL, Hon. Nangolo Mbumba, Minister of Education said “we are not going to drop NAMCOL because we will not have any other system of replacing it with. Those who are capable of utilising it, they can utilise it. It will be of assistance to adult learners.” The Ministry is planning to address the issue of NAMCOl as soon as possible in terms of issues concerning younger learners to have face-to-face school The plan is not yet approved but the programmes will assist students to either pass examinations or help students who have passed with lower marks with emphasis on Mathematics and the English language. The English language will be emphasised because all students at any technical or high school levels must be able to communicate fluently and students need to understand mathematics and science and any other subjects they think are essential for their studies in business, including statistics. “NAMCOl is a programme still to help us. There will always be adults who want to learn and study something and go to other programmes to become professionals. But we are also expanding the vocational training. We want to improve and expand the vocational training centres to learn how to do things and if we know how to do something then you will not need to be employed,” the Minister reiterated. The Minister gave the assurance that everything was practically going to be effected. To start off, the Minister’s team, including all directors of education, all heads of vocational training centres and all heads of courses have met to design the roadmap to a better education for all.
Is Namibia reaching the goal of ICT?
By Kaleni Hiyalwa
One of the government’s priority aspects is the Information Communication and Technology (ICT). The Ministry of Education is making all efforts to ensure the universal ICT knowledge in the country. Unfortunately, there is still a lot to be done before adequate computers are distributed to most schools around the country. Some of the challenges that hinder the efforts are the lack of financial resources, electricity distribution to some schools, especially those in the rural settings. Technological know-how among teaching staff is also one of the problems slowing down the use of computers. This is how the Minister of Education, Hon. Nangolo Mbumba put it: “the truth of the matter is that we do not have enough computers. We don’t have enough trained teachers on ICT, no enough schools with adequate facilities with electricity”. To be able to teach ICT, there is a need to have ten, twelve or 24 computers in one classroom. Electricity has to be properly coordinated by a person certified by the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication. The Ministry is waiting on the MWTC to provide technical people to set in before the computers are installed at schools. Despite the fact that the private sector and NGOs have been training people, there are only few teachers who are specialised on ICT. There have been people of good will, internationally, who conduct and support training on ICT. The Ministry of Education is planning to make use of these skills to train learners while they are still young. The Ministry is stepping up its efforts to bring technology closer to people. Teachers who are now graduating are also being trained on ICT. The starting point is the teacher training on ICT because every school is expected to have a computer for administrative purposes. The new system will ensure that all the school programmes and schedules will be programmed in the computer, including attendance and all the records of learners and teachers will be computerised The use of computers has to go hand in hand with a functional maintenance system and the details are being worked out.
education wisdom - hear it from the horse’s mouth
the following are words of wisdom from Hon. Nangolo Mbumba, Minister of Education “All I want us to understand is that education is wealth. Education is valuable. Education is important. And nothing that is valuable is cheap. It is not cheap for the government. It is not cheap for our region. It is not cheap for our families. It is not cheap for ourselves. We must put in the necessary time. We must put intellectual power to succeed. The school cannot be the place where you go and sit down. And you must go and sit down because you want to learn. You want to tap the knowledge of that teacher. You want to read every book in school or library. You even want to check other books in other libraries. You want to talk to people to ask for information about your future and so on.” “So as a country, we must not be too much in a hurry so that things are done cheaply for us. We must be determined. We must be steadfast to make sure we succeed as individuals, as a nation and as communities. We gained our independence through tremendous sacrifices.” “We cannot get education which is equally expensive, cheaply. This is a tough country to be in. Some times when the rain does not come, you want to move away to the north or to the east. But when the rain comes, you are also under water. We must be ready to be survivors, to be determined, to be disciplined people and to depend on our own energy and efforts. And then be able to support each other before we make an appeal to the outside for help. “ “Like in the Bible: “God helps those who help themselves”. We must be ready to help ourselves. The government is there. The government is willing. The President is putting so much pressure on me to do something and deliver. And I am happy of a President who supports me. The President is really taking leadership in education. We are willing to follow the lead of our President and will overcome this question and query about grade ten and unsuccessful learners. As we move from here to there, we will learn as to how the system is working. “
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
eTsIP to make a difference in the Namibian education system
The Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) is considered to be the most important drive for quality education in the Namibian education system. The current education system wants to offer learners, teachers and principals the best. Once the Ministry gets the money pledged at the 2006 education conference, it will be able to implement its programmes to ensure that learners have learning materials. At least there will be one text book per four or five learners. But because the Ministry has an ambitious plan to improve Mathematics and English language passes in schools, each learner may have access to a book per child in the long run. The European Union (EU) will be the main source of funding for the ETSIP programme although there are various support efforts from within the country and abroad. The money will be used in improving classroom conditions at senior Secondary Schools and will upgrade some of the schools for grades 10 and 12. The continuous training of principals in management courses and the introduction of computer literacy training in the school system remain the principle policy progtammes. Hon. Nangolo Mbumba made it clear that ETSIP will make a difference because the Ministry will continue to improve the education system from grade one to grade twelve and also to equip learners and students who want to enter colleges to become teachers, with knowledge, in terms of the subject matter they want to teach. The aim is to train teachers to understand the mission and nature of their work. The Ministry of Education is also aiming at improving the local university and tertiary education level. The efforts are also aimed at providing students with courses that will offer them employment possibilities. Families are urged to encourage their children not to take the easy way out but to go to school to study the difficult things. “If you want to get a job do technical subjects. Get direction for what you want, be it teaching towards engineering, financial management,” Minister Mbumba advised, noting that everybody wants to study politics nowadays. “You know that in each constituency you have only to elect one council,” he warned. The Ministry needs to introduce subjects to learners that would guide and expose them to a variety of opportunities in life science fields such as marine biology. “We have the fishery and a huge mining sector,” noted Minister Mbumba. He sees it important for students to venture into the energy sector where electricity is running out, noting that people with qualifications in terms of electricity engineering and operations in hydro, coal and nuclear would get job opportunities. The education sector will have to introduce those subjects to students, knowing that there will be employment. When introducing those subjects to learners, it will also be made clear as to whether there are possibilities for employment. The system will create an opportunity that such subjects will also be introduced to the parents. “Parents may be illiterate but they may understand,” said Hon. Mbumba. “Naturally, employment sectors are continuously changing. In terms of
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There has never been automatic promotion in Namibian schools
these kids to know their families – even by names and their social status,” the Minister re-iterated. He stated that this performance needs extensive preparations, training and true commitment. On whether principals, teachers and inspectors are checking on these values in schools, Hon. Mbumba said that it should be a normal practice because every person trained as a teacher is supposed to do it. “It is part of the teacher’s training,” he added.. “It is only that we are not exactly either doing our work properly or somehow we have forgotten or we have just assumed that everything is fine, as long as I am teaching and there are no problems because children are not fighting or crying, kicking or destroying windows, I am a teacher.” he observed. He also added that “a teacher doesn’t only count students when they are in class [because] they are your students until they pass and become adults,” said the Minister. Letting children to continue their schooling in the mainstream education when they turn 21 years has been a concern for parents, arguing that some learners begin school at the age of seven due to their dates of birth and some of them would have failed one grade and by the time they are in grade twelve they are over 21 years. Parents argue that this cannot be their fault that they are over-age before they complete their school. Minister Mbumba does not see the problem of overage children in school seventeen years after independence. He acknowledged that there are still problems of over-aged learners in specific places. “I have travelled between Bagani and Rundu and it is the same thing between Nkurenkuru and Okongo. If you live in that area, the main thing is the millet fields and looking after the livestock. That is very clear. In those communities – let those communities apply for special programmes [for their children to be catered],” the Minister directed. He added that “we are not just going by book. A child who is in Windhoek and who is nineteen or twenty one is a big person with all kinds of knowledge, tricks and money knowledge. “If you place that person with younger children, girls and boys together you are creating a problem for the nation,” Minister Mbumba noted. The Minister gave another example of the learners he saw at Kandjimi school, in Rundu, who he said were “big” in relation to classes they are attending. The Minister said that the age factor should better be left to the experience of the local school principals, teachers, regional directors of education who
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should know how to handle the situation. “If situations are complicated they can telephone to Headquarters to see what can be done,” said the Minister. However, the Minister said that there is no reason to exclude anybody but that students should be serious to go to school and not be one day in school and the next day absent. “If you come back to school and your age is advanced, behave yourself please. Be a friend of that teacher and help the teacher so that he or she can help you pass all your courses. If you are fifteen years old and you are in grade five or six you would have been in grade ten already. If you are bright and you are willing to learn, you can do better, more than the kids because you know what is best for you and you know that you are not going to be in school for long,” the Minister said. The Minister said that a learner can be in school for as long as the community feels they deserve to be there. “Communities are willing to help. We can also organise our things. I went to University when I was about 24. So we know the background. We know the condition. But learners must be willing to work hard. Our families or associations, political parties and churches must be willing to support,” advised the Minister.
