Republic of Namibia

here is our 20th independence anniversary logo!

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Government Information
March 2010


amibia’s 20th independence anniversary logo represents our national unity in diversity, a vibrant nation forging ahead to achieving our national goals as contained in our five year National Development Plan 3 as well as in our Vision 2030. These were the words of Prime Minister Nahas Angula when he launched Namibia’s 20th independence anniversary logo at the UN Plaza in Katutura on 17 February 2010. At the launch of the logo, the Prime Minister said that is was very important for Namibia to celebrate the strides we have made in the last twenty years. “We make deep reflections and continue to take stock of where we come from, where we are now and where we are going and how. We must always express our very sincere and heartfelt appreciation to those

who stood with us through thick and thin. We must endeavour to always remind ourselves of these serious sacrifices and make that our pillar of nurturing real internal peace and peace with our neighbours and the world at large,” Angula said. According to Angula the long and glorious journey of Namibia’s nationhood will continue to be told to generation upon generation. This year, Namibia will turn twenty years since our birth as a nation on 21st March 1990, when the flag of an independent Namibian nation was hoisted for the first time and the flag that represented the illegal authority of apartheid South African regime over our country was brought down forever. On 21st March 2010, the nation will gather at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek for the twentieth anniversary of our freedom

and independence from the yoke of apartheid colonialism. Namibia’s 20th independence anniversary logo consists of an oval shape depicting the Namibia flag with the figure and words 20 years inserted on the flag, pointing towards our 20 years as an independent nation. The jubilant figures on top of the oval symbolises our people, our stability and our unity in diversity as a nation. With their hands raised above their heads, the figures imply our bravery and victory as a nation. The figures also symbolises a crown that is pointing to our success as a nation, while the heads of the figurines depict our diamonds. The slogan for our 20th anniversary as a nation is – a visionary nation on the move towards 2030 – implying that we are working as a nation to realise our dream of becoming an industrialised and knowledge-based society by 2030.

IN ThIs Issue

Trust and confidence grew over 20 years: Angula Page 4

The pace of land reform in Namibia Page 11

stanley, the unsung hero of Namibia’s independence Page 14


Government Information Bulletin March 2010

From the Desk of the Minister
On 21 March this year it will be 20 years since Namibia rid itself from the yoke of racism and colonialist apartheid oppression to become a sovereign and independent republic with our own flag, coat of arms and national anthem. Namibians have a preindependence history of having been denied the basic human rights of inherent dignity, equality and self-determination. A protracted liberation struggle Hon. Joël Kaapanda, Minister of was waged against the colonial Information and Communication forces to attain freedom, dignity Technology and self-determination. In the process many sons and daughters of Namibia paid the highest price. Indeed the blood of those heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle waters our freedom. As we are preparing to celebration 20 years of freedom and independence, we are obliged to remember the sacrifices of those who suffered or paid the highest price to allow us to enjoy the fruits of independence. The 20th anniversary of our independence on 21 March 2010 is indeed an achievement to be proud of, especially since Namibia is in the position to boast that our first 20 years of independence was characterised by peace, stability and progress – unlike many other African countries that experienced different forms of upheaval after having attained independence. Thanks to the prevailing peace and security we can look back after 20 years to the progress that we have made as a nation – progress which is only possible in a stable and peaceful democratic dispensation. All Namibians have to be applauded for contributing to this conducive environment. In this edition of the Government Information Bulletin we are bringing you news on the progress that we have made in the past two decades. We have the Prime Minister talking about the value of the policy of national reconciliation that contributed to our stability. From the legislative arm of the government the Speaker shares his views of the progress we made, but he is cautioning that we are lacking tolerance and that we must start listening to each other since democracy needs wisdom and tolerance to flourish. Our representative judiciary, in which the population has great faith, serves as a role model in Africa according to our Chief Justice. In this edition you will also find an overview of the contribution of different sectors of the economy towards Namibia’s growth. This Bulletin, which is dedicated to our 20h independence anniversary, brings you news on agriculture, education, land reform, fisheries, infrastructure, tourism, mining and many more. On the centre spread you will find information on the flight of our Founding Father, Dr. Sam Nujoma, to freedom and the unsung hero who took him over the border. Happy reading and a happy 20th independence anniversary commemoration!

Here is our 20th independence logo………............................ 2010: Year of success and progress – Pohamba................. Trust and confidence grew over 20 years: Prime Minister....................................................................... Democracy needs wisdom to flourish: Speaker.................... Justice remains a pillar of Namibian democracy: Chief Justice……………………….......................................…... Agriculture – backbone of the Namibian economy............... 7 9 4 5 1 3

Large country, little land – land reform 20 years on............ 11 Stanley whisked Nujoma away to freedom.......................... 14 Education for a new Namibia................................................ 16 Fisheries sector made great strides in 20 years................... 18 Infrastructure to boost economic growth............................ 20 Tourists are flocking to Namibia since independence.......... 22 Mining – Namibia’s economic backbone............................... 25 20 Years on – fertile ground for Namibian media................. 27 Namibia telecoms infrastructure impressive........................ 28 Art development calls for decentralisation........................... 30


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 Communication Technology. 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 be accessed on the GRN news button on the Government internet site at The Bulletin is distributed free of charge to rural communities through the Ministry’s regional offices. The public and organisations are welcome to subscribe to the Bulletin, but mailing costs will be for the account of the subscriber.
Private Bag Telephone Fax E-mail Design 13344, Windhoek 061 - 2839111 061 - 230170 DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi, Windhoek. Layout and printing Solitaire Press, Windhoek.

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

2010: Year of success and progress Pohamba
By Julia Hamhata


hen addressing the first Cabinet meeting for 2010, President Hifikepunye Pohamba urged his Cabinet Ministers to make 2010 a year of success and progress in the development of the country. The Head of State also emphasised on consistent continuation in alleviating poverty and improvement of sanitation in rural areas and informal settlements in all towns and cities. “Let this be a year for the creation of more jobs for our people; for the further strengthening of our health and education sectors; for the continued expansion of the communication and physical infrastructure in our country, for improving sanitation in rural areas and informal settlements; for the expanded provision of portable water in rural areas; for addressing the socio-economic needs of the workers, peasants, senior citizens, orphans and vulnerable children, women, youth and vulnerable members of our nation,” Pohamba pleaded. Pohamba further stressed that it is the duty of the executive branch of the state to ensure that all policies that have been adopted are implemented and that the resources allocated to various institutions through the budget are utilised timely and for the purposes they have been allocated. “The onus is on us, as the

executive branch of the state, to implement policies and programmes that will create a conducive environment for our country to prosper and to free our people from the degrading chains of poverty,” he said. President Pohamba regarded the year 2010 as a significant milestone in the lives of the Namibian nation, as the nation will celebrate 20 years of nationhood, democracy, freedom and self-determination. The year will also mark the inauguration of the newly elected members of National Assembly and the formation of the new Government, following the November 2009 Presidential and National Assembly Elections. “It demands deliberate actions and steps to be taken by all those charged with the implementation of Government policies so that progress continues to be made and momentum can be maintained towards the achievement of our national development plans and Vision 2030,” Pohamba said. Pohamba emphasised the importance of hard work, dedication and proper planning at all levels, adding that ministers and their deputies as political principals of different public institutions, must at all times keep their hands on the wheel to ensure timely implementation of policies and Cabinet decisions by permanent secretaries and their staff.

The Head of State acknowledged the fact that citizens in different parts of the country are demanding service delivery and public amenities hence, the Government must continue to answer their legitimate calls and their pleas by expanding the availability of potable water, access to quality health care and education by strengthening its responses to the challenges of HIV/AIDS, crime and unemployment. He also emphasised the need to expand the Green Scheme, urging that it should be intensified and sustained for the improvement of local food production. “This is a duty in which we cannot afford to fail because the well-being of our people is at stake and the prosperity of our country is on the line,” Pohamba declared. Pohamba pointed out that the education sector needs more attention, making specific reference to the 2009 grade 10 examination results. He added that the Government must work hard to ensure that substantial financial resources allocated to the sector are effectively leveraged to yield the desired results. While appreciating the good rains that have been received so far, the President cautioned the emergency and disaster management institutions to be on the alert as more rain can still be expected as per the weather forecasts. He warned all relevant institutions to constantly monitor the levels of the rivers and the flood plains, to ensure that appropriate actions are taken timeously to prevent the destruction of property and the disruption of people’s livelihoods. “We still recall the destructive floods of 2008 and 2009 which occurred in the north and north-eastern parts of the country. This past experience must alert all relevant institutions in our Government to take timely action to mitigate the effects of the flood,” Pohamba emphasised. The President reminded his Cabinet Ministers that the massive support that the SWAPO Party received in the 2009 Presidential and National Assembly elections are from Namibian voters living in the rural areas and informal settlements in towns and cities. Hence, they are obliged to address their concerns and the challenges that they [voters] are facing. “We must continue to harness available resources and the capacities of our public institutions to give effect to and to achieve our stated objectives,” he urged.


President Hifikepunye Pohamba opening the first Cabinet session of 2010 with Secretary to Cabinet, Frans Kapofi by his side.

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Trust and confidence grew over 20 years: Prime Minister
o appreciate 20 years of nationhood, Namibians have to retrace their steps and reflect on how it all started. This is the view of Prime Minister Nahas Angula. “We have to go back to 1990. On 21 March 1990 Namibia was born as an independent and free nation. However, at that point in time, when political party representatives formed the Constituent Assembly, where consensus was reached on the type of Constitution we would have, the situation among the general public was one of mistrust, suspicion, not knowing where things were going, fear and apprehension. “Let me illustrate. I was appointed the first Minister of Education, Culture and Sport. I was invited by the then director of white schools to address members of school boards who had gathered at Windhoek High School. When I went there I found a community that was shell shocked. It was as if a bomb shell had been dropped in their midst. I overheard one official trying to sooth the people who were saying: “Dit is nie die einde van die wêreld nie” (This is not the end of the world). People were not sure what the future held. That was the prevailing situation. We had to start building bridges of mutual respect and contact. The Swapo government was wise to adopt the policy of national reconciliation. Simply put the policy said: ‘let’s turn a new page. On this new page we can craft our future. Let bygones be bygones. Let’s reach out to each other as people with one destiny.’ This helped us in dealing with a very difficult situation, like for instance integrating the 12 different education systems we found here. “It was not easy to bring people of different cultural backgrounds together and let them think along the same frame. “I remember as new Minister I was looking for office space. Windhoek had three education authorities, namely Herero, white and national education. The white education department informed me that they had space available on the ground floor of their head office, situated in the Nictus building, and I was welcome to use it. The people at the national education department decided not to be part
Prime Minister Nahas Angula
Continues on page 5


of that office, located in a building historically occupied by the promoters of apartheid. I had expected resistance from the Herero or the Coloured administrations, but this time it came from national education, that were lead by a white section who regarded themselves as enlightened. They could not understand that a Swapo Minister would stoop so low as to sit in that building. They had forgotten that we had adopted the policy of national reconciliation, we had decided to turn a new page. “There were other instances as well. I once called a meeting at the Windhoek Teacher’s Training College, where the University of Namibia is today where representatives of the education system of the whole country met. This was early 1991. At the meeting we wanted to announce the broad education policies we would be following. However most senior officials were people from the former white administration, national education, Coloured, Nama and Herero administrations. The colleagues who came from the northern regions were not prepared to accept that kind of arrangement. They said Comrade Angula had sold out to Koevoet and the former Broederbonders. They again forgot that we were building the nation based on the policy of national reconciliation and from that point of view we had to unify all the education departments and bring all of us together.

“It took time for the people to see my point. However by 1995, when the Ministry of Education was split in two, we had laid the foundation for a unified national education system, thanks to the policy of national reconciliation. “Another interesting experience was when we embarked on the integration of the schools. There was initial resistance from some formerly privileged white schools. They claimed it was a recipe for lowering the standards. I had to ensure them that with integration the studentteacher ration would not change and that we would not withdraw resources from their schools. After all the Constitution says that anything that smelled like apartheid would not be condoned in Namibia, and that they would have to start admitting black children. “There were however some teachers who were doing things to frustrate the efforts. In some classes black children were forced to sit in the back of the class in the last row, behind all the other children. In some cases a black child who wanted to make a contribution in class, was ignored. “We were lucky in those days to have a very strong student union, Nansu. Nansu agreed to monitor the implementation of the policy to integrate schools. They did a good job. When


Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Trust and confidence grew over 20 years: Prime Minister
they noticed something wrong, they went to the press. We would then pick up on it and launch an investigation. “The process of integration went smoothly with the exception of an incident at the Windhoek Technical High School, where a black girl was assaulted. This was the only major incident in the integration process. The examples I have given from the education sector also applies to the whole public service. The Constitution required that those people who were employed in the public service prior to independence should continue to perform their duties as per Article 141. This article was not favoured by those people who felt excluded and was of the opinion that those who worked for the colonial civil service were part of the machinery of oppression. However in the spirit of national reconciliation the Constitution states: ‘Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, any person holding office under any law in force on the date of Independence shall continue to hold such office unless and until he or she resigns or is retired, transferred or removed from office in accordance with law.’ Many believed that the incoming government would dismiss and replace the old guard. This did not happen. Those who worked for the colonial authority still continued to work for the Government of an independent Namibia. Some embraced the new policies and the new government, some left of their own accord. “Today that story will sound boring or surprising to some. Gradually we have started reaching out to one another and the mistrust disappeared, suspicion faded. It was translated into trust and confidence. In all of this the guiding principle was national reconciliation. “Today I believe Namibia is at a different faze as far as human relations and development are concerned. Namibia is a totally different country than it was in 1990. Surprisingly 20 years is not a very long time. 1990 seems like yesterday. “Of the challenges we face the most important question is how to tackle underdevelopment, poverty and unemployment. This translates into unequal distribution of national resources that is still visible. “Poverty is the consequence of a lack of productive assets among the majority of the people. We have big challenges that must be addressed. Malnutrition is responsible for

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poverty reproducing itself. The intellectual development of a child who is malnourished is influenced, and they can’t benefit from the education they are offered. In this way poverty reproduces itself. “Unemployment further aggravates inequality in the society. It is therefore imperative that we develop and implement a comprehensive programme to fight malnutrition and general diseases experienced by the population. It is important to have a healthy population. A healthy population will be able to be productive in all spheres of society, be it in schools, in the economy or any endeavours they undertake. The key to fight underdevelopment, poverty, unemployment is to promote a healthy nation. Food security is important. We must promote an improved diet among all our communities. The programme to immunise should be compulsory. “Over the next 20 years we must ensure that we have a healthy, well educated nation and create conditions for the majority of the population to own productive assets. If we implement these three priorities, in another 20 years from now, Namibia will be a totally different society,” Prime Minister Angula concluded.


amibia is a Parliamentary democracy. Parliament consists of two houses, the National Assembly and the National Council. Parliament is housed in the historical Parliament buildings in Windhoek’s city centre, known in colonial times as the Tintenpalast (ink palace – civil servants working there used a lot of ink to do their work). The Parliament of the Republic of Namibia is one of the three institutions of the State, which are the Legislature (Parliament), the Executive (Cabinet) and the Judiciary (the Courts). When Namibia became independent in 1990, the ruling party nominated dr. Mosé Tjitendero, as the first Speaker of the National Assembly, a position he held with aplomb for three consecutive five year terms. The reigns of the National Assembly was taken

Democracy needs wisdom to flourish: Speaker
over by the current Speaker, Mr. Theo-Ben Gurirab in 2005. “I have to search my mind to think of any African country that during the first 20 years of its independence had not experienced any major upheaval or disruption, be it a coup d’état or the assassination of the head of state or what ever. Except for Namibia, I can only think of Botswana. Botswana and Namibia have totally different histories. We came from a bitter military struggle, Botswana on the other hand were given their independence by the former colonial power, who just got tired of being there. That was of course before diamonds were discovered in that country. In our case the struggle dragged on, firstly because of Namibia’s strategic location and secondly due to the natural resources. Since 1990 till now, we have not seen any major disruptions,” Mr. Gurirab said.


Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly

Continues on page 6

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Democracy needs wisdom to flourish: Speaker
He explained that Namibia’s democracy is based on the political party list system, differing from the constituency based system. The President is also elected directly by the popular vote, and not by the winning party. After being elected the President constitutes his or her Cabinet from the elected members of the Parliament. A member of the National Assembly is in Parliament thanks to the political party he or she belongs to. In a constituency based system, a member of Parliament’s main loyalty would be with his or her constituency not necessarily to a political party. “In Namibia the ministers and deputy ministers run the show in Parliament, not the backbenchers or the members of the opposition. The ministers set the agenda for Government. They translate the manifesto of the ruling party into policies and legislative programmes, because it was on the strength of the manifesto that they convinced the voters to elect a specific party. “The leader of government business in the National Assembly is the Prime Minister. He is responsible for the government business as drawn up by Cabinet. It is the responsibility of ministers and others to assist the Prime Minister in driving policy choices and legislative programmes. It is inevitable that Government policy will correspond with the manifesto on which a certain party was elected into office. “Throughout our 20 years of independence, Swapo has maintained its dominant role in Parliament. This is due to the fact that there is a lack of major complaints for how Government is run, or anything that could threaten our democracy. The people feel that this is the best we can do, even though there are still challenges like our education system, health, the youth and the aged. Government has not succeeded fully in addressing these issues, but there is still a feeling of ‘so far, so good’. “Regarding the opposition parties, we have had quite a mix since independence. In 1990 there were people of great stature and of greater weight, who understood the role of the opposition. In theory the opposition of today is the government of tomorrow. They played an active role and showed good leadership. “Unfortunately these days, I would say we can do better. The opposition have progressively moved to a point of being hopeless. “With the beginning of the term of the fifth Parliament this year, we see a new situation, which can be compared to when the Congress of Democrats (CoD) first participated in the 1999 election, with a new political party (the Rally for Democracy and Progress – RDP) entering the fray. “All in all we can be satisfied with what our Parliament and Government have achieved in the last 20 years. However, on the economic side we could have done better. We have more mouths to feed, there are more demands from civil society and we face climate change. The economy must grow by at least seven or eight percent if we hope to meet the goals of Vision 2030. We also have a lot to do to empower our women politically, economically and as entrepreneurs. The youth are crying because even with degrees and senior secondary certificates, they can’t find jobs. We will have to grow our economy to provide more opportunities. “I am not really sure whether our citizens have reached the stage yet where they are able to differentiate between history, the legacy of personalities, historical figures and issues of safety, security and social well-being. This requires that they be informed about Government policies and laws. “If I look at countries like China and India, that in the early 1960’s were so poor, and how they managed to focus on their economies and transform themselves, be able to feed their people and train their people, I see valuable lessons. These days their people are able to grow their own food, grab opportunities to gain skills and not look to the government for everything. They have acquired skills and know-how to market their skills. They have the money to spend on medical care, sending the children to the schools of their choice. They have developed the means to create their own wealth and to take care of their own lives. “The future holds enormous challenges for us in Namibia. Unemployment is now above 40 percent. This is too high for our country. Namibia has the dubious record of having the highest Gini coefficient in the world. This measures the income disparity in the population. A small chunk of the population is very rich and the majority is very poor. This has been the case for 20 years. We can not continue like this. We need to grow our economy. “We must also fix our electoral system, because it has become

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embarrassing. Referring to India again, in a country with 1.48 billion people they have elections of one day and the results are known hours after the polling stations close. We have no excuse and reason to hold our elections over two days. “On the political front we face the challenge of intolerance. It comes in different forms from the governing party, the opposition parties and even from churches. There is a big need for tolerance and that we should listen to each other. Democracy needs wisdom and tolerance to flourish,” Mr.Gurirab concluded. By the end of 2009 the National Assembly passed 510 Bills. 1998 was the busiest Parliamentary year when 35 Bills were passed and 2009 the slowest with only seven Bills being adopted in that year. Looking back at the early years the Bills adopted by Parliament tells the story of the birth of a new nation. The first Act that was made in Namibia in 1990 was die National Coat of Arms of the Republic of Namibia Act, followed by the Public Service Commission Act, the Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone of Namibia Act, the Assignment of Powers Act and the Pension Matters of Government Institutions Amendment Act. Other interesting Acts of 1990 included the Ombudsman Act, Bank of Namibia Act, Namibian Citizenship Act, Public Holidays Act and the Police Act. In 1991 the Namibian Broadcasting Act, the Namibian Citizenship Special Conferment Act, Recognition of Certain Marriages Act, the National Anthem of the Republic of Namibia Act and the Racial Discrimination Prohibition Act were among those adopted. The Namibian Parliament also boasts several standing committees dealing with Constitutional and Legal Affairs; Economics, Natural Resources and Public Administration; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security; Human Resources, Social and Community Development; Privileges; Public Accounts and Standing Rules and Orders. The committees are comprised of backbenchers from all political parties represented in Parliament. They play an important part in the business of Parliament and contribute to the smooth running of the state. All in all Namibia’s Parliament is in institution all Namibians can be rightly proud of.


Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Justice remains a pillar of Namibia’s democracy: Chief Justice
“The judicial power shall be vested in the Courts in Namibia which shall consist of: (a) a Supreme Court of Namibia; (b) a High Court of Namibia; (c) lower courts of Namibia. The Courts shall be independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law.” Thus begins Chapter 9 of the Namibian Constitution. This independence the Namibian judiciary has practiced since it’s inception at the time of independence. Lady Justice is indeed blind and shows to fear nor favour when applying the laws of the land. Of this, Chief Justice exceptionally proud. Peter Shivute is “I often attend conferences and workshops in the Southern African region and I hear many issues our colleagues in the region still grapple with. Issues like the independence of the judiciary, the relations between the various organs of state, checks and balances and even the question whether the judiciary has any role to play. These are all non-issues in Namibia. Namibia is indeed a role model as far as these aspects are concerned,” Chief Justice Shivute said. Magistrates Courts Since independence Namibia has made great progress as far as the magistrates courts are concerned. “At the time of independence we had few magistrates and prosecutors and on this level the demographics of the country were not well reflected. “Magistrates were still part of the civil service. This raised the question about the independence of the judiciary as the magistrates’ court, high court and supreme court all form part of the judiciary. Magistrates fell under the Minister of Justice and their service conditions and any transfers were determined by the civil service and the Minister. In the late 1990’s plans were put in place to change it,” Chief Justice Shivute said. One magistrate challenged the Minister’s authority to transfer him. The Magistrates’ Bill was passed by Parliament and became the Magistrates’ Act. Magistrates were thus removed from the civil service and since then fall under the Magistrates’ Commission, chaired by a Judge of the High Court. Magistrates are still appointed by the Minister but now on the recommendation of the Magistrates’ Commission. The Magistry is headed by the Chief Magistrate. This is a positive development, according to Chief Justice Shivute. Due to a shortage of magistrates, magistrates were brought in from Zimbabwe to assist. This brought stablitiy and the Zimbabwean magistrates did a good job while steps were taken to employ Namibians who had graduated. “We now have a fairly good status. We have a

“Men and women on the benches of our courts work day and night to ensure that our Constitution is protected. They are all committed to the rule of law and are strictly nonpartisan. All our judges live up to the oath of office.