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
“soldiers are working hard and not only eating and sleeping” says Defence Minister
By Kaleni Hiyalwa
The Minister of Defence, Major-General Charles Namoloh has refuted allegations that members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) do nothing, except for eating and sleeping. He noted that people only see soldiers and think that they are just in the bases doing nothing. “In every base there are duties to be performed and soldiers are assigned work. If you have lived a soldier’s life you would understand. All those who have not lived a soldier’s life they will not understand. They will only say that the soldiers are only eating and sleeping,” the Minister said. Soldiers attend classes and participate in training programmes continuously, following the Defence Force’s annual work plan. “The capacity of soldiers is constantly built everyday, [by undertaking] their duties and operating their equipment,” the Minister explained. He also explained that even though the defence force service is 24 hours, it is not every soldier that would be on duty for 24 hours because there are shifts. When other soldiers are on duty, others would be eating and those who have been on duty would be replaced by others, adding that some of them would be released to go and do their shopping. “When people see these soldiers around they think that the whole army is walking about. It is not the case. The Ministry of Defence issues training directives and all the soldiers undergo training every year. Units work out their own programmes in terms of training of soldiers. So they do not just sit and eat,” he explained. As an institution that is responsible for keeping peace in the country, the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) has been keeping up with its objectives and goals. Apart from its national and international responsibility, the NDF has also been participating in activities aimed at combating crime and violence in the country same night”. “You train. Soldiers are being trained constantly in anticipating to fight in war. You cannot say there is no war and therefore you don’t need to train,” said the Minister. Responding to the suggestions advanced by some members of the public that soldiers could be involved in beneficial activities such as working in development brigades and other agricultural schemes which may provide the Namibian population with adequate food to create a food self-sufficient nation, the Minister noted that the NDF can partially cultivate the land as a contribution to the development of the country. “We are running farms. But it is a secondary role. We cannot say because there is no war in the country we must engage in farming,” the Defence Minister said, adding that “if we want our soldiers to work on farms because there is no war, then, if the war comes there will only be farmers and not soldiers”. A former Commander of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), MajorGeneral Namoloh observed that people fail to understand that when people are recruited in the army they have to undergo training in different disciplines, saying that the soldier is not only trained to shoot and kill but to understand his responsibilities because he would be handling dangerous weapons in his hands. He explained that to train a soldier requires a lot of energy as one soldier can be in possession of a gun with one hundred and twenty cartridges in its magazine. He added that care has to be taken to prevent a situation where a soldier might take an advantage of the gun in his possession. “If he takes these one hundred cartridges and go on rampage to shoot to kill, it will cause a lot of damage,” the Minister added.
Hon. Maj Gen (rtd) Charles Namoloh
by assisting the Namibian Police (NAMPOL) and other agencies. Members of the defence force only participate in these activities when they are called upon to assist. For instance they have been assisting the Police to curb crime and violence during festive seasons and holidays by helping in manning road blocks whenever the Police needs to re-enforce its capacity. Now that the Namibian Police has strengthened its ranks and have adequate capacity to fight crime, NDF is rarely requested to assist. Soldiers also take part in activities such as extinguishing fires and assisting in the flood water relief efforts. Although these activities are not part of the soldiers’ tasks they participate with the aim to contribute to the well being of communities. . On the question that there is no war in Namibia and the work of the soldiers may be limited, the Defence Minister retorted that it is easy to say that there is no war in the country. He drew the attention to the Oshiwambo saying that “a person doesn’t go and get a dog to bark the
NDF to recruit top graduates in the army
In the near future the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) will recruit highly academic qualified people. This will be the priority on top of the recruitment agenda of the Ministry of Defence. These are words of the Minister of Defence, Major-General Charles Namoloh, in an interview with the Government Information Bulletin. The Minister stated that “we will [only] accept highly qualified people [in future] those who will pass with distinction.” “They will be our first priority,” Said the Minister.. The Minister was answering a question as to what contribution the Defence force is making in terms of research and scientific technology for Namibia attainment of Vision 2030. towards the He linked the contribution of any defence force in the world to research, scientific technological development, education and skills training, saying it is the culture of society that influence people’s performance in every sector, including the military. Noting that education play a greater role in the development of any country, Hon, Namoloh said the role of the army in the development of countries in the world is that people have set higher academic standards and skills for the benefit of their societies. He observed that this is contrary to the mentality in Namibia that suggests that the army should only consist of those who have failed their grades at school. “Every child who fails is supposed to come and seek employment in the defence force. And this has been the trend in this country. All those who have failed their grades ten and twelve must either go to the army or the Namibian Police,” the Minister added. He wondered: “How do you expect to have highly qualified and professional people to do research if you only have failures?” Hon. Namoloh is saddened by the fact that people believe that it is right to recruit those who have not passed, reiterating that “this
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Government Information Bulletin March 2008
TeARs OF sADNess AND jOy: a story of hIV/AIDs Pandemic in Namibia
By Kaleni Hiyalwa
Namibians are saddened by the effects of the disease that continue to challenge modern research on both preventative vaccine and curable medicines. The HIV virus seems to challenge mankind’s existence as it has so far succeeded in beating scientific efforts to find a solution. Namibia is one of the countries with the highest HIV prevalence in the world. Hon. Dr. Richard Kamwi, Minister of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) traces the trails and tribulations of the Namibian struggle against the killer disease. He talks of the challenges and success stories of the government’s efforts to combat the virulent disease. At every step of the journey he sketches the tears of sadness and joy of Namibians. “Obviously, as you are aware, HIV/AIDS is the government’s top priority programme. In terms of prevalence rate, the HIV infection was reported in this country in 1986 and the epidemic has been growing rapidly into 1990 and the epic period was in 2002. In 2002, former Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Libertina Amathila and the team, sat down and said; “we cannot allow the people to die”. We heard from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS that treatment is doing wonders in other parts of the world. It is rolled out in USA, Uganda and Botswana. We too decided to put in place programmes, addressing the epidemic. And we have put in place the prevention of mother-to-child transmission immediately. And then we put in place the ART, including the voluntary counseling and testing to make sure those who are found to be positive and who meet the requirements are put on treatment to sustain their lives, Dr. Kamwi began.” “In 2001, Member States of the United Nations went to New York at the Special General Assembly to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic and set themselves targets for the prevention of infection of mother-to-child and the provision of the Anti- Retroviral (ARV) treatment for those who qualify. Namibia was one of the countries that participated in that meeting. [It was agreed that] by 2005, so many people were to be put on treatment [in Namibia] and the women who were positive would be on the prevention of transmission of the disease from mother-to-child. And those who qualify for ARV were to be put on treatment.” “In 2006 the former Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, invited Member States to go and review HIV/AIDS programmes to see how far we were in terms of the commitments set by ourselves. I went there to listen to the report of the UN Secretary-General. And I want to tell you, without reservation, that my team which accompanied me, as Minister of Health - the only textured condoms produced in the Southern African region with the support from the Global Fund and which the government purchases for distribution to the public as a safer-sex measure. The condoms are said to be on high demand. “We saw, for the first time in 2004, a decline. We realised it started to decline to 19.9 percent – what they term stabilisation. But unfortunately by 2006, we had another plus. It went up by 0.2 percent. Towards the end of 2007 more than 195 000 people were living with HIV in Namibia. By March 2007, nine thousand four hundred women were on ARV treatment, four thousand one hundred children needed ARV and a total of adults needing ARV was fifty-two thousand five hundred. More than forty thousand people are on ARV. The efforts exceeded the target of 15 000 people set to be put on ARV treatment by having put forty thousand people on ARV treatment. “We are doing well in this area,” Dr. Kamwi commented. Dr. Kamwi said: “Since the introduction of ART from 2002 - 2008, we are now seeing the number of HIV/AIDS patients and related [diseases] declining from the wards. This is good news.” Reports show that Namibia is one of the few countries in Africa which has succeeded in addressing HIV/AIDS infection due to ARV treatment that is made available free to everybody. Dr. Kamwi noted: “If you recall, before 2002, you go to ward eight in Oshakati [hospital], you were seeing death. But this is not what we are seeing nowadays. Yes, the challenge still remains. There are those who come [for treatment] late. Surely, they are dying. We are not saying that there are no more deaths. No. Infection is still growing. But what I am saying is that there is now a glimmer of hope because there are fewer patients in the wards since the introduction of ARV in our hospitals.” Reports coming from different health regions indicate that people on ARV treatment are getting better and as a result stigma is also reduced and people are accepted and supported in their homes and communities. People are witnessing that patients who were going to the hospital on stretchers are getting better, gaining weight with others resuming their work and going about their normal lives. Nowadays, men are also volunteering to be counseled and tested for HIV/AIDS to be put on treatment, unlike before when they were reluctant to do so. The prevention of motherto-child transmission has become a success story for Namibia as the rate is drastically reduced from thirty percent of children born with the virus to four percent.