Minister of Justice, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana looks on while President Hifikepunye Pohamba unveils the plague of the High Court at Oshakati
Continues on page 8

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Justice remains a pillar of Namibia’s democracy: Chief Justice
system in place for training recent graduates. After successfully completing the training they can replace the expatriate magistrates. By the time the expatriates return to their home countries, we trust that sufficient skills transfer will also have taken place. High Court In 1990 at the time of independence Namibia only had three permanent judges. Today there are ten permanent judges of which three are Namibian women. In the past it was the exclusive domain of men. However the pool from which to choose judges is small and therefore Namibia also relies on expatriates to act as judges in the High Court. This has its benifits as it improves the judice prudence in the country and Namibians can benifit from the best in the Southern African region. They also make a significant contribution towards the development of local law. Steps are also being taken to appoint more Namibians to the Bench, including women. “The work of the High Court has increased tremendously and the number of judges we have are still not enough. Appeals have been made to Government to increase the number of judges and Government is sympathetic towards our plight. They accept the principle that this must be done to address crime and prevent the postponement of cases, Chief Justice Shivute added. Supreme Court Namibians have reason to celebrate the Supreme Court. In 1990 the Supreme Court existed but did not have its own courthouse. “Today a prestigious building, prominent in the city centre of Windhoek, representing justice as one of the pillars of our democratic state, houses the Supreme Court,” Chief Justice Shivute said. He also gave the assurance that the structural problems to the outside of the building were being addressed. Money was made available and architects are working on a solution. In 1990 the Supreme Court started its work with three judges, Judge President Hans Berker, Judge Ismael Mohammed from South Africa and Judge Dubetsheana from Zimbabwe. There was a critical shortage of personel and Namibia had to rely on judges from outside the country and serve. “We heavily depended on them and hope to have five supreme court judges. We still rely on judges from outside on a part time basis. It is a vigorous process to appoint a judge to the supreme court and judges can’t just be taken from the High Court as it will in turn leave a gap there. “At present the High Court and Supreme Court are working effectively. Over the years transformation took place and with the appointment of the Ombudsman, the Prosecutor General and Judges, the Judicial Service Commission made a point to ensure a balanced structure, reflective of our population, all inclusive and totally representative. “I am satisfied that we have a representative judiciary in which the population have great faith. On the Constitutional level the High Court and Supreme Court had to interpret many ariticles of the Constitution especially pertaining to human rights. The right to legal representation; the differentiation between the powers and functions of the Attorney General and the Prosecutor General – in which the courts made clear the seperation of powers; the issue of corporal punishment – where the courts ruled that it was degrading and inhumane and even the ruling by the Supreme Court that magistrates should not be part of the public service as it was not Constitutional, are examples. “In the case of the Caprivi Seperatists trail, the court ruled that Govenment should pay for the legal representation of the accused. “It is to the credit of Government that they

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have always complied with court orders. This is an important development and shows Government’s commitment to the law and the judiciary. “If someone is unhappy with what Government does, he or she can go to court,” Chief Justice Shivute said. With all the success and achievements of the last 20 years, Chief Justice Shivute admits that the judiciary still faces immense challenges. Firstly there is the issue of a shortage of judges to deal with cases. A lack of administrative support to do the job, as well as an increased case load in the High Court and Supreme Court, are other challenges. The rise in the number of civil cases to be heard is a positive indication that more and more Namibians know their rights and are aware that they can go to the High Court to get relief. Not many people approach the Supreme Court probably because of financial reasons. “The cost of litigation is a concern. The Supreme Court is the last court anyone can approach to get relief, but often the cost is a hampering factor. “However the good news is that the Court does not ask money to hear a case. It is only the lawyers who must be paid. “At the supreme court the waiting period for a case to be heard is also short. Once a case is registered and the docket is ready, the court can proceed. “The challenges we face can be overcome. I am concerned about judgements taking a long time to be handed down. The Judicial Service Commission has, however, now set a time limit within which judgements must be handed down. “Namibians can be very proud of the achievements over the last 20 years, not only as far as the judiciary is concerned but also on other levels of state. Our population is small and we have made tremendous progress since independence,” Chief Justice Shivute concluded.


Chief Justice Peter Shivute

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Agriculture – backbone of the Namibian economy
griculture can rightfully be described as Namibia’s economic and social heart beat. If measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), agriculture’s contribution is relatively small compared to that of mining and tourism. However, when considered that about 70% of Namibia’s population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, the real importance of this sector becomes eminent. The Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) has been tasked over the past 20 years to implement agricultural, water and forestry policies, strategies and programmes which are in line with the country’s developmental blueprints, namely Vision 2030 and the National Development Plans. Mr. Andrew Ndishishi, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the MAWF, says his ministry’s main objective is to create an enabling environment for the development, management en sustainable utilisation of agriculture, water and forestry resources. “In doing so the MAWF applies modern techniques, science and technology to enhance the agro-industry, livestock production, horticulture as well as the marketing and the storage of agricultural products. Furthermore the Ministry provides veterinary services to ensure animal and public health and to comply with the requirements for national and international trade in agricultural commodities,” Ndishishi says. As far as plant production is concerned, Namibia made huge progress over the past two


decades. “At the moment we produce 50% of all the cereals consumed locally. Furthermore, the local production and marketing of fruit and vegetables and other horticultural produce increased to about 30% of the local demand. The ultimate aim is to replace most of the imported products with local production,” says the PS. The Green Scheme is an initiative conducted by the MAWF to encourage the development of irrigation-based agronomic production with the aim of increasing the contribution of agriculture to the country’s GDP and to simultaneously uplift and develop communities located within suitable irrigation areas. Namibia’s climate is marginally suited to dryland crop production, with the exception of areas in the north and north-eastern regions. Only 2% of the country’s total surface area is regarded as arable, whereas about 46% is seen as suitable for permanent pasture, 22% is forest and the rest arid. Irrigation is possible only along the perennial rivers (on the northern and southern borders) and where dams feed irrigation schemes. Although substantial production in staple food takes place, Namibia is still dependent on food imports to address its food insecurity. As mentioned before, the primary significance of the agricultural sector lies in its contribution to the livelihoods of rural communities. Namibia has dual agricultural farming systems. The communal farming sector comprises 41% of agricultural arable land, whilst the commercial farming sector occupies about 44% of the agriculturally usable land. The 4 000 families

on these farms employ about 70 000 families in commercial production. The commercial subsector contributes about 65% of the agricultural output of Namibia. Cattle farming are concentrated in central and northern Namibia, while the southern parts of the country are used for sheep and goat farming. Because Namibia’s cattle are bred and reared extensively in the country and live entirely off savannah grasses and shrubs, Namibian beef is entirely free from harmful residues, hormones and antibiotics. Namibia is widely regarded as one of the best sources of beef in the world. About 80% of all livestock, meat and meat products are exported, mostly to South Africa and Europe. According to Ndishishi, Namibia also wants to enter markets in the Middle East, China en the United States of America. The livestock sub-sector is the single largest contributor from agriculture to the GDP through the export of beef and mutton – more or less 88% of the 10% that this sector adds to the national income. With the exception of cattle weaners, more than 95% of cattle and sheep are slaughtered at the five local export abattoirs. The commercial dairy industry operates in accordance with a free-market system. The Namibian Dairy Producers’ Association (DPA) consists of small groups of farmers located in the Grootfontein, Gobabis, Mariental and Windhoek areas. Less than twenty producers supply fresh milk for Namibia, as well as considerable quantities of cream and yoghurt. Most butter, cheese and other dairy products, however, are still imported from South Africa. With Namibia


The super farm at Mariental

Irrigation farming takes place at Hardap and at Aussenkehr in the south
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Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Agriculture – backbone of the Namibian economy
Dairies’ new super dairy farm at Mariental now in production, the country’s dependency on imports will reduce dramatically. White maize is produced mainly under dryland conditions in the maize triangle situated between Tsumeb, Otavi, and Grootfontein, in the Summerdown area and in the Omaheke and Caprivi regions. The most important irrigation schemes contributing to domestic white-maize production are the Hardap Irrigation Project, the Naute Project near Keetmanshoop, Etunda in the North Central Regions, the flood plains in the Caprivi and irrigation schemes in the Kavango. According to Ndishishi 9 000 ha of agricultural land is under irrigation. “The aim is to increase it to 27 000 ha within the next few years.” A total of over 7 000 ha of white maize is currently planted in the commercial dry-land production areas. About 30% of mahangu (pearl millet) production is officially marketed; the rest is consumed at household level or kept for household consumption. Fruit production has also taken off, especially in southern Namibia at Aussenkehr on the northern banks of the Orange River, primarily for the production of table grapes. Augmented by exceptionally long hours of sunshine, Namibia can produce grapes earlier in the season than South Africa, which gives significant price advantages in foreign markets. There are a total of nine grape-producing companies in the Aussenkehr valley. The Namibia Grape Company (Pty) Ltd was established in 1999 by an empowerment group to promote the production and marketing of table grapes for export purposes. These are supplied to northern-hemisphere markets such as the UK, while some are shipped to the Far East. A wide selection of vegetables is grown at irrigation sites at amongst others Etunda, Olushandja, Lake Oshikoto and Guinas, Omaruru, Stampriet, Hardap, Okahandja and the Orange River. Namibia’s climate is ideally suited for the production of olives. Today there are about 20 producers, and a total of about 20 000 trees. The biggest producer is Heiser’s Oliven, which produces green as well as the soft Calamatastyle black olives, and also olive oil and olive paste.

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Dates are currently being produced at three locations: Khorixas in Kunene South, Aussenkehr on the Orange River and the Naute Dam near Keetmanshoop. The dates produced at Naute are soughtSlaughtered cattle at one of the country’s abattoirs after because of their exceptional quality and because they measure Furthermore, the uncertainty of the outcome up to strict international marketing of the current trade negotiations with the standards. The most popular export varieties European Commission for an Economic are Medjool and Barhee. Partnership Agreement and the inevitable affect thereof on agricultural exports, When asked about the challenges for the future, necessitates the development of alternative Ndishishi says: “The rate of reoccurrences of markets. floods and prolonged dry spells are adversely affecting crop production. The MAWF in collaboration with other Ministries and agencies are therefore developing a disaster management plan. The Ministry also pays attention to pro-active interventions like promoting the technologies that will address climate change.” The lack of expertise in critical areas such as engineering, hydrology, entomology, plant pathology, rangeland management and horticulture also need to be addressed by encouraging students through bursary schemes to qualify themselves in those fields, he says. “The marketing opportunities for horticultural and agronomic crops produced at regional level, is still limited. It is important to encourage more and more smallholder farmers to produce for the market. To this end more agricultural extension technicians need to be deployed, more grain silos need to be erected and marketing strategies for controlled crops like fruit, vegetables, millet and maize need to be intensified,” Ndishishi concluded.


Namibian cattle

Drying mahangu

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Large country, little land - land reform 20 years on
By Catherine Sasman ne of the pillars of a new Namibia was to rectify post-colonial land distribution that was extremely skewed in favour of the former colonial rulers. The next 20 years would prove to be a trying time to address these inequities. Twenty years after independence, the land question remains at the heart of the postcolonial processes of State consolidation. Equally, said the Namibian Government, land reform is to alleviate poverty and ensure increased sustained livelihood of resettlement beneficiaries to contribute meaningfully to Namibia’s economy. Land ownership in pre-independent Namibia Before the colonial era, customary laws by various language groups determined landownership. Land tenure was communal, but suggested researchers Professor Sydney L. Harring and Willem Odendaal in the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) publication ‘One day we will all be equal: A socio-legal perspective on the Namibian land reform and resettlement process’, the term was much more complex. Large tracts of land were held by pastoralists - “some of the largest and most prosperous herding cultures in southern Africa”. Other parts were farmed in plots of different sizes with a variety of crops. The San hunted and gathered. Each clan or family had definite rights to use particular lands. Even the nomadic San, said Harring and Odendaal, “regaled communal lands with some possessory interest”. They suggested that both communal and customary land rights be viewed as evolutionary land tenure systems, changing with new circumstances. During the German colonial period (from 1884 to 1915) “white beneficiaries” occupied grazing areas of the Herero and Nama. White settlers did not penetrate the more fertile areas of the north (the former Ovamboland) and northeast (the former Okavangoland and Caprivi Zipfel). This left most indigenous inhabitants of the northern regions on their own land, living


under their own laws. After 1900, the German administration divided Namibia into two sections: the Police Zone in central and southern Namibia, and the northern and northeastern ‘reserves’ or ‘homelands’. Movement for indigenous Namibians was restricted, and whites were prohibited to enter these areas. Northern Namibians could only move out of the reserves if contracted for labour for limited periods. Administration in the ‘homelands’ was done by traditional authorities. Communities in the northern regions were incorporated into the colonial administration after 1900: Ovamboland and the Caprivi Zipfel were incorporated in 1908 and 1910 respectively. Herero chiefs used customary rights of land allocation in central parts of Namibia. In 1876, Chief Samuel Maharero set aside areas as reserves for pastoralists. Europeans settled on the rest. German colonial officials acquired land by providing ‘protection’ to Herero, Nama and Baster against warring clans. This landed substantial lands to the Germans between 1893 and 1903. German expansion of land ownership grew after the 1897 rinderpest killed thousands of oxen, rendering indigenous people more vulnerable and forced into wage labour while the price of land fell sharply and used as a bartered commodity. The 1904 Nama and Herero revolt against German rule caused further loss of control and ownership of traditional land. At the end of the war in 1908, land and livestock of all indigenous groups in central and southern Namibia were confiscated. Only the Rehoboth Basters, some Damaras and Berseba Namas were allowed to retain land and livestock. From 1915 to 1920, no legislation existed under which land settlement could be carried out. In fact, the incoming South African administration discouraged settlement. But white South African stock farmers nonetheless moved into southern Namibia where they were issued with grazing or occupation licenses. After 1920, a land board was introduced to facilitate land settlement of white South African farmers.

These farmers received substantial financial and logistical support. In 1922, the administration introduced the Native Administration Proclamation 11. This law provided that blacks who are not in employment may not be permitted to squat on land of owners or lessees without permission of a magistrate. Not more than 10 black families could be employed by one farmer without permission. Native reserves were formed, and the Native Reserves Commission in 1922 recommended that nine percent - or five million hectares - form these reserves. This meant that 11 740 indigenous Namibians were settled on five million hectares, while 7 481 371 hectares were given to 1106 white farmers. This proclamation did not affect Ovamboland, Okavango and a few other areas in the north. These areas were outside the white settlement area and under the administration of commissioners. The South Africans continued separating Namibia into the Police Zone and northern regions as the Germans had done. By the mid-1940’s, there was demand to settle more ‘landless’ whites. In 1950, the Police Zone was pushed further north, which made available an additional 275 white farms. The Sperrgebied diamond area was also shifted for more farming units to whites in the Namib Desert. By 1960, there were 5214 white-owned farms. The total commercial (or white-owned) farming area was 39 million hectares, with each farm on average sized about 7500 hectares. By 1965, there were 8803 commercial farming units. Harring and Odendaal suggested that this meant some farmers owned more than one unit. For Namibia’s indigenes, the land situation remained bleak, although the Odendaal Plan in the 1960’s increased available land to black Namibians by 50 percent. Ten reserves (or homelands) were declared in accordance with the Self-Government for Native Nations in South West Africa Act of 1968. The Act recognised Ovamboland, Hereroland, Kaokoland, Okavangoland, Damaraland, and Eastern
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Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Large country, little land - land reform 20 years on
Caprivi as ‘native nations’. But, said Harring and Odendaal, the agricultural potential of this added land was limited; it was “the most marginal of agricultural land”. In 1980, the South African regime introduced Proclamation 8 - or AG 8 - that established second-tier governments over 11 ethnic groups. Under AG 8, traditional authorities in the homelands became trustees of land there, although the land ownership still resided with the South African Government. The representative authorities could allocate, sell or lease communal land to a specific ethnic group only with a declaration from Cabinet that such land was not required for public or official purposes. AG 8 was in place until independence in 1990 when it was repealed and replaced by the Namibian Constitution. The post-independence land reform attempt * Legal Reforms The South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) clinched the first democratic election held in 1989 that heralded in Namibia’s independence. It has remained in power since then. In its pre-independence blueprint outlining transformation plans for the new nation, the party declared that the State would become the absolute owner of all agricultural land. Alongside this, there would be a “relative accommodation of a number of other forms of ownership of the means of agricultural production”, wrote Kaapama in his paper, ‘Commercial land reforms in postcolonial Namibia: What happened to liberation struggle rhetoric?’ The goal of the blueprint was to establish fully-fledged State farms based on the model of large-scale socialist farming by the State. Further, there were to be cooperatives based on a combination of private ownership of land with an emphasis of joint cultivation and/or sharing of farm support services, as well as collective and communes. “[These] forms of collective ownership were described as more favourable to the reversal of the colonial socioeconomic relations based on exploitation, as well as for provision of large resource bases for accumulation from below,” said Kaapama. An added proposal was for the provision of individual family farms on land units leased from local communities. But, suggested Kaapama, the negotiated settlement that brought in Independence, “had major implications for the implementation of the transformation-oriented socioeconomic development agenda” of SWAPO. The 1989 SWAPO manifesto hence reaffirmed its commitment to redress the land inequities, but also made provision for private land ownership in addition to the three forms of land ownership stipulated in the 1985 United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) document. In 1991, the new Namibian Government convened the seminal Land Conference to iron out the land issue. The conference was attended by 500 delegates from all over the country to reach national consensus. The land conference adopted 24 recommendations or ‘consensus resolutions‘, although these were not legally binding. The resolutions would, however,

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strongly influenced subsequent legislation of land. In broad terms, it adopted the willing-seller/ willing-buyer (WSWB) concept, which means that those with land retain full discretion to sell land, or not. It further proposed the expropriation of land - against fair and just compensation - if necessary of un- and underutilised land, from foreign landlords, from commercial farmers with excessive land, and from absentee landlords. The adoption of the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Act in 1995 reserved Government’s preferential rights to buy land that comes to the market. This provision, said Kaapama, was often circumvented by some landowners who converted the farming entity into a business - like closed corporations - and later traded them as a corporate concession to preferred buyers, including foreigners. This loophole was addressed in the Second Commercial Agricultural Land Reform Amendment Act. The 1995 Act was criticised as being expensive while it fails to permit the acquisition of land for more efficient resettlement. But, countered Government, the Act is an attempt to address the unequal distribution of commercial land on the one hand, while retaining the confidence of commercial farmers and potential investors to Namibia. The Act does, however, make provision for land expropriation, but only after a ‘willingseller/willing-buyer’ process has been explored. The expropriation mechanism was introduced in 2004. Further, the Act makes provision for advise, surveying and valuation of land offered for sale. But the process is at the discretion of the lands minister. Any matter under the Act can be appealed to the Lands Tribunal. The minister is bound by a decision of the Land Tribunal, which has the effect of a High Court decision, which can be appealed in the Supreme Court. The 1995 Act was never challenged until the High Court made a ruling in favour of Gunther Kessle and two other foreign nationals versus the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement (MLR) in 2008.
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A resettled Ovahimba boasting with his crops while Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Libertina Amathila looks on

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Large country, little land - land reform 20 years on
Government had attempted to expropriate farms owned by the German nationals. But the High Court found the minister’s administration of the expropriation process wanting, suggesting that this “mismanaging” of the process has left the land reform programme in a state of disarray. Due to the slow pace of commercial land acquisition, the 1995 Act was amended twice. The first amendment was in July 2000. This amendment provides for the establishment and administration of the Land Acquisition and Development Fund. The second amendment, in 2001, was brought about to regulate the appropriation of moneys of the Land Acquisition and Development Fund. It further makes provision for a restriction on the transfers of agricultural land, and makes provision for the imposition and collection of land tax. Land was only taxed since 2005. The lands ministry also introduced a resettlement policy to help previously disadvantaged Namibians have access to land with secure tenure. The beneficiaries of this resettlement policy, according to the ministry are the following: people without land, income or livestock; those who have few livestock; and people with no land but with an income or a livestock who need land to be resettled on with their families. Initially, the main beneficiaries for resettlement were the San, ex-soldiers, returnees from exile, disabled people and displaced agricultural workers. Under this programme, the ministry allots acquired land to beneficiaries for free, for a lease period of up to 99 years. There were suggestions that the lease agreement be shortened to 50 years, or even as little as five years. Another change made to structures influencing land and land reform, was the disbandment of the Land Bank, first introduced in 1944. This body made way for the Agricultural Bank in 1991. At the same time the Agricultural Credit Act of 1966 was repealed. The aim of the Agricultural Bank is to provide loans at special low interest rates to previously disadvantaged persons in the purchase of farmland, and to those who occupy communal land irrespective of ownership. In 1992, Cabinet introduced the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS), managed by the Agricultural Bank, to assist communal farmers to obtain farmland in commercial areas. This scheme was amended in 1996. The AALS does not specifically consider affirmative action loans to women, but the Bank considered that women could be reached through loans given to cooperatives. According to the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002, right holders were required to register their land rights by March 2009, a date extended from 2006. The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement (MLR) is currently consulting with various communities on a proposed Land Reform Act that aims to merge existing land laws that deal with commercial and communal land separately.