Dr. Richard Nchabi Kamwi
and Social Services, and the Namibian civil society were behind me. We were all smiling. Why? According to the Secretary-General’s report there were only three countries who met the commitments, here in Africa. Namibia, Botswana and Uganda were the only countries, who made it. And I want to tell you, this year around, we are going there. I don’t want to disclose where we are. My team is working around the clock.” Dr. Kamwi shared some of the success stories the country had made, starting by quoting a paragraph from an e-mail he received from Mr. Stephen Lewis, the former UN SecretaryGeneral, Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy on HIV/ AIDS in Africa. “We are doing it,” he remarked smiling. “Dear Richard, I really miss you my friend. Our personal contacts were always intermitted. But it’s been a sadly long since our paths have crossed. I read of your work on a regular basis in the news compendiums, and the way you continue to handle the health portfolio, especially dealing with AIDS remains truly impressive.” Congratulations. Lewis - (dated 10/02/08). (Serious) “This does not mean that we should sit on, as they say take a back seat to say we are doing well in Africa. Yes, challenges remain. What we are seeing is approximately from 1986 when it [HIV/AIDS] was [first] reported [in the country], the prevalence rate went up by 22 percent in 2002. “ MoHSS produces an HIV surveillance report every two years, as an indicator of HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country. It is the collection and analysis of data of blood samples from pregnant women attending selected antinatal clinics throughout the country, using the methods recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Namibia produces and packages top quality condoms called “Smile”
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
What is TeseF?
Prime Minister Nahas Angula explained what is meant by one of the government policies, the Transformational Economic and Social Empowerment Framework (TESEF) that is aimed at bringing progress to the Namibian socio-economic situation. He talks about what would be expected from the TESEF, the targets and how they will benefit from the implementation of the policy. “The work of the Office of the Prime Minister is basically the coordinating agency for government. It is to coordinate the work of the government in terms of government, Cabinet work, public service, legislature and parliamentary work. Public Service: Sometimes it involves policy making, especially policies which impact on the various sectors of the national life. It deals with issues of cross-cutting nature, one of the issues which was assigned to the Cabined to the Office of the Prime Minister is empowerment. Empowerment here probes on how the government enables citizens, especially those who were historically excluded, to be able to participate in the economic life of the country. One of the challenges in Namibia is the question of disparity in the distribution of the national resources among the population. Disparity is a form of social injustice. If you want to deal with social injustice, you also have to deal with wealth distribution of the national resources. Empowerment is to enable other people, especially those who have been left out, to participate and in the process also gain from the economic life of the country. The process of empowerment therefore, involves some forms of social transformation. There must be a change and a change is there to bring about the re-alignement or rearrangement of the economic structure of the country. So the social and economic empowerment framework, which the OPM is working on is a framework which will enable those who were previously deprived from participating in the life and economic life of the country to have an entry point to participate. The social and economic transformation of the country is actually a policy framework for empowerment, inclusion and participation. There are a number of obstacles. It is the groups which have been historically excluded. We can look at them from the point of view of class, gender and generation. 1. Class: In terms of stratification of our society the lowest and most deprived are actually the rural folks, the peasants who till the soil. And they have been deprived from improving their productive systems and have been living from hand to mouth. That is when subsistence economy comes in. A subsistence economy is an economy with very little productive assets. And actually people at that level derive little benefit from the assets they have. The question is how to empower the peasants, - the subsistence people. One of them is to give them attention by way of modernising their productive systems. So the focus must be on the subsistence productive system of the people, especially the peasants, who are locked up in this type of economy. The aim is to see how to improve their production systems. Right now people use drought relief and animals to plough their fields. If you have hectres of five thousand, you, need the government help to look at a range of issues surrounding their productive systems such as soils, seeds, and post harvesting situation of their production, markets and at value addition. Peasants, in terms of class, are the lowest. Then they can move up if they can improve some production to bring it to the level of some form of commercial production so that they can produce surplus and sell that surplus to continuously improve their quality of life. When that is done then they can move to the next level, in terms of class of the workers –the blue colour workers - people who keep the economy running. These workers are found in the mines, hospitality industry, retail, harbour and railways. In most cases these people need a salary. And sometimes they do not have any other benefits such as housing, medical care, and transport allowance. Workers get under paid. Even those who gain skills on the job. But because their skills are not documented, they are still being paid as unskilled workers. These workers need to be documented. The government, through its institutions, should document the level of skills of these workers so that proper rewards for their labour is ensured. That is what can be done in terms of employment equity so that there is mobility in the work and people would not just got stuck as unskilled labour. But if their skills are recognises, they are able to improve mobility in terms of promotions. It would be incumbent upon the employers to work together with the government to recognise these skills of their workers and reward them accordingly. 2. Gender: One of the sections of the Namibian population that has been historically deprived is the women. That is why gender is a topic. The majority of people in villages are women. Why? Historically, during the colonial time, women mobility was restricted. As the men folk were taken up to work as contract labourers, women were left in the villages to make a living there take care of the children and tilling the land. Therefore, in terms of empowerment, to deal with general poverty within the population, there is a need for a concerted focus on the social plight of women in terms of their economic circumstances. There is a need to develop programmes, focusing on, especially the women in the villages to see what can happen. Perhaps as part of community development or part of rural development, specific programmes can be devised to pull the rural women economically. Social agencies such as education and health should have special programmes to encourage, for instance, the girl child to stay in school to study for professions. Girls are now enrolling in schools although it is not happening rapid enough. But the participation of the girl child in education in Namibia is encouraging. It has to be encouraged so that participation is not only at the basic level, in terms of professions, career, education to see more women participating so that they gain, in terms of economic empowerment. 3. Generation/Youth: The majority of the Namibian population is made up of young people below the age of 30 years. The youth are the ones who are impacted upon by unemployment, HIV/AIDS and other afflictions. As a result, there is a need for empowerment programmes, targeting the youth. There is a generation challenge. It is also known that most of the employers seem to favour to employ elderly people rather than young people. Somehow this situation should be dealt with because young people are likely to be more productive and are likely to be around for a longer time. So it is in the interest of the employers, in terms of employment equity, to consider employing young people. Young people should be seen taking ownership of the national resources to
Prime Minister Rt Hon. Nahas Angula
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Government Information Bulletin March 2008
What is TeseF?
participate in the production by way of ownership. There are, for example, two sectors that are very vibrant. Tourism is one of the sectors and young people should participate in the operations of lodges or in provision of safari type of services to the tourists such as tours guides, perhaps establishing small transport companies. The other sector that is vibrant is the Information Communication and Technology (ICT). Young people should create their .coms and the ICT companies to provide solutions to the industry. But should own these companies themselves in such a way that they actually become owners of productive assets. 4. Mining: There are a lot of mining ventures opening up. Young people should take equity, take risk in mining companies, especially the professional ones who are studying engineering, should be part of the ownership of the mines so that they will have productive assets. Therefore the socio-economic transformation framework is aimed at achieving some of these things that are outlined here to empower people who have been previously excluded. The framework is created as a policy framework so that the peasants, workers, .women and the youth are given opportunities to empower themselves. This is the whole idea behind the TESEF. 5. Capital: The issue of capital and collateral. The starting point is oneself. The primary wealth of every person is the personal endowment in terms of intelligence and will, as a person, to achieve something in addition to the physical asset which enables one to work. That is the starting point to discover the kind of potential natural endowment one posseses. Government can then come in to provide education and training for the young people to achieve their optimal potential as individuals. That is why the government is investing a lot in education and training. But personal efforts matter. If one does not make personal efforts, and work hard, he/she has no aspiration. Whatever empowerment the government brings there will be no benefits. In other words everything starts with the individual self, first and foremost and the government can create the conditions for that individual-self to realise their potential – undergoing self-actualisation. This is important because one cannot get very far without the self-actualisation. The government can create that possibility and conditions. For example, the government has created the two banks, the Development Bank of Namibia (NBN) and the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (ABN). They have several windows which can be exploited by way of accessing capital – start up capital or venture capital, and technical advice. The ABN services those who want venturing into the commercial sector to be assisted in acquiring land, livestock and start farming. The participation of the private sector in the social transformational economic empowerment policy is very important. The private sector can play a significant role in ensuring employment equity in terms of social development, offering social participation in companies and training. For development to take place, the government, the private sector and committed individuals need to participate, not through forms of patronage. Naturally, patronage has to be avoided by all means because it is distractive to empowerment approach. Patronage or sponsored social mobility do not recognise the merit and effort. These hold a tendency to exclude other people. The TESEF should recognise the efforts of individuals and merits. The benefit through individuals’ efforts is feasible and greater. The government has an obligation to provide a
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framework for subsidy and everybody can benefit from it.
words starts and the can
everything self, first
with the individual foremost and
create the conditions for that individualself their to realise potential
– undergoing selfactualisation. This is important because one cannot get very far without the selfactualisation.