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targets: only 90 000 hectares can be acquired per year, instead of about 180 000 hectares. Also in 2006, of the 18 farms that have been issued with letters of intent for expropriation purposes, only three have been bought. In the now infamous Ongombo West saga, the farm’s legal representatives decided to have the farm bought through the willingseller/willing-buyer arrangement. This is while the MLR stated that, contrary to popular believe, it does not appropriate land without due compensation. Some commentators held that farms offered have not been in good condition. These were reportedly found with dilapidated infrastructure, on mountainous terrain and bush encroached landscapes. Or, they said, many of these farms are in the desert or arid areas, like farms in the Karas region offered to potential settlers from northern Namibia. No farms - or few - were offered in areas suitable for crop farming. As far as communal land is concerned, allocations done by traditional authorities before the adoption of the Communal Land Reform Act have not been geographically described, surveyed, registered or mapped. This Act requires that all customary rights be recognised and registered. A suggestion was made that Government adopt rural development policies that promote agrarian reforms to benefit the rural poor. Deputy Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Isak Katali, had stated that the ministry has set a target of freehold land acquisition for the year 2020 to be 4 100 000 hectares at a price tag of N$1.025 billion. This means a budget of N$68 333 333 per year. Katali said the ministry has also targeted for 5 million hectares in non-freehold (communal) land for development at a cost of N$800 million, or N$53 333 333 per year. Post-settlement support he set at a total cost of N$1.402 billion, or N$33 066 667 per year. All in all, said Katali, the ministry wishes to see that by the year 2020, a total of 26 727 families have benefited from land reform on 15 300 000 hectares of agricultural land at a total cost of N$3.723 billion, which translates into an annual budget of N$248 200 000.

* Land acquisitions The MLR has only been able to acquire 90 commercial farms in the first ten years since independence.
It anticipated land acquisition and redistribution of 9.5 million hectares within a five-year period during the second National Development Plan period (2000 to 2005). This constitutes 25 percent of the total commercial land. A recommendation was made that Government raise its target from 9.5 million hectares to 15 million hectares by 2020. This would translate into 41 percent of commercial land. By 2006, the total area of commercial farmland owned by previously disadvantaged farmers had risen to 16.1 percent [according to data provided by the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU)]. It was, however, noted that new farmers received farms with up to 200 percent decrease in productivity, in other words, the farms hold three times less stock than before. In 2006, it was estimated that 240 000 people are in need of land. What was not made clear was whether these people need land for agricultural purposes or for shelter. By that year, Government has acquired 201 commercial farms, comprising 1 288 238 hectares of land, on which 1 561 families have been resettled. The verdict remains out: the process of land acquisition under the willing-seller/willing-buyer arrangement is considered as too slow since sellers decide when to sell, in other words, when market conditions are favourable. This has meant that Government did not reach its


Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Stanley whisked Nujoma away to freedom
By Rhingo Mutambo s Namibia celebrates its 20 years of independence, Permanent Secretary Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana, Chairperson of the Information and Publicity Sub-Committee of the National Inter-Ministerial Organising Committee for the 20th Independence Anniversary led a team of public media to track down the unsung heroes and heroines who played a pivotal role in the quest for Namibia’s independence, and document their stories. The ground breaking journey was to start with tracking the footprints of the Founding President and the Father of the Namibian Nation, Dr. Sam Nujoma, and patches together the missing links of the unsympathetic road to Namibia’s freedom and independence. The expedition led the discovery to a small but rich farm called Ohauveve in the Ganzi district of Botswana, about 40 kilometers from the Trans-Kalahari Border post, where the man who transported Sam Nujoma into exile on 1 March 1960 under the instruction of the late Chief Hosea Kutako, still lives. A strong and meticulous 82 years old peasant, businessman and a father of seven, Mr. Ludwig Kanduketu Stanley, has a very good recollection of his youth and his contribution to the Namibian liberation struggle. Stanley was born to an English father and Herero mother in Windhoek on 8 January 1928 and grew up in Ombujomumbonde in the Okakarara district. As


a youth, he has witnessed the ill-treatment of the black people in Namibia. He said those days were so difficult that two or more people were not allowed to caucus. “As a black person you were not allowed to buy white bread and all your shopping would be done through the window,” he said. Stanley said his church, the then Lutheran Evangelical Church was also very discriminatory against blacks. The church often collected money which it said was going to be given to all the elderly people and vulnerable members of the church, but the money was only given to the white elderly people. These and more “cruel activities” of the then South African colonial regime and its people, stirred up his hatred against the “merciless” oppression and apartheid. This discrimination by the church led to the birth of the present Oruuano or Protestant Unity Church of Bishop Asaria Kamburona. Stanley’s father also supported the Ovaherero communities by secretly providing them with rifles to wage war against the Germans. His great grandfather, the late Chief Kambauruma fought the Germans at the Ohamakari battle in August 1904 until his rifle caught fire from the heat of the ammunition. All these influenced his participation in the fight against colonialism. Consequently, he opted to follow his father at the age of 15, who had left for the British Bechuanaland protectorate (Botswana) before returning back to Namibia to join the Chief Hosea Kutako Council as a messenger or transport officer. He later went back to settle in Botswana in 1964. While in Namibia, Stanley contributed to the Namibian liberation struggle by putting his Chevrolet at the disposal of the Chief Council free of charge. “I met so many people at night and I dropped them off at night. Some do remember me, some don’t, and I was never intercepted in carrying out my responsibilities,” he recalled while smiling. “I was a hardworking and trusted person under the Chief and was later assigned with the responsibility of transporting

people [including Dr. Sam Nujoma] in secret out of the country,” he said. The big three: Nujoma, Libertina and Stanley Sam Nujoma who used to stay at Swakopmund then, was being hunted by the apartheid South African regime for conducting “illegal meetings” at the time and he escaped to Windhoek. The late Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero communities, Mr. Clemens Mutuurunge Kapuuo, had already sent the message to Chief Kutako that “an important person was coming” through the Karuaihe family to Gobabis. Chief Kutako arrived in Gobabis from Aminius to bless Nujoma’s way. At that time the South West Africa Police had an inkling that Nujoma was spotted in Windhoek and Gobabis and they were looking for him. Stanley was also being hunted as one of the suspected persons who would know the whereabouts of Nujoma. Stanley says, Nujoma was received by Mr. Hijakati Katjiuanjo and others in Gobabis, since he was still at work. At that time he had never met Nujoma in person but had heard about his daring activities and that the police were after him. To protect him, Nujoma was hidden in a house for three days, where the wife of Reverend Assaria Kamburona, delivered a baby boy, a former Member of Parliament Rudolf Hijonganda Kamburona. In the OvaHerero tradition no one is allowed to enter the house where a woman is


Mr. Lugwig Kanduketu Stanley flanked by his wife Ms. Claudia Stanley (Front row: 3rd from left) and their daughter Elizabeth Stanley and grandchildren, Namibia’s High Commissioner to Botswana. H.E. Hadino Hishongwa (3rd from right), Botswana’s High Commissioner to Namibia, H.E. Mr. Duke Lefhoko (center), Information and Communication Technology Permanent Secretary, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana (far right), Charles Hill Traditional Chief, Mr. Mbao Kahiiko (Front row: 2nd from left), Charles Hill District Commissioner Mr. Leoto Porati (Back row: 2nd from left), standing at the Ounongo river where Stanley alighted Dr. Sam Nujoma into exile in the early morning hours of 1 March 1960.

Mr. Lugwig Kanduketu Stanley in his early30s.
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Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Stanley whisked Nujoma away to freedom
in accouchement or in childbirth. Hence, Chief Hosea Kutako has instructed a young Stanley to whisk Nujoma overnight into Botswana in the early morning hours of 1 March 1960, which he wholeheartedly did. They drove up to few kilometres towards the former Namibia-Botswana border post, and had to switch off the lights and drive without them so that the border post personnel would not see them. Before they reached the border post they stopped, hid the car in the bush far from the road and walked. It was raining and the Kalahari sands had soaked enough water. Nujoma was alighted at the Ounongo River about five kilometres away from the former Namibia-Botswana border post and had to find his way through the gloomy dark of the rain and a thick acacia forest through Charles Hill town, to the late Mr. Richard Raahua Kanguaiko’s homestead at Otjomatemba with a map he has drawn for him. At some point “Nujoma’s shoe got stuck so deep in the mud, they had to dig in the mud to locate it,” before they could proceed, recalled Stanley. Since going back to Namibia in the day light would mean risk for Stanley, he chose to only escort Nujoma into Botswana. Charles Hill was the first entry for Nujoma into exile. “In my quiet moments I pat myself on the back that Namibia is free and the person I have transported in this country would become the first president of an independent Namibia,” he bragged. The Kanguaiko family then handed him to the late Loise Opperman Kavezeri and Daniel Munamava in Maun who then helped him to cross the borders of the British Bechuanaland protectorate into the then Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1960 from where he proceeded to Tanganyika, Kenya, Sudan, Liberia and finally reached the USA. Late Loise Opperman Kavezeri is the mother to the late PLAN commander Hanganee Katjipuka Kavezeri. Stanley also transported the Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Libertina Amathila, into exile among others. “Libertina was an attractive little girl with a mini skirt and very long nice hair when she came to my house,” he said. He kept her at his house in Gobabis before transporting her under a pretext that her parents had just died in Maun [Botswana]. He, however, had to cut her hair, to avoid the risk of attracting attention and being interrogated. Stanley had met Nujoma and Libertina for the first time after independence in 1994. “It was a great feeling when we met. He invited all Ministers to come and see me,” he said. He is expected to participate in the celebration of Namibia’s 20th Independence Anniversary celebration on 21 March 2010 for the first time. History making Chevy Stanley’s classic Chevrolet pickup, which is a near wreck parked under a tree, used to transport the people who would become high ranking leaders in Namibia. He bought this vehicle in 1957 at a cost of 70 Pounds from an English car dealer called Eschorn in Gobabis. “Hosea Kutako travelled in this Chevrolet, Nujoma travelled in this Chevrolet, Libertina and many others travelled in this Chevrolet,” he proudly spoke of his historical Chevrolet while pointing at the worn-out front left seat where Sam Nujoma sat. “This is Nujoma’s seat”, he murmured. The 57 Chevy pickup as it affectionately used to be called, is not only well kept, painted cream and stationed on the drums under a big shady tree, but has now become treasure that the Namibian government can consider to acquire and erect between the Namibia-Botswana border posts as a national memorial shrine for tourists and future historians to visit in their quest for a deeper understanding of Namibia’s journey to independence. “This is like a memory wall picture for me, and it was ready all the time” he reluctantly said as he admired it once more with a walk around it showing a rusted pump here and spade there, all affixed to the car, in case of emergencies. “This vehicle must be recognised for our history. You are no longer a man of your own, your vehicle is ours and you owe us a very important history. Do not deny the people of Botswana and Namibia your history,”

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pleaded the Namibian High Commissioner to Botswana. H.E. Hadino Hishongwa. He was part of the delegation that undertook to track down people who through noble gestures contributed to Namibia’s independence. Hishongwa further said now was the time to tell the people of Namibia and the world that we did not fight alone. “A hearsay history is not a correct history,” he stressed. The Botswana High Commissioner to Namibia H.E. Duke Lefhoko emphasised that the heroic gift of the Chevrolet to the two nations must be reciprocated financially or with other necessities. Namibia-Botswana relations The relationship between Namibia and Botswana dates back beyond the dark days of German-Ovaheroro upraising and when South Africa wanted to annex Namibia. It was during these difficult times when the Botswana Chief Muremi and Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva exchanged a dog and a cow between 1700 to 1800. Chiefs Tshekedi Khama and others also petitioned the United Nations against Namibia’s annexation to South Africa and later facilitated Reverend Michael Scott’s contact with Chief Hosea Kutako. “There is no difference between Batswana and Namibians apart from following procedures and laws in place,” said Hishongwa, who was part of the expedition that continued to Sehitwa, Maun, Mahalapye, Francistown and Gaborone. “When we wanted to petition the United Nations, it was the Batswana Chiefs who found us Reverend Michael Scott to draft our letters. When Namibia got its independence the first president to visit Namibia was the former Botswana President H.E. Ketumire Masire, a signal that Botswana was the first country to recognise Namibia as an independent sovereign state,” said Hishongwa. Hundreds of thousands of Namibians fled the country on horse back, donkey carts and other modes of transport through Botswana. There were no refugees at that time in Charles Hill but one wonders how the Batswana people kept the Namibians. Hishongwa further said Botswana and its people are poor, but they always shared the little they have, including their assistance during the devastating efundja (floods) two years back in the northern part of Namibia.