6. Implementation: The programme emphasises consultation(s). There is a need for consultation between the private and public sectors. The TESEF will become a policy to be adopted by Cabinet and debated in parliament. It will hopefully be supported by a law in 2009.
eTsIP to make a difference in the Namibian education system
engineering, there are few people in the field. There are not enough architects, quantity surveyors, marine biologists and chemical engineers. That is why even the construction of our bridges, housing or accommodation take a long time to complete,” Hon. Mbumba noted. Almost a thousand young people are studying in Cuba. They are specialising in special subjects. The Ministry is planning to initiate a data base to indicate how many learners or students are enrolled for specific subjects, where and at what level. This will avoid duplication of scholarships. It will also be a way to trace the expertise and provide them with relevant jobs in appropriate establishments. The Ministry of Education is giving financial assistance to best students, especially for the students enrolled for
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the two-year foundation courses in engineering and medicines at both UNAM and Polytechnic. These courses prepare the students to enable them for admission into South Africa institutions of learning and schools within the SADC region or anywhere abroad. They are taught computer and how to use labs and libraries as necessity for their further studies.
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
Above left a view of the Cabinet Chambers with a huge painting of the Namibian flag on the wall. On the right the impressive chandelier in the dome of the Cabinet Chamber. On the left the President’s chair in the Cabinet Chamber underneath the Coat of Arms
A fountain w national sym
Touch-sensitive escalators leading to the Cabinet Chambers
The banquet hall with a massive painting of a Welwitchia Mirabilis. On the opposite side is a stage from where cultural groups and other artists can entertain guests Left the media briefing room, right the room where the president receives credentials, below right the conference room for meetings with foreign delegations. Below left Mr. Abisai Shaningwa in the new resource centre
An outside view of the g premises
Above and right-the water fountain next t the restaurant comes life to the tunes of typ Namibian music
Photos by Joseph Nekaya, immanuel thomas and Wilma Deetlefs
e in pictures
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
with elements from Namibia’s mbols in front of State House
A painting of some of the members of Namibia’s Constituency Assembly, under the chairpersonship of Dr. Hage Geingob can be seen in the entrance hall to the State House
Oryx at the fountain at the main entrance to State House
guest house on the State House
to s to pical
Painting of Namibia’s liberation struggle 11 The statues on the right adorn different corners in State House while the painting of the Ruacana Falls greets one on entering the VIP section of the A mural depicting Namibian building. Below a woman dancing homestead scene
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
state house: General Information
The State House administrative block, which will be inaugurated at the 18th anniversary of Namibia’s independence on 21 March 2008, is a picture of splendor and good taste and all Namibians should be proud of this symbol that is to become one of the national heritage sites of independent Namibia. The State House administration block covers a massive 18 000 square metres of built-up area and with its solid construction, the new State House in Auasblick, Windhoek can easily outlive the next few generations if properly maintained in years to come. Built and furnished at a cost of just under N$400 million, the marble-clad pillars, granite and wooden floors, touch-sensitive escalators, limestone tiles and a water fountain that performs to the tune of Namibian music, is awe-inspiring. No wonder that project manager Masoud Fani proudly says that the new State House is unique in Africa, especially with reference to its size, the quality of the work, furnishings and wealth of artwork that represents the different cultures, animal life and paintings of typical Namibian scenes and natural wonders known to draw tourists to the Land of the Brave. According to Mr. Fani, the many negative rumours that are going around about the new State House don’t hold water. Namibia never had a State House. Now there is one that is ready to take its place among the national heritage sites in the country. The construction of the new State House was not a waste of taxpayers’ money, he insisted. Construction costs are continuously escalating and if the government had postponed the construction of a state house indefinitely, the cost would have gone well beyond the current amount that was spent. The foundation of the new State House was laid in September 2002 and the building was completed in five and a half years. Mr. Fani is convinced that any other contractor would have taken between seven to nine years to complete the new State House and the cost would have been considerably more than the almost N$400 million spent. The main contractor on the site was a foreigner and the Koreans initially worked for 18 hours per day and seven days per week to ensure the completion and timely delivery of the building to the Namibian Government. Towards the end, the builders started working six days per week, taking Sundays off to rest. Contrary to beliefs that only Koreans worked on the site, Mr. Fani said that more than 40 local contractors were involved in the construction of the new State House. They were involved in providing wood and other material. However, due to the size of State House, Namibian contractors were not always able to deliver the required quantities, which forced the main contractor to source marble, limestone, granite and other items from different countries abroad. According to Mr. Fani, the contractors sourced quality material, but always kept the price factor in mind. For instance, solid wooden doors with copper handles are used throughout the administrative block. Each set of doors weigh 190 kg. Mr. Fani speaks highly of the officials from the Department of Works in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication with whom he worked on this project. The team work was excellent and the two parties supported each other throughout the construction of State House. With the new State House magnificently overlooking the Namibian capital, Windhoek, the challenges faced during the construction period have somewhat faded. Yes, agreed Mr. Fani, they had challenges - with the construction, with different government institutions, with the Windhoek Municipality and with finances. And the exceptionally good rainy season of 2006 brought its own problems. Financial constraints resulted in only one guest house being built, while the household quarters also had to be scaled down to ensure that expenses stay within the budget. State House boasts with a collection of paintings done by Namibian artists, as well as paintings done by Korean artists who had travelled the country to photograph nature scene and to then capture these scenes on canvas. Besides the paintings that depict the majestic Fish River Canyon, the Ruacana Falls, the Spitzkoppe, the big five, culture scenes and the liberation struggle, several wood carvings, murals and statues depicting the variety of cultures in Namibia adorn the walls and corners of the new State House. From the ceilings of the different halls, including the Cabinet Chamber hang chandeliers that were imported from different countries around the world. In the different conference rooms, lights that remind one of Moroccan lights immediately attract attention when you enter the rooms. The floors are covered with beautiful loose Persian rugs, leaving large areas of granite, marble or wood to compete with the splendor of the carpets. Conference rooms – both big and small – are furnished with heavy wooden tables around which numerous comfortable leather chairs are arranged. The rest of the halls and waiting areas also boast leather furniture – some in black, others in brown and in the waiting room adjacent to the conference room where the Head of State engages in official talks with his counterparts, the stunning white leather furniture take your breath away. The banquet hall in State House has Namibia’s national plant, the Welwitchia Mirabilis painted on a whole wall and opposite the painted wall is a stage from where cultural groups, choirs and musicians will entertain guests during official events. While President Hifikepunye Pohamba and his personnel will start working from the new State House soon after its inauguration on 21 March 2008, the President will have to wait a few more months before his official residence will be habitable. Construction on the 3 500 square metre residence started on 19 November 2007. The residence is being built with a grant made available by the Chinese government. It is expected that President Pohamba would be able to move into the State House residence towards the end of November 2008. Besides the administrative block, the residence, the guest house and household quarters, barracks, police quarters, parking garages and a helipad form part of the State House complex. Provision has also been made for emergency situations. In such a situation, State House has enough generators and a big enough water tank to allow it to continue normally with its operations.
“Built and furnished at a cost of just under N$400 million, the marble-clad pillars, granite and wooden floors, touch-sensitive escalators, limestone tiles and a water fountain that performs to the tune of Namibian music, is awe-inspiring.”
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
Mineral exploitation in Namibia
The Government information Bulletin spoke to Hon. Erkki Nghimtina on the mineral exploration in Namibia. GIB: What is the contribution of minerals to the country’s economy? The mining sector contributes 12% to the country GDP as at 2006 and 25% towards annual investments in Namibia. The GDP contribution is broken down as follows: Year: Mining and Quarrying: Diamond Mining: 2003 8.8% 7.8% 2004 9.6% 8.4% 1.2% 2005 8.6% 7.0% 1.6% 2006 11.7 Commissioner determines the market value of unpolished diamonds. The Minister issues a certificate regarding the value agreed upon between the person who sells or otherwise disposed of that diamond and the person to whom that diamond is sold or otherwise disposed of at arm-length sale and prices which are in the opinion of the Minister at the particular time paid on international markets for such diamond, less any amounts deducted in respect of fees, charges or levies which are in the opinion of the Minister charged on international markets. GiB: How is the government involved in the production, evaluation, distribution and selling of Namibian diamonds? answer: Every contractor, producer or subcontractor is required to obtain a register provided by that Ministry in question. Every entry (production) is recorded in the register after the occurrence of the event. Anyone provided with a register is obliged to forward a true copy of such register within 14 days after the end of each month to the office of Diamond Commissioner. The Ministry has created more efficient distribution channels; this move has liberated the distribution across industry. The Ministry ensures that any selling or disposal of unpolished diamonds from one lawful seller to another is monitored and evaluated by Government representatives to see if they meet the international market requirements. It also ensures that no conflict diamonds enter the market. GiB: Who ensure the safe of diamonds from the mines, mining, and distribution, cutting, polishing, selling value addition to sharing and investing the output? In other words from the source to the beneficiary? answer: According to Section 50 of the Diamond Act 13 of 1999 before starting with any diamond activities each company has to present a security plan. In the security plan, they state the handling of diamonds from the mines up to the sales departments.
Other Mining % Quarrying: 1.0%
GIB: How do citizens benefit from the country’s mineral wealth? answer: On the average mining companies employ round about 7786 labour force annually and they spend approximately more than half a billion ( N$ 730 325 764) on the labourers. GiB: How is the implementation of cutting and polishing of Namibia diamonds? answer: Since the establishment of the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) and the agreement between the Government of Namibia and De Beers, one can say that there is an improvement in the cutting and polishing of Namibian diamonds. NDTC are supplying the cutting factories with Namibian diamonds and we make sure that those diamonds are cut locally. The Diamond Act is a useful instrument in this matter. GIB: Who is in charge of producing and selling the Namibian diamonds? answer: Companies and individuals are the ones that produce and sell diamonds, The only requirement is that they must be licensed in terms of the relevant legislation. Recently with the newly renegotiated Namdeb agreement, NDTC has become one of the new entrants in the dealing of rough diamond. GiB: are Namibian diamonds sold in the local market as finished products, cut by Namibian companies and people? What is the percentage? answer: Diamond cutting and polishing licenses were issued in 2000 for the very first time after the implementation of the Diamond Act 13 of 1999 in April 2000. Although the whole idea of issuing licenses was to cut and polish Namibian diamonds, there was no way to get local goods as the three major diamond producing companies which is NAMDEB, DIAMOND FIELDS and NAMCOR were having agreements with international companies to export rough diamonds. After the agreement between the Government of Namibia and De Beers
in January 2007, Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) was established to supply local cutting and polishing factories with rough diamonds. The first sales was done in October 2007 and that iwas the first time the cutting and polishing companies got hold of Namibian goods. After 6 to 12 months, we will be able to sell Namibian diamonds in the local markets as finished products, carved by Namibian companies and its people. GIB: Before independence and before the implementation of the governmentNamdeb diamond shareholdings the sector has been dominated by previously advantaged people. How many previously disadvantaged employees are now employed in the top structure of Namdeb, NDTC and De Beers Namibia? answer: Namdeb has undergone a restructuring process in order to include competent and qualified formerly disadvantaged Namibians in the structure. You would appreciate that Namdeb operations are amongst the most expensive diamond mining ventures in the world, therefore the success depends on the innovation and prudent management of the natural and financial resources at its disposal. You are aware that Managing Director (MD) is a formally disadvantaged female Namibian. Similarly, among the top management majority are formally disadvantaged. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NDTC as well as the General Manager of DBMN are also formally disadvantaged Namibians. GIB: Who determine the price of Namibian diamonds at both domestic and international markets? answer: The price of Namibian Diamonds at both and international markets are determined by Government Diamond Valuators contracted by the government. The Ministry of Mines and Energy ensure that unpolished diamonds mined in Namibia are evaluated before export. Government Diamond Valuators (GDV) through the office of the Diamond
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Government Information Bulletin March 2008
Mineral exploitation in Namibia
The security plan contains the following: a) The policy and procedure to be applied and followed with respect to employees involved in offences under the Act or in any way connected to unpolished diamonds. b) The systems of surveillance and control of activities on the business premises, other approved premises and in the relevant restricted area or areas covered by such plan. c) The systems and procedures to be followed to safeguard any unpolished diamonds. Regulation 15 (1) Except where otherwise provided for by the relevant security plan approved under section 50 of the Act, any person who carries or transports any unpolished diamonds outside a restricted area or from any restricted area to another restricted area, as the case may be shall have in his or her possessiona) an original document, issued ,signed and dated by the producer, contractor, sub-contractor, holder of an exclusive prospecting licence or a non – exclusive prospecting licence, licencee or permit holder, as the case may be for or on behalf of whom the unpolished diamond diamonds are carried or transported on his or her own letterhead, stating(i) the name and identity or passport number of the person carrying or transporting the unpolished diamonds; (ii) the origin, destination, number and weight of the unpolished diamonds: (iii) the date intended carriage or transport or the unpolished diamonds: (iv) the period of time which would probably be required to carry or transport the unpolished diamonds to their destination; (v) the route by which the unpolished diamonds should be carried or transported, which shall be the shortest possible route which would be reasonable to follow; (vi) the specific instructions to the carrier or transporter regarding the precise destination of the unpolished diamonds. b) In the case of an exception referred to in regulation 11(3) alternative arrangement with regard to the keeping of registers or records relating to unpolished diamonds. Office of the Diamond Commissioner and the PRU are making sure that no unpolished diamond are leaving the mining areas without been accompanied by the PRU Official or Diamond Inspector. PRU are accompanied all the export of unpolished diamonds from Oranjemund, sea and Luderitz. We make sure that containers are sealed and we are Diamond Inspector OR PRU are unsealing the containers or parcels which means there is proper control when it come to transportation of unpolished diamond from the mining areas to the evaluations and sales departments.
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GIB: How many qualified Namibians evaluators are employed in diamond sector and at what levels are they employed?
answer: In total we are having less than 15 valuators in Namibia, out of whom close to ten are Namibians who own their own companies and have been given a tender by the MME. GIB: How is the policy of diversification implemented? is it working to meet the expectations?
d) Access persons to unpolished diamonds and to the premises or area covered by the security plan. e) The manner in which and method by which unpolished diamonds, diamondiferous concentrate or sand, soil, clay, gravel, stone or any mineral is or are to be moved on or from the premises or area covered by the security plan to any other place. f) Systems and procedures regarding the control of movements of employees and other persons or the premises or in the area covered by the security plan.
answer: I would say yes. Diamond cutting and polishing factory, jewelry manufacturing as well as dimension stones cutting and polishing ventures are currently being implemented. One of the themes in the Mineral Policy calls for value addition as a means of diversification. My Ministry continues to engage the mineral producers to conceive and implement value addition projects to the raw minerals, where technically and financially feasible. GiB: Do you think enough wealth can be created and accumulated to benefit all Namibians by the year 2030?
g) Each location inside or outside the premises or area covered by the security plan where unpolished diamonds shall be kept and the security arrangements at such locations. h) The person responsible for the execution and enforcement of the security plan. i) In the case of the producer, contractor or sub-contractor, the security arrangements at the place where mining occurs and at every stage of the recovery process until the final intended product is recovered: The storage of any diamondiferous concentrate, sand, soil, clay, gravel, stone or minerals. The security arrangements at places where bulk sampling is being carried on. The systems and procedures to be followed during the transport of any unpolished diamonds, as well as in the case of an exception referred to in regulation 15(1), particulars regarding the documentation that should be kept.
answer: I believe that the sector has the capacity and potential to generate sufficient wealth for the contribution towards the achievement of Vision 2030. However, there is a key instrument/framework that has delayed the accumulation of wealth to the broad based formally disadvantaged Namibians. I am talking about the Transformational Economic Social Empowerment Framework (TESEF). This framework needs to be speeded up to compel companies and individuals operating in the sector to allocate shares to local and indigenous people. In the absence of the policy and the legislation, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has no basis to compel redistribution of benefits. I am confident that the mineral sector will make a significant contribution.
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
NDF to recruit only top graduates in the army
is what we don’t want”. The Ministry has now decided to put up a ceiling level as a measure to guide recruitment processes. Any person to be recruited in the defence force will have Grade 12 pass with good marks in English, Mathematics, science and biology. “These are the qualifications that we are seeking now, looking ahead that we have qualified people who will come and work for the defence force,” the Major-General declared. He added that “everybody is calling us that my child has failed grade so and so …they must come to the army”. “Of course you are aware that many of the technologies being invented in the world [such as] the computer, the cellular-phone, the Satellite and other technological instruments are made, firstly for military use,” he noted. Major-General Namoloh said that in places where highly skilled and scientists are recruited in the army there is a capacity and capability to defeat the enemy. He noted that it was in the militaries that some of the tractors, used in ploughing fields and aircrafts were first designed. Hon. Namoloh noted also that it is the army that is in charge of the best hospitals in the world, staffed with best doctors. He said that most world leaders receive treatments at military hospitals. He wondered as to how the Namibian defence can produce good doctors if most of the people who are enrolled in the defence force are those who have failed their grades at school. “We would want to appeal to the parents that their children who they want to send to us must be highly qualified so that they can become scientists to develop our equipment to meet the standards and specifications of the Namibian needs,” he said. However, the Ministry is not sitting on its laurels in the face of rampant lack of technological know-how. The Minister said that his Ministry is doing its best on scientific research and development. “We are doing something but we must emphasise that we need highly qualified people in the defence force. And the society out there must also understand that we will no longer accept those who pass with low marks,” he re-iterated. The Ministry has established a research and development department which looks into specific research needs. The force has developed its own vehicle, the Werwolf, which the Minister said is not the same as the cassipir. The vehicles are manufactured by the Windhoek Machinenfabric and are designed by Namibians themselves to local specifications to meet the domestic requirements. The second project is the Sat-Com where radio stations are manufactured for the use by the army. The radio stations are also manufactured to the specifications, needs and requirements of the Namibian Defence Force. “We are doing very well on that,” Major-General Namoloh commended.