Mr. Stanley next to his 1957 Chevrolet.

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Education for a new Namibia
By Catherine Sasman

The budget for education has escalated from around N$600 million in the first year after independence to a whopping N$5 billion. But are the dividends satisfactory?


y 1990, the new government was faced with the mammoth task of transforming Namibia’s ethnically and socially fragmented education system. Up until that time, education was characterised by major disparities in terms of the distribution of educational opportunities and facilities among different sections of the Namibian community. The provision of education and training was skewed in racial and regional terms. Importantly also, there was a serious deficit of professionally trained people to take on the necessary task to change the country’s economic structure. Government’s response was to make educational reform one of its priority areas in a bid to improve the quality and output of learners at all levels. An initial publication, ‘Towards a unified education system’ considered resource distribution, equal learning opportunities, new teaching methods, a new language policy, and curriculum changes. In the first year of independence, the Ministry of Education set itself five goals: to provide

improved and equitable access to education with a particular emphasis to increase enrolment at primary level; to improve the quality in the education system; to enhance democratic participation in the system; to improve the efficiency of the system; and to promote lifelong learning. The first ministry in charge of education had a broad mandate - for education, culture, youth and sport. Notwithstanding, it brought about organisational change to education with the ministry at the apex of the change and the teacher at classroom level to give effect to the new impetus. The process was not always smooth sailing, commented architect of the Namibian education sector, Prime Minister Nahas Angula, who was the longest standing minister in this portfolio. Resistance came primarily from the erstwhile white education administrators; the setting was “polluted by apartheid”, according to Angula. “It was not that people did not want to accept the new order; people still did not communicate with each other,” said Angula.

Moreover, the unification of the education system in some circles meant the lowering of standards. “But we argued that the standard of education was determined by the size of the classroom, the availability of classrooms and resources, and so on,” he added. For the first five years, the matriculation system was still in place with textbooks remaining the same. But the new people in charge were anxious for the transformation to take shape. This resulted in a demonstration in Ongwediva by teachers who had been teaching in exile. Under the newly phased-in dispensation, there was a radical departure from the old Cape Education System to the Cambridge system. The method of instruction changed from a teacher-centered focus to a learner-centered one, a move away from rote learning to problem solving. According to protagonists of this method of education, learners become the centre of the educational enterprise; they are active participants in education, critical and analytical thinking is promoted, and learners are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. Also, the junior secondary level was introduced with English as the medium of instruction. In 1995, the education ministry split into two. This ministry has subsequently been consolidated again, but Angula claimed that this split has “caused problems and created its own dynamics” because the basic education sector was not reformed but merely administered during that time. A review of the education system was done in 2003, a process triggered by research findings that suggested that Namibia’s educational outputs compared badly with its southern African neighbours. Namibian learners fared badly particularly in literacy and Mathematics. A subsequent study by the World Bank on education in Namibia in relation to the economy,
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Education is one of Government’s priority areas

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Education for a new Namibia
employment and technology found a myriad of problem areas: from insufficient time spent on actual teaching in the classroom, to weak school management, the unavailability of school textbooks and still unequal resourcing of schools. This was despite the escalation in the education budget - from N$600 million in 1990 to around the current N$5 billion. From the start, much emphasis was given to increase enrolment at primary level. Learner enrolment did increase dramatically. Access to both primary and secondary level has grown. For example, enrolment has increased from 384 445 in 1990 to 497 418 in 1998. This represents a growth of 2.5 percent annually and 30 percent growth rate overall. A worrisome trend emerging, though, was that enrolment at lower levels of educational attainment was that about 54 percent of the population received only primary education during that period. Another concern was that primary education did not closely link up to the world of work. Furthermore, it was estimated that on an annual basis about 3000 of the 10 000 or 12 000 fulltime Grade 12 leavers do not find employment or a place for further study. An alarming projection was that Namibia this year - 2010 - would have produced over 200 000 persons who have completed - or partially completed - secondary education who will not find gainful employment. Another area of concern is the large numbers of Grade 10s who fail to continue onto the next levels, Grade 11 and 12. This remains a political and social conundrum, with a growing clamour from parents and other stakeholders that the Grade 10 fallouts are returned to the formal school system until they have completed their secondary education. But a recent survey of the effects of Grade 10 repeaters last year in the Khomas Region pointed to the fact that these repeaters caused a weaker overall performance rate at that level. Also, pundits are at one that repeaters put an unnecessary strain on already thinly stretched resources, while there is no guarantee that a repeat will lead to improved results. Those who had failed Grade 10 are given the opportunity to continue their studies through NAMCOL or to enter vocational training, which is now strengthened by the Namibian Training Authority (NTA). The review process brought in the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) introduced in 2005. ETSIP was developed in collaboration with a number of bilateral and multilateral governments, donors and partners. It aims to improve the competency and knowledge of learners by supporting new and innovative methods of learning in addition to the more traditional approaches. It also aims to improve

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physical infrastructure for learning and teaching in schools, regional study and resource centres and community based skills development centres. ETSIP represents the education and training sector’s response to Vision 2030, that is to substantially enhance the sector’s contribution to the attainment of strategic national development goals and to facilitate the transition to a knowledge based economy. In the immediate future it is envisaged that it will improve the quality, range and threshold of skilled labour required to improve knowledgedriven productivity growth, and so contribute to economic growth. It is reported that ETSIP will contribute directly to equitable social development by addressing sector weaknesses like low quality and effectiveness as evidenced in low student learning outcomes; low efficiency in the use of available resources; persisting inequalities in the distribution of education input and outcomes; low capacity for knowledge creation and application; and doubtful development and market relevance. The first phase of ETSIP will focus on strengthening the immediate supply of middle to high-level skilled labour. ETSIP was developed into three five-year cycles, with the first cycle spanning 2006/07 to 2010/11. This has now expanded to 2013. It is considered a comprehensive programme that covers early childhood development and pre-primary education, general education, vocational training, tertiary education, knowledge and innovation, and adult and lifelong learning. Similarly, the education system has been decentralised with regional offices taking on more control of what happens at schools under their jurisdiction. For Angula, changes in the education system are evidenced from the changing urban-rural/ northern-southern dichotomy. Now, for the last consecutive years, northern schools that have usually performed poorly are increasingly considered as the better performing schools in the country. Also, schools in urban areas are now less the schools of choice - because of poorer performances.


Primary school learners listening attentively to their teacher

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Fisheries sector made great strides in 20 years
By John Ekongo t is a N$4 billion industry, its exports account for nearly 20% of the Namibian economy, it employs a 14 000 strong permanent workforce directly benefiting countless of households. Since independence N$8 billion have been invested in the construction of factories translating into 25 new factories and there are currently 155 right holders with only 2 being owned by non Namibians. But the Namibian fisheries and marine resources landscape has not always been this rosy. Quite the contrary, the story of success of this heavily capital reliant industry is a fairytale worth telling, one that has made it into a success story world over, thanks to robust and meticulous planning, steadfast conservationism and policy implementation under the custodianship of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. Background Twenty years ago, with Namibia’s independence, its then 12 nautical miles was a haven of over fishing and plundering with no regulations to control the outpour of valuable marine resources, leaving the oceans to pirate and unscrupulous operators to pillage fish stocks to its extreme. Namibia’s marine resources was at an all time low, and drastic measures needed to be taken to rapidly revitalise the ailing industry. For this Government had to move fast and cometh the birth of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in 1990. Soon after that Government, through an act of Parliament, established its 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In terms of legislation, Namibia became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on March 18, 1983, when the United Nations Council for Namibia signed and ratified the Convention on behalf of the country. UNCLOS provides an international legal framework that enhances the peaceful use of the seas and oceans, the sustainable utilisation of their resources, the conservation and management of living marine resources, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and the minimisation


of marine use conflicts. The convention is the supreme international law of the sea, setting the basic principles that guide state parties in the development of legislation of marine related activities, and a number of laws being administered by the ministries were crafted based on this principle. Prior to Independence, Namibia’s jurisdiction only extend to a territorial 12 nautical miles. With the enactment of Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone, Act no 3 of 1990, this extend Namibia’s territorial taking to a new 200 nautical miles zone. Other important documents, which the ministry designed, based on the basic principle enunciated in the convention are the Namibian Marine Resource Policy of 2004, the Marine Resources Act of 2000, and the Marine Resources Regulations of 2001. Together with a Fisheries Policy adopted in 1992, these guiding documents went on to become the pillar of regulation of fisheries and marine related activities in the country. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is tasked with the overall protection of the fisheries resources, while it is also responsible for the rebuilding of the fisheries stock and

building a totally integrated Namibian fisheries industry through an indigenous programme titled by the Ministry “the Namibianisation” process - in simple terms a deliberate policy adopted by the ministry to rope in previously disadvantaged and excluded black Namibians into the industry. Human capacity training But the control and regulation of this industry meant that Government had to be proactive and human capacity was needed. A training programme was to be put in place, meaning that the Ministry had to embark on a training and empowerment programme for scientists, marine biologists and other relevant fields needed to monitor and control the 200 nautical miles EEZ. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is now the leading ministry with its internal training capacity paying dividends, with no less than 30 professional with MA degrees, five Doctorate degree holders, 11 with Bachelor of Science degrees, 19 with diplomas and 10 with certificates, making it truly a Government department committed to excellence. Namibianisation policy – what is it. Government’s acknowledgement that