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12 and they want them to join the army. I explained to them that the army is not recruiting those who have not passed but parents still press on, wanting to send them to see us,” he revealed. The MoD boss said that often parents insist to convince him to get their children employed as cleaners. “We do not recruit cleaners. We are recruiting soldiers to be trained to become professionals,” he said. “We want to bring in people who will develop this institution. It is not only to come here for the sake of receiving a cheque. We want the people who can develop other people’s mind and also to develop the defence force,” the Minister emphasized. He also said when the army goes to war, there is a lot of science involved. It is not only shooting with an AK. There is a lot of coordination to be put in place. There are those who operate the AKs. Bazookas, artilleries, anti-aircraft, misiles and pilots are needed. They are calculated on a minute by minute that at this time the artillery will fire this time, the personnel will move in this time. Every angle is calculated and is scientifically done. It is not just haphazardly done,” he observed. The Minister also explained that soldiers use maps in their operations, saying that one can not win the war if not well trained. The NDF comprises the army, navy and airforce. All this services require highly motivated, disciplined and qualified people. Therefore, those intending to join the NDF have to possess those qaulities.
“We would want to appeal to the parents that their children who they want to send to us must be highly qualified so that they can become scientists to develop our equipment to meet the standards and specifications of the Namibian needs,” he said.
The Ministry of Defence has started a programme, strategic studies in military strategy at a Master of Arts degree in Security and Strategic Studies, taking place at the University of Namibia (UNAM). There are twenty officers enrolled for the course. The Ministry wants to build up the capacity of officers to be able to face the challenges of the 21st Century. “This is what we are doing and we are doing it for all our officers,” the Minister said. The force is sending young officers abroad to be trained in various fields so that when they graduate in military science they will come back home to serve their country. They are doing intensive courses offered by different countries because the NDF does not have money to buy courses, which is one of the handicaps that the Ministry is facing. The Minister wants to inform parents to make inquiries to relevant departments in the defence force when they want information related to the recruitment of the people because he noted that people phone him because they think he is the one who deal with recruitment process. “I receive numerous calls on my cell-phone from parents inquiring about the recruitment of their children,” he observed. The Minister advised people to follow the procedures and proper channels when they are applying for jobs. “They tell me that they have children who have failed grade 10 or
“We want to bring in people who will develop this institution. it is not only to come here for the sake of receiving a cheque. We want the people who can develop other people’s mind and also to develop the defence force,” the Minister emphasized.
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
Tougher days ahead: short and long-term measures to power the nation
By Kaleni Hiyalwa Without beating about the bush, Namibia will expect tough days of energy shortages, involving power cuts and power serving measures for sometime to come before a long-term and sustainable solution will be found. This was revealed by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Erkki Nghimtina as he said: “Frankly speaking, the current situation can regrettably not be rescued overnight. It will take quite some time and resources to completely turn the situation around.” The situation is worsened and is likely to be costly to the country because, the Minister explained, “unfortunately, Namibia does not have any inland perennial rivers on its entire territory apart from the three rivers, the Kavango, Kunene and Orange Rivers. And any potential hydro projects on these three rivers have to be preceded by often lengthy inter-governmental negotiations before any agreement on such projects can be reached. Namibia also does not produce fossil fuels such as coal which makes any potential thermal power project very expensive due to high costs of imported fossil fuels.” The power shortage in the Southern African countries comes at a time when these newly independent nations are struggling to develop and reconstruct themselves from the protracted war conflicts that have left most of them with rundown economies. Mindful that the 21st Century economies are technologically based, the power shortage leaves a limited blotch of hope. Home to more than 200 million people, the Southern African Development Community’s fourteen nations have been, in one way or another, affected by the war for liberation against apartheid and colonialism. It was a long standing promise that after independence, these countries would develop and take control of the endowed natural resources for the benefit of all the citizens, unchaining them from poverty, deprivation and unequal distribution of the resources. At independence, the promises for development and prosperity were louder enough and people’s aspirations and commitment to hard work rose high. Every new nation resolved to embark upon economic plans, programmes, projects and activities with the aim to attained the goals of economic development. The region’s natural resources endowment gave hope of prosperity. To make development a reality, countries need to build industries in the mining, fishing and marine, construction and agriculture sectors to enable them exploit and process the natural resources to generate and produce goods for the their domestic and international markets. Although challenges go hand in hand with development, the subcontinent finds itself challenged by, most of all, sustainable water and energy resources supply Namibia did not see it feasible to implement local power generating projects because local electricity supply would be costly than the imported power. Although the country was aware of the danger of relying heavily on imported electricity, Namibia was forced to rely on the imported electricity from South Africa while encouraging potential investors to invest in the electricity generation sector and to encourage Independent Power Producers (IPP) to participate in the electricity supply industry to ensure reliable supply of electric energy. This did not work because investors were discouraged by the low electricity tariffs in the entire Southern African region. Namibia wanted electricity tariffs to be increased to cost reflective levels so that the electricity supply industry can operate in a technically and financially sustainable manner. The tariffs cannot be increased speedily to cost reflective levels as this can cause inflations and other economic problems in the country. To avoid taking wrong decisions that might plunge the country into economic difficulties, Namibia opted to wait for the increase of tariffs to cost reflective levels although it is being done step by step to attain desired results. Namibia has not been sitting on its laurels since it is aware of the danger of dependency in the long run. To reduce dependency on imported electricity and to increase security of continuous supply, Namibia contacted many feasibility studies on various projects to generate electricity, but most of these projects proved to be either financially or environmentally unsuitable. For instance, the abandoned Epupa Hydro Power Project on the Kunene River which was not implemented due to environmental aspects. Revealing the plans to the Government Information Bulletin, Hon. Erkki Nghimtina, Minister of Mines and Energy, said for Namibia to meet the domestic demand for electricity there are short and long-term strategies. He said that short term projects that could help to mitigate the crisis are the Demand Side Management (DSM) project and the Hwange Power Station project in Zimbabwe. A DSM alternative, about 600 000 – 900 000 energy-saving bulbs have been distributed countrywide at the end of last year. NamPower has also introduced the Time of Use Tariff with to entities which have a large number of customers such as mines to promote efficient use of electric energy. Other DSM alternatives such as the replacements of electric geysers with solar water heaters on all GRN institutions and the use of Ripple Control Systems by the municipalities and town councils are in the pipeline for implementation and extension.