Fishing boats in the Luderitz harbour

Continues on page 19

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Fisheries sector made great strides in 20 years
fisheries industry was an exclusive haven for mostly foreign owned companies or the few heavily capital induced individuals, forced authorities to roping in indigenous Namibians in the fold. This policy was to become the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. This policy was to be phased in stages, as it should not be to the detriment of the industry. Although greeted with suspicion and ridicule by established players in the industry, the policy was viewed as a recipe for disaster. Established players had to engage otherwise non- experienced or tested players all in the name of Namibianisation. Criticism were ill conceived, fears were about personal greed and vanity, as some applicants argue that Namibians had no experience to handle the demands of the industry, but Government was forced to go ahead with the process. Namibianisation seeks to pair Namibian companies with those in the industry for empowerment purposes. Fourteen years later, more than ten companies were in the hands of indigenous Namibians. Aquaculture and Inland fisheries Another key innovation of the Ministry was the establishment of aquaculture driven projects. Guided by an act, strategic plan and policy, aquaculture searches to develop the sector in the country. Today aquaculture farms are situated in the Kavango, Caprivi, Hardap and Omaheke regions. Government’s resolve for this sector is to ensure income for rural communities, as well as the promotion of the sector. It is hoped that by popularising the concept, Namibians will resort to eat fish more often while discarding the expensive meat eating habits, thus in the end living a healthier lifestyle. Also, cooperatives that worked at these fish farms in 2008 got N$2 million in dividends paid out amongst the members of the cooperative. Some of the fish farms in Government possession are the Onavivi Aquaculture Centre, Epalela Fish Farm, Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute, and the Leonardville Fish Farm. Despite only coming to Namibia at the turn of the century, the Fisheries Ministry has made great strides in the aquaculture sector. The journey so far- twenty years down the road. Today in the sub-region Namibia ranks second in terms of fisheries product export after South Africa and is ranked among the top ten fisheries product and marine exports in the world. Spain continues to be the biggest importer of Namibian fish products accounting for nearly 73 percent of the 600 000 metric tons of fish harvested annually from our ocean. Italy, Netherlands, Germany, France, United States, Australia and Japan are also importers of Namibian fish stocks. Only commercially exploited since 1994, Namibian fish species are sought after abroad with, Namibian hake and horse mackerel being the biggest export earners. Other species are orange roughy, angel fish, monk, tuna, pilchards, john dory, seaweed anchovy, kob, kabeljou, kingklip, redeye, snoek, sole, jacop fever and barbell. But scientist says that Namibia rich Benguela current system fishing, Marine and Fisheries scientists say that the Namibian shores have over

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500 species with export potential although only 20 species are commercially exploited and out of this eight species are regulated by means of total allowable catches. For this, the Ministry says that it is on a regular basis conducting on-shore research with the intent to increase commercial exploited species in the ocean. Challenges ahead The fisheries industry in Namibia has been heavily product oriented since the commercialisation process started in earnest. Calls from the Ministry are that they need a diversification of market to ensure optimal sales of its product. Namibia relies heavily on Spain who is the main importer of our products and this puts Namibia in a precarious position – as market fluctuations might vary form time to time. Another problem identified is the lack of value addition, fisheries states are moving towards this trend as value addition provides stability and this has significant spin-off to benefit support of sectors such as packaging, ancillary services and other role players in the marine industry. Says Dr Abraham Iyambo, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia needs to diversify its markets and product development to achieve more flexibility and stability as prices of value added products tend to be less variable compared to commodity prices. “There is a need for the industry to be more involved and more market oriented while getting more engaged in the value chain by producing value added products.


Fish harvesting at Kasovo in the Kavango region

A fish farm in the South. Aquaculture has taken Namibia by storm

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Infrastructure to boost economic growth
By Catherine Sasman

Namibia’s Vision 2030 intends economic growth from a lower income country to a high-income country. This is inextricably linked to the state of the country’s infrastructure.

ocused attention was given to the development of Namibia’s infrastructure, although at independence, the country boasted with a relatively robust system although it manifested regional imbalances – especially of roads and railway. Government’s objective is to increase citizen’s access to electricity, water and housing. Similarly, it wants to expand the provision of electricity to rural and urban areas, to increase access to telecommunications, and to provide rural and urban areas with a reliable and highly developed transport system. Transport infrastructure Immediately after 1990 the transport sector was regulated in terms of the Road Transportation Act of 1977. This caused a domination by a few large operators, thus stifling competition. Similarly, the railway system was suppressed because it had to carry the cost of its infrastructure. The market share of rail had significantly declined. In 1995, the Ministry of Works and Transport and Communication launched its MWTC2000 project, designed to restructure the transport sector. Initially, the project covered road and civil aviation only, but it was later decided to include maritime affairs.


and the Roads Authority and Roads Contractor Company that started in 2000.

insufficient supply, the challenge is the upkeep of the existing roads. In 2008, the existing network was in “significant deterioration” with a huge maintenance backlog. This is ascribed to insufficient funding allocated to maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrading of the road network. “There has never been a year that we got the funding we have requested,” said Mathe. The RA’s budget last year was N$455 million instead of the requested N$700 million. The RA stated that 73% (then consisting of 4 141 kilometers) of the paved roads were older than 20 years. And although Namibia is renowned for maintaining one of the best gravel road networks in the world, recent assessments were that almost 30% could be considered as poor to very poor. Two years ago, it was estimated that 19% of the surfaced roads will reach the end of their remaining life within a five-year period. It was estimated that around N$13.5 billion would be required to replace the top layers and bituminous surfacing of tarred roads. Mathe said an amount of N$60 million per annum is required to fix potholes and damages.

• Roads Since independence, substantial developments took place in this sector. One major development was the establishment of transport corridors – the Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari Highways.
Also, the construction of new roads into previously neglected areas has been engaged in. Today, Namibia has a road infrastructure spanning 44 000 kilometers, of which 6 000 kilometers are tarred. The rest consist of gravel, salt and earth roads. And 4 000 kilometers make up urban roads and streets. “We are doing much better than we had expected,” commented Audrin Mathe, Manager of Corporate Communications of the Roads Authority (RA). Although the cost of building of new roads is prohibitive – N$4 million for one kilometer, Namibia has nonetheless exceeded its targets. So, for example, during the Namibia Development Plan 2 period (2001/02 to 2005/6), the target to complete 240 kilometers of tarred road was exceeded by 121 percent. However, a target to rehabilitate 1500 kilometers of paved road was not: only 36% was completed. Notwithstanding the development of roads in areas where there were previously none, or in


This project resulted in the establishment of the Department of Transport, the Namibia Airports Company (which started its operations in 1999),

Workers busy with the construction of the northern railway extension project

This train derailed at Brakwater at the start of January this year. It was established that the accident occurred due to the antiquated state of much of the country’s rail network. Continues on page 21

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Infrastructure to boost economic growth
Recent unprecedented heavy rainfall and flooding have caused considerable damage to roads especially in the Caprivi, Oshana and Omusati regions. But there are notable developments. A stretch of 160 kilometers of the road between Rundu and Elundu (of 360 kilometers) has been completed. A further 200 kilometers will be done by 2011. Another project in the pipeline is the road from Gobabis to Grootfontein, linking the two road corridors. Upgrades are done on the Rosh Pinah/Aus road, on the Okahandja/Karibib road, and the Keetmanshoop/Walvis Bay road, amongst others. A future strategy is to increase the road network by 50 kilometers per year. According to Konrad Schüllenback, curator at the TransNamib Museum, this line was a narrow gauge line of about 600 millimeters wide. This line was used primarily for transport of goods from Swakopmund, Namibia’s port at that time, since Walvis Bay was then under the governance of the British Islands. From 1903 to 1906 the Otavi Mining and Railway Company built the SwakopmundTsumeb railway to transport copper. The line from Lüderitz to Keetmanshoop, and later Seeheim to Kalkfontein Süd (now Karasburg) was established in 1905. And in 1910 to 1912, the Windhoek-Keetmanshoop connection was done. After World War II, the Union of South Africa took over the administration of the then South West Africa. The new administration then built a rail extension from Prieska in South Africa to Karasburg, as well as a line along the shoreline from Walvis Bay to Swakopmund. From 1920 to 1930, the line between Windhoek and Walvis Bay was built, and from 1958 to 1960, the line from Usakos to Tsumeb was rebuilt. The only major rail development since 1990 was the development of the northern railway extension project. It links up with the Namib/ Walvis Bay corridor, and is envisaged to provide a vital link to strategic centers of production and industry in northern Namibia.

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Robert Kalomho, Director of Railway Affairs at the Ministry of Works and Transport, said 60 kilometers of the 246 kilometer-long line has been completed. This project is estimated at N$850 million. Another major development since independence is the railway line between Aus and Lüderitz. Here, 70% of the 140 kilometers have been completed. This line, said Kalomho, is being rehabilitated because it was antiquated and often submerged under desert sand. The initial costing of this project was N$400 million, but Kalomho said it will likely cost in the region of N$700 million. This is largely due to unforeseen difficulties with relatively shallow underground water levels. Today, Namibia’s rail system stretches over 2 628 kilometers with Kranzberg near Usakos as the center. Only TransNamib operates on the national railways; it is not charged by the ministry, but it is held responsible for the management and maintenance of the rail network. TransNamib has now embarked on a project to replace steel sleepers with concrete ones. A contract is being concluded with an Indian company to build a factory in Tsumeb to manufacture the new sleepers. In 2008/09, TransNamib commissioned an ultrasonic testing of the railway line to determine cracks in the steel. Broken rails were repaired. Although the rail system is vital to Namibia’s transport needs, there has been a marked decrease in passenger rail travel. And passenger services have been stopped at some sections because of safety considerations. The passenger train between Windhoek and Gobabis has been stopped due to economic considerations. A feasibility study is underway to consider a rail connection with Zambia. This planned line will branch into the direction of Cape Angra in the Kunene region. Another study is being done that looks at a connection with Botswana along the TransKalahari corridor. “[The availability of] money will dictate if we can expand the rail,” commented Kalomho.

• Railway The first railway in Namibia was built in 1895. It was a small line at Cape Cross primarily established for the transport of guano.
Until 1897, ox wagons were used as the main mode of transport, but thousands of oxen died with the outbreak of rinderpest that year. This propelled the first major State rail development. This was a line between Swakopmund and Windhoek established in 1897 to 1902.


An estimated N$13.5 billion would be required to replace the top layers and bituminous surfacing of tarred roads in Namibia

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Tourists are flocking to Namibia since independence
By Maggy Thomas in Namibia mandated by the government to regulate the tourism industry. //Naobeb indicated that since Namibia’s independence, the tourism industry was not separated from the National Accounts except for hotels and restaurants. Therefore, it was difficult to measure the economic contribution of the tourism industry to the economy until 2006 when they published the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which is an extension of the National Accounts, and it showed that the tourism industry contributed 14, 2 per cent to the GDP in 2006. In the harsh economic conditions prevailing worldwide currently, the industry in 2007 registered an impressive growth of 11 per cent in tourist arrival statistics. “It was forecasted that the contribution will increase by 9,3% in 2008 and 2009 respectively,” //Naobeb indicated further. He said the increase in tourist arrival statistics since 1996 to 2007, with exception of 2003, is a good indication that the sector is indeed growing. The priority area to stimulate the influx of tourists to Namibia is that the industry should put emphasis on quality and efficient delivery of service to visitors. That is called “customer care,” //Noabeb stated further. Tourists who visited Namibia in 1996 were 461 310, and in 1997, the number amounted to 502 012, while in 1998, 614 368 tourists entered the country. In 2001, the number increased to 670 497, while in 2002, the tourists who visited Namibia amounted to 757 201, but in 2003, the country experienced a decrease of 9 per cent compared to 2002. Only 695 221 tourists visited Namibia in 2003. “The decrease was registered due to the then political instability in the Kavango region, where three French-speaking tourists were killed by UNITA bandits,” he added further. In 2005, the number picked up again up to 777 890, while in 2006, 833 345 foreign tourists crossed into Namibia. The number increased in 2007 when 928 912 tourists visited Namibia, and an estimated 1,2 million visitors entered Namibia in 2008. The statistics for 2008 and 2009 are not yet released, he said, adding that the number is also estimated to have decreased between five per cent and 10 per cent in 2009, due to the harsh economic conditions prevailing worldwide. //Naobeb said the worldwide economic down

ue to Namibia’s unique landscape, rich cultural diversity and efficient service providers, the country is increasingly becoming the favoured destination for many regional and overseas tourists. Trends in tourism statistics two decades ago point to a bright future for the tourism industry in Namibia. Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) Digu //Naobeb made these remarks during a recent interview on the country’s achievements and challenges experienced during the past two decades. The tourism industry is one of the major contributing sectors to Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the second largest contributor after mining. The number of foreign arrivals in Namibia has quadrupled in the past two decades. According to the annual report of the Namibia Tourism Board, in 2007, international tourist arrivals grew by 11,4 per cent to reach a new record figure of 928,912, a move that is described by the Minister of Environment and Tourism Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as an astonishing achievement, given that in 1993, just after independence, total arrivals stood at only 254 978.