Hon. Erkki Nghimtina
and management. The availability, location and means of exploitation and production of water and energy is currently challenging the developing SADC nations. This has led to the shortages of resources midst plenty. Scores of people in the SADC countries are living in poverty because of these daunting challenges of skewed distribution of national economic resources, underdevelopment and shortages of the means of production and human resources. Like other countries in the SADC region, African continent and the world, Namibia has embarked upon economic goals of development and growth as a priority programme in its agenda. As a country rich in minerals such as diamonds, copper, fisheries and marine resources, the country needs to develop industries to produce goods and services to both local and international markets. As an accelerator in the generation and production of goods and services, the need and demand for energy supply is indispensable hence the need for electricity and power not only to make industries function, facilitate the work but also to make life easier for citizens. The provision of electricity for lights, and cooking go a long way to improve the standard of life of the people and add value to the nation’s development. The need for electricity supply in rural areas is a prerequisite for infrastructure development in the Southern African region and in Namibia in particular. Without power supply, it is hard for a country to develop. The dependency on power supply from South Africa has been a colonial legacy. South Africa has been generating a cheaper surplus power and has been exporting it to neighbouring countries, including Namibia, at a low cost per kilowatt-hour. This made it difficult for importing countries to generate their own electricity because the product would not be competitively viable as the payment of investment to set up power projects in Namibia would have been too costly. In the past,
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Government Information Bulletin March 2008
If wishes were Gold: Oil exploration in Namibia will bring sunshine
By Kaleni Hiyalwa It is said that “money makes the world go round”. It is also true that the world cannot be a global village if there was no oil. At least this is evident in today’s world. Countries which produce oil have the power to control not only their economies but also command influence in the world affairs. Namibia is in search of wells of oil on its own soil. Any discovery of the oil will always change the direction for development in the country. So the work has already started to this effect. Namibia is endowed with various types of natural resources and depending on the right exploitation and equal distribution, the country can become one of the prosperous countries in the world. Oil exploration activities are progressing well in Namibia, according to the Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Erkki Nghimtina, in an interview with the Government information Bulletin. Activities that have been carried out so far include 2D and 3D seismic surveys, geochemical sampling and other integrated approaches towards oil and gas exploration. Last year the Kudu-9 well was drilled by Tullow, while this year INA is finalising the acquisition of 500km of 2D seismic lines onshore in the Nama basin. The first ever well in the Namibe basin will also be drilled soon by Sintezneftegaz Namibia at a cost of US$80 million. Hon. Nghimtina commended: “We are expecting good news from the drilling of this well as the block is the most prospective in Namibia so far.” Oil producing countries in the world are rich and the living conditions are better if not best since their budgets have the capacity to finance and subsidise national socio-economic and cultural programmes. There are currently 15 petroleum exploration licenses and one production license valid in Namibia so far. The companies active in the oil and gas exploration in Namibia come from countries such as the USA, Croatia, Russia, Ireland, UK, South Africa, and Japan. Namibian participation is assured through Namcor and other private initiatives. The efforts to invest in oil and gas exploration are not far-fetched since there are countries in Africa such as Angola and Nigeria that mine oil. The Namibian government is investing in oil exploration and exploitation to enhance its economic value and growth for the benefit of its citizens. However, the sector is faced with challenges. Namibia does not have a history of oil production. Appropriate technology and human resources to explore and exploit oil are in short supply. But technology is widely available internationally at a cost. “We expect this to change when oil is discovered in Namibia in the near future,” said Minister Nghimtina. Lack of skills in the oil and gas sector in Namibia, especially in the public sector is also a problem. The Minister explained that the small number of staff that the Ministry train often defects to the private sector because they get better paid outside. Part of the solution would be to oblige companies in the sector to provide in-service training to Namibian workers. On the global challenges in the fuel supply and rise in prices, Hon. Nghimtina said that Namibia has no choice than to cope, at this point in time, with the current situation. “But there is a lot of work that needs to be done so that we move from this vulnerable position that we find ourselves in. Petroleum is a strategic resource and we need to make sure that Government is able to guarantee the availability of petroleum products at a competitive price,” Hon. Nghimtina remarked. Namcor has a mandate to import 50% of the petroleum products into the country. The Ministry of Mines and Energy is also faced with the problems of institutional and infrastructural nature. Namcor does not have a storage capacity of their own and rely on private oil companies to accept or reject the imported products. “This is a risky situation that we can do well without,” the Minister sighed. He added that Namcor will have to put up their own storage facilities to complement the mandate, saying that some regulatory reforms might be necessary to better regulate and support the oil exploration industry.
Tougher days ahead: short and long-term measures to power of the nation
Since 1 January 2008, Namibia has started receiving the first 40 MW from the Hwange Power Station as part of the agreement entered into between Nampower and the Zimbabwean power utility company. According to that agreement, Namibia will be receiving 150 MW from the Hwange Power Station as from June 2008 for a period of 5 years. The country is also working very hard to increase its internal generation of electric power to meet the rapidly growing energy consumption. The Baynes Hydro Power project looks very promising for implementation and the Namibian and Angolan Governments are expected to finalise and sign an agreement with a consortium of Brazilian Power Companies before the end of February 2008, starting with pre-feasibility studies. Due to its nature and scope, the Baynes Hydro Power project is both medium and long-term power supply scheme. The Namibian and South African governments have agreed to construct small hydro electric power stations, along the Orange River on the southern border. Feasibility studies on this project have already been constructed by an independent consultant several years ago and will need to be reviewed to accommodate missing links. To reduce the cost, the small power stations will not require the construction of reservoirs and can be implemented over a shorter period of time compared to big hydro power projects. The Caprivi Interconnection Link is another scheme whose implementation will not only ensure increased transmission of power between Namibia and its northern neigbours such as the DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but it will also reduce dependency of Namibia’s power import through the South African power grid. Nampower has already awarded the tender for this highly technical power project
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to ABB Namibia. “To answer your question, I think the situation can be rescued only over a medium to long-term period. As for the short-term of up to 6 months or a year, we can only manage the situation through imports and by adopting more energy efficient technologies and encouraging more conservative use of electricity. This can be achieved by the use of energy saving bulbs and the replacement/conversion of electric geysers into solar water heaters. As was mentioned earlier on, Namibia has fortunately already started receiving power from the Hwange power station in Zimbabwe which NamPower is assisting to refurbish through a loan agreement between the Namibian and Zimbabwean power utilities. As far as our own generation projects are concerned, none of them can be completely implemented within a year or two due to their nature. Thus, the power shortage situation in Namibia remains extremely critical but manageable” the Minister said.
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
Gender equality progressing in Namibia
Hon. Mungunda wants to see more women in decision making positions “We are moving and there is a difference with women in the decision making but we really have to have an impact as per the SADC and also to the African Union declarations on women in decision making. So we can do better. I want to see achievements,” the Minister said. She noted that the President nominates women after the elections, adding that on party level, the President also nominates ten women on his list who qualify to become members of Parliament. The opposition such as the CoD came in Parliament with more women but at the moment the party has only one woman representative. Other Political parties do not have any women representatives in Parliament. The elected women forum meets to lobby political parties to ensure women’s representation in their party lists at the national level. The Parliament Women Caucas is also composed of women in the Parliament. them in the positions. She gave example that the former Minister of the Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Dr. Libertina Amathila, competently dealt with the needs of the people at the grassroots. She explained that Dr. Amathila made a difference by starting with low cost housing programme which was popular among the historically disadvantaged people. Hon. Mungunda noted that where women are in the leadership, there is a difference, citing the outstanding performance of the Minister of Finance, Hon. Saara Kugongelwa-Amadhila. “They (women) have an ear of mercy and understanding, regarding the issues of women and children and flooding. “You can see the work of the team led by the Deputy Prime Minister,” she commented. “When we had problems with the people in Opuwo, it was the Deputy Prime Minister who stood up on these things and she made a difference. Wherever you have women, they go an extra mile because they have the touch with the grassroots. You can see an impact, especially with the grassroots people because women are by nature mothers and leaders. That aspect of women is really making an impact on the governance of the nation,” the Gender Minister declared. Minister Mungunda also said that Namibia has met the aspirations of the SADC Declaration on Gender Development which states that Members States should have attained the goal of ensuring 30 percent gender participation in the political decision making by 2005. Hon. Mungunda said that the total numbers of women in the decision making at the local authorities, National Assembly and the regional councils is thirtythree percent. “Namibia has reached more than the 30 percent of women in decision making if we combine those three levels of decision making,” the Minister said. She added that there are more women in the managerial positions in the government such as Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors, adding that the country is now moving in another direction according to the Africa Union declaration of fifty percent of women in the decision making positions. “So we can reach as well because the political will is there, she said.
Hon. Marlene Mungunda
The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Hon. Marlene Mungunda said that progress made on the issue of gender equality has been due to the existing political will from the government. She said that since independence the government has demonstrated a political will for gender equality programme by establishing first the gender desk which was expanded to a directorate of women and then into a full fledged Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Welfare, which is now the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare. The Minister has also noted progress on women’s participation in decisionmaking processes and bodies such as the parliament, public service management and the private sector. There was nine percent of women in the first Parliament and today the number has increased to 28 percent women in Parliament. Statistics has shown that there are more than thirty-three percent in the public sector and eighteen percent in the private sector although she said women are not represented in some boards in the private sector. Namibia’s political will is also visible in the signatures fixed on their different international protopcols and conventions. Minister Mungunda commented that Namibia is moving in the right direction. “We have women, for the first time, - the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deputy chairperson of the National Assembly, a Namibian woman, Adv. Bience Gawanas, is a Commissioner of one of the African Union’s bodies and Namibia is also on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. At the local level, the 1992 local authority electoral Act allows for a quarter for women’s participation, as well as for a zebra system in which 40 percent of women were elected into power and the majority of women are either chairpersons of the village councils or are mayors.
- the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deputy chairperson National of the assembly,
a Namibian woman, Adv. Bience Gawanas, is a Commissioner bodies and of one of the African Union’s the Namibia is also on United Nations on Commission
the Wherever you have women, they go an status of Women. extra mile because
With regard to whether women in Parliament contribute to the debates in the house, Minister Mungunda pointed out that women have their own rights in the decision making and there is no favour done to put
they have the touch with the grassroots.
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
hon. Mutorwa on Culture
By Kaleni Hiyalwa “We are now celebrating 18 years of independence. The instruments that define who we are, are in place. All what we must do is to put our hands and heads together to work within the context and content of our Constitution and our national development plans and Vision to keep Namibia on this very peaceful note that we have traveled so far to achieve.” – Hon. John Mutorwa The Minister of Sport, National Service and Culture, Hon. John Mutorwa looks at culture in Namibia. He reminded the nation to understand that culture is a people’s way of life and it is inseparable with him or her in all its manifestations. Hon. Mutorwa explained that culture is about what people eat at home, how they dress and how they prepare food. “Now, all these are part of our cultures,” he noted, adding that the world is also becoming complicated. The Minister remembered that, years ago in the villages, people’s way of life was determined by these people themselves. “Today, the world is a global village. A global village in terms of communication, internet and what have you. In a second you just press a button and you see what is happening thousands and thousands of kilometers away from where you are,” he observed. The Minister noted that there is a strong process with cultures of different peoples influencing one another – “the process that anthropologists call culturism”. The Minister said that cultures have got influence on one another and not all the influences are positive. He observed that some of the influences are negative and the negative ones are stronger due to television, especially the violence depicted on television including drinking, and drug abuse that were not known in other cultures. Minister Mutorwa explained that if young people are exposed to the violence on television, then parents have a challenge to deal with, saying that they have to find an alternative to counter act negative influences. He reasoned that negative cultural influences can destroy a nation since culture is not static but a way of life. “Your way of life can be influenced to such an extend that you can forget who you are,” said the Minister. To sustain the Namibian culture, the Directorate of Heritage and Culture programmes,
Hon. John Mutorwa
belongs to. But there is something wrong when you use your ethnic tribe to do bad things to other people, Hon. Mutorwa said. The Minister pointed out that Namibia has diversity of cultures as per article 19 of the Namibian Constitution. “We have diversity and we also have unity. Our unity is demonstrated in the country in which we leave. We have only one country called Namibia, one President, one national anthem, one national flag, one national constitution, one Parliament and you can go on and on,” he cited. He said that based on all the symbols of national unity, Namibians must journey continuously to dig within the diversity, with the ultimate goal to consolidate unity. Minister Mutorwa has no doubt that unity is evident in the dances of groups from all over the country, especially from Opuwo, Caprivi, Omaheke, Omusati or from Kavango, that there are a lot of similarities. “[There] are similarities in dancing, singing and the rituals, even the way we prepare our food. So if there are so many similarities, then, there is also a very strong practical possibility to use those similarities to define our Namibian culture. It is a process. We must work towards it,” the Minister said. He added that to achieve a uniform culture the emphasis should be put more on the similarities and on the differences. The Minister acknowledges: “Yes, we differ from our backgrounds. But even though we come from different backgrounds we have many things that we share in common and we have similarities in commonalities. Take the names [for instance]. This is one aspect of common identity. You have Ausiku in Kavango, you have Haufiku, you have Usiku and Haingura, – the same, even my name, Mutorwa, is the same name and have the same meaning in other countries like Zimbabwe,” Hon. Mutorwa recounted. In conclusion, Minister Mutorwa emphasised: “My call to the Namibian people is that we might not have a Namibian culture now but we should not be discouraged. If we continue to emphasise our oneness in one nation, our similarities and commonalities in our customs and in our culture, it may bring us to a Namibian culture. And we must reach there. I cannot set a timeframe but we have to reach there. It may not be us but maybe our children will have a Namibian culture one day because culture is something that evolves. It is dynamic.”
recognises that Namibia is a diversity country and the people’s unity is locked in the diversity. Cultural programmes and activities, especially cultural dances are coordinated under this directorate. At the constituency and school levels, even at primary, secondary schools, colleges, university and the Polytechnic of Namibia, cultural activities are transmitted through cultural festivals every year. There are the adult and school children category groups which come together from different regions to perform. In 2007 the cultural festival was held in the Ohangwena region at Helao Nafidi town Council. The main aim of coming together, from different regions and ethnic background, is to appreciate the idea of being Namibians in diversity. Minister Mutorwa expressed his delight that the majority of young people are actively involved in the festivities of cultural diversity. “And I think that is a thing that needs to be encouraged and not to be consumed up by other people in the process,” he said. On whether there is something known as Namibian culture, the Minister pointed out that it is a challenge for all Namibians. “I will try to respond in my own way that it is a question to ask ourselves, as Namibians. Minister Mutorwa said that there is no Namibian culture at this stage. “But can we have a Namibian culture? Yes, in as much as it is in diversity, involving different ethnicity and tribes. And you cannot take that away for somebody to belong to a particular ethnic group or tribe. In actual fact no one had a say in determining an ethnic or a tribal group one
“We have only one country called Namibia, one President, one national anthem, one national flag, one national constitution, one Parliament and you can go on and on”
Government Information Bulletin March 2008
Assist the youth to understand the world
By Kaleni Hiyalwa
The Government Information Bulletin spoke to the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture (NYYSC), Hon. John Mutorwa. Below are the questions and answeres: Ques: How are the young people prepared to become useful future leaders of the country? ans: It is very important when answering this question to clearly understand that when we are talking about a young person or we are talking about youth we are talking about a living person in his/her fullest as a person. And therefore it is important to underscore that as a living person he or she does not start his or her life in the school. As a baby, life starts there at a parental home, then the school comes in to build upon the foundation that the parents have already instilled. The school as an essential institution has got a responsibility to provide the necessary life such as life skills, necessary knowledge, information, values and morals to this particular young person. All these things that I have just enumerated must assist this young person in his/her life long journey to understand the world, the environment in which she or he lives. Once he/she understands the environment and the resources around him or her, the ultimate objective is that the knowledge, information, values and morals must assist this person to make a living. That is the essence of education and that is the main mission of any school. I have no doubt that the schools in Namibia are essentially doing that. This Ministry is a sister or brother to the Ministry of Education. We are responsible for young people, particularly those who are in school but also for those who are out of school because we have established the MultiPurpose Youth Centres in all the regions. These centres are equipped with libraries and health Centres with programmes to provide young people with guidance and counseling. There are some classrooms to provide training, dress-making, computers and libraries where children can go and do research. In other words we complement what schools are doing. We also have in our Multi Purpose Centres sport facilities e.g. gymnasiums so that the children can come there and exercise. Further more, we have other programmes through the directorate of sport, extramural activities, athletics, football, netball, volleyball, hockey and swimming. All these programmes are geared to complement what schools are doing so that when you educate a person you educate him on all entirety and also physically. And that is how the government, through the Ministry of YNSSC, and the parent Ministry of Education, are trying to prepare the young people of today to become responsible and mature future citizens of Namibia. Ques:`How are the youth involved in the activities of the Ministry? ans: Now, we must emphasise, as government and as a leader, that ideally, all children in terms of article 20 of the Namibian Constitution must be in school until at least these children have completed primary education or they have at least attained the age of sixteen. This is what our Constitution is saying. I am not disputing your question that that is the ideal. The practice of course some of the children who are supposed to be in school and are not in school due to different practical reasons. And some of these reasons are very complex. We have the problem of orphans in the country - children who have lost their parents. We have the problem of poverty in this country. And all these problems can compound to make things difficult for these children to be in school. This is from the side of the government and not necessarily the responsibility of the government alone. If you look, for example, the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare, it has programmes targeting the vulnerable children. There are some programmes to cater for the Vulnerable Children and Orphans and these are efforts from the government to try and make life a little bit easier for the children to access the programmes. I have talked about making it possible for them to go back to normal school by addressing those impediment that would have kept them out and also by making it possible for them to participate in programmes that we are offering at the Multi-Purpose Resources Centres. There is no discrimination that you are poor, but we are just trying to address the problems that have prevented these children to be in school. And the government is doing it through institutions such as the MGCW. Ques: How are the skills programmes implemented? Do you have enough equipment such as computers and appropriate trained teachers? ans: May be I should not be theoretical about that question. Let us take Windhoek here, the old compounds in Katutura where the migrant workers, during the colonial time, used to leave. Few years ago, our Ministry, through the directorate of Arts, has transformed the place into what we now call the Katutura Community Arts Centre. If you go there, you will see many activities going on. The artists, performers and recorders are all there. They are given some training in different disciplines of the arts. The idea is, once they have the skills they can go out in the real world. If they are musician, they can record their music and can perform. I must highlight programmes when I talk about skills training. In this Ministry we have a national youth service. And the national youth service is an institution that was established through an Act of Parliament in 2005. Our Headquarters use to be at Berg Aukas but we have relocated to Grootfontein, 35 km from Berg Aukas. That programme is very important because we are training young people in different skills such as agriculture, hospitality and tourism, construction, ITC, driving and many programmes. In actual fact, a couple of months ago, we have been concentrating more in putting up management in place. Onesmus Upindi is the Commissioner, an Executive officer there. Its board is chaired by Mr. Vitalis Ankama, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education. In April, this year, if things goes according to plan we are going to train the young people, especially those who are out of school who would like to join. So far it is not compulsory. They will join on voluntary basis. They will be able to trained in the specific fields of their choice that are market related. In other words, the skills that are needed in our market economy will take a period of one and half or two years. Successful students will be give certificates. I must stress this point that at times we think that once we are trained then you expect the same institution that has trained you to provide you the job. We are encouraging young people to use those skills and create employment for themselves and others.
“There is no discrimination that you are poor, but we are just trying to address the problems that have prevented these children to be in school”