A total of 1 244 accommodation establishments were in operation in 2007, of which 133 were newly opened for business, and a further 1 220 regulated businesses were registered, bringing the total tourism businesses registered with the NTB by the end of March 2008 to 2 962. “It is phenomenal that the tourism industry achieved this growth without many tax or investment incentives being offered by the government, as has been done by other competitor destinations,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said, while //Naobeb said proudly: “We are working hard to be the number one contributor to the GDP.” The NTB is the only legal tourism authority
A view of the amazing Fish River Canyon near Ai-Ais
Continues on page 23

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Tourists are flocking to Namibia since independence
called a conservancy.

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“The conservancy approach has also proven valuable as a conservation strategy, as can be seen by the increase in wildlife in many of the country’s communal areas,” he said. It has also been effective as a rural development strategy, generating income for local communities, bringing new jobs, and providing new skills and expertise. By the end of 2008, a total of 53 communal conservancies had been registered, and together, these conservancies manage more than 12,2 million hectares of communal land and about 224 000 people live in the conservancies.
Namibia’s lodges are of a high standard

turn in 2009 was one of the major challenges, just like in other sectors, that is why it is estimated that there is a decrease in the arrival of tourists in Namibia in 2009. “Last year, visitors opted not to go for luxury commodities,” he explained. Despite the harsh economic conditions, the number of people employed in the sector, however, increased to 75 000 people this year, and the industry recorded major capital investments. //Noabeb indicated that Germany still remain the country’s tourist market, due to the long history between the two peoples, the German historical buildings and architecture in the coastal towns of the country and the German community living in Namibia. In addition, he said, Benelux and Scandinavian countries, Canada and the United States of America are the emerging markets. This year, the tourism sector, especially accommodation establishments are set to benefit from the much-awaited 2010 Soccer World Cup to take place in South Africa this year,” he stated. He added: “We anticipate to benefit either from South Africans who do not want overcrowding, therefore, looking for space in Namibia or some teams which may come to train in Namibia.” “Namibia has already developed a branding

kit which differentiates us from the rest of our competitors, however, naturally we have a blue sky, wide open spaces and beautiful scenery on which we capitalise to position ourselves.” Meanwhile, the creation of Namibia’s communal conservancies was also described as one of the milestones in the tourism sector. Chief Development Planner in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Merrow Thaniseb said since the creation of communal conservancies, many local communities have used legal provision to manage their own wildlife and tourism activities, and communal area conservancies are now found in nearly all regions of the country. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism introduced legislation in 1996 to give conditional use rights over wildlife to communities in communal areas that formed a management unit

An additional 23 emerging conservancies are in the process of fulfilling requirements to apply for legal recognition as conservancies. One of the main lessons from the Namibian Conservancy Programme is that devolving authority over wildlife and tourism to local communities can work in practice. The conservancies, ranging from miscellaneous, premium hunting, crafts, shoot and sell, campsites, veld products, own-


The quiver-tree is one of the indigenous plants found in southern Namibia
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Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Tourists are flocking to Namibia since independence
use-game, game meat distribution, trophy hunting to joint venture tourism generate more than N$30 million per annum. Another achievement in the tourism industry was the formation of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), which was established in 1998 with the aim to allow the tourism arm of the government to function in a semi-independent manner, based on sound business principles, with the aim of becoming competitive within the tourism sector and becoming profitable. The NWR manages a total of 23 rest camps and campsites throughout Namibia. These include Okaukuejo, Halali, Namutoni, Onkoshi Camp, Waterberg, Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem, Naukluft, Ai-Ais, Hobas, Daan Viljoen, Terrace Bay, Torra Bay, Jakkalsputz, Mile 108, Mile 14, Mile 72, Duwisib, Khorixas, Gross Barmen, Hardap, Popa Falls, Shark Island and Von Bach. Environment Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah said the NWR has experienced a roller-coaster ride of failures and successes, ups and downs, with a number of changes in management and its board, and numerous challenges. At the time of its creation, the tourism industry was crying out for change, as it perceived the detrimental impact of the rapidly dilapidating infrastructure and primarily absent customer service at prime tourist destinations. Service and infrastructure deteriorated to such an extent that some of the facilities failed to meet the minimum standards for registration with the Namibia Tourism Board, and the NWR received ultimatums from NTB to avoid closure of the resorts. The company reached an all time low in September 2005, when it had reached the limit of all its credit and overdraft facilities, and was unable to pay salaries on time. Following the appointment of the current Managing Director Tobie Aupindi that took effect at the end of 2006, Cabinet approved the business plan and turnaround strategy for NWR and the capitalisation of the company that heralded the beginning of a new phase of rehabilitation, re-engineering and reconstruction of the NWR. The government pumped in N$80 million towards the turnaround strategy of the NWR. Nandi-Ndaitwah said the capital investment by the shareholder into the NWR is a clear testimony of the importance that government is attaching to the tourism industry. “The turnaround strategy clearly defined the vision, mission and goals for the company over the following three years, providing an integrated approach to achieve success,” she said. “As we stand here today, the NWR has already brought a number of its facilities to international tourism standards, both in terms of infrastructure and service delivery,” she said, adding that the company has started to diversify its product range to also offer a more exclusive and natural product. Meanwhile, NWR’s Pauline Lindique said dramatic improvements in the facilities that received financing through the government guarantee, such as Okaukuejo, Halali, Namutoni and Waterberg camps now stand tall amongst other tourism establishments and make Namibia proud. The redeveloped facilities have been well received in the tourism market. The development of two entirely new ecofriendly camps was embarked upon and the Sossus Dune Lodge in the Namib-Naukluft Park opened in July 2008, while the Onkoshi Camp in the Etosha National Park also opened in 2008. “Created from scratch in the most environmentally-sensitive manner, both these facilities have quickly found their feet and made their mark in the Namibian tourism arena,” she emphasised. In addition, the promulgation of the Casino and Gambling Act in 1994 is also recorded as one of the Independence achievements. Tourism’s Director in the MET, Sam Shikongo said the income from casinos and gambling currently contributes N$15 million towards the country’s annual revenue. In 2008, the ministry launched the National Policy on Tourism aimed at providing a framework for the mobilisation of tourism resources to realise long term national goals defined in Vision 2030, and the more specific

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targets of the Third National Development Plan, namely sustained economic growth, employment creation, reduced inequalities in income, gender as well as between the various regions, reduced poverty and the promotion of economic empowerment. “This is one of the major achievements in the tourism sector and for the country in general, because now the government has a policy to promote domestic as well as international tourism, which will ensure that Namibian also enjoy the beauty of their tourism attractions,” he said. The formation of the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations (FENATA), an umbrella organisation that represents the interests of the private sector in the tourism industry is also among the country’s tourism achievements in the past 20 years. FENATA aims at conserving Namibia’s heritage for its children through for lowvolume tourism, especially in vulnerable areas; provide a high-standard tourism product at a reasonable but realistic price and to work closely with the Namibian Tourism Board to enhance quality standards in the industry and to make these applicable in all sectors. Member associations of FENATA include the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), the Tour and Safari Association of Namibia (TASA), the Namibian Professional Hunter’s Association (NAPHA), the Tourism Related Namibian Business Association (TRENABA), and the Namibian Community Based Tourism Association (NACOBTA). Whilst these are laudable achievements, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said they should not shy away from acknowledging that tourism is not representative of Namibia’s disadvantaged population, in so far as participation in main stream tourism economic activities are concerned. As a nation, she said, we have committed to poverty alleviation and job creation. “This commits us to work hard and to set uncompromising targets, and to smooth critical obstacles in the path of broad-based participation and skills development,” she added. Therefore, Nandi-Ndaitwah said, the government of Namibia views tourism as a sector with great potential for increasing employment possibilities and, at the same time, improving equality in enterprise ownership and participation.


Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Mining: Namibia’s economic backbone
amibia’s mining industry is on course for recovery after suffering a relatively severe blow from the global economic crisis, especially the diamond sector, but news that international commodity markets are stabilising would put a smile on Namibia’s face. Namibia ranks among mining giants in Africa and, if uranium is singled out, the world. This is primarily attributed to the country’s natural mineral riches, but Namibia’s friendly investment policies are a strong ingredient to keeping the country’s mining industry intact and hugely profitable. Soon after independence, one of government’s early achievements was initiating talks with the De Beers Group, which owned the former Consolidated Diamond Mines (CDM), so that the people of Namibia, through government, have a stake in the company. The talks between government and De Beers came to fruition in 1994, when Namibia was allowed to own half of CDM’s equity, ultimately leading to the renaming of the company to Namdeb, so as to reposition itself and its new-look image. The joint venture between government and De Beers in Namdeb opened floodgates for economic and social welfare in the country as the company went on to become on of the leading generators of export earnings, in addition to providing employment to a pool of Namibians. At the peak of its operations and before the recent global economic slump, Namdeb accounted for more than 40 percent of export revenue, 7 percent of government revenue and more than 10 percent of GDP. Namdeb along with its sister companies, De Beers Marine Namibia whose primary focus is offshore mining, diamond cutting subsidiary NamGem and the company’s diamond trading arm, Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), employ over 3 000 people. The company, however, was not spared from the bad economic climate in the country and world at large and suffered heavily from such unforeseen downturn in business. Diamond prices dropped sharply in the international markets and the company was forced early last year to go for production holidays. Namdeb’s decision was fundamentally rooted in the fact that selling diamonds at the time did not make any economic sense, partially because the company is by law not allowed to stockpile its diamonds and have to sell them shortly after mining them and therefore, it stopped production altogether. These are but some of the challenges that Namdeb and other players in the local diamond industry had to endure. Experts in the mining and economic fields have, however, predicted that an end to such miseries is in sight. Uranium rush The past couple of years have seen Namibia making strides in the global uranium markets
Namibian diamonds

and leading uranium miners, Rossing Uranium takes much of the credit in this regard. Rossing has been in operation since 1977and the company has grown from strength to strength. The company, of which 69 percent is owned by the Rio Tinto Group, has enjoyed relative monopoly for the better part of its existence but recent developments in the uranium sector seem to suggest that more players are coming on board. Rossing is by far the biggest uranium mine in Namibia, employing more than 1300 permanent employees. The company paid N$786.9 million in corporate taxes in 2008 and N$319.4 million in wages but still went on to make profits of over N$1.2 billion. The company however faces stiff competition from Canadian, Australian, French and soon Russian companies, who have been consistently knocking on the doors of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and some of whom have been granted green lights to operate in the country. The Australians have so far made inroads after that country’s publicly listed company, Paladin Energy Ltd, through its Namibian subsidiary Langer Heinrich Uranium, entered the country. The company started production in 2007 and, together with Rossing, has helped Namibia becoming the world’s fourth biggest uranium producer surpassing Russia and trailing just behind leaders Canada and then Australia and Kazakhstan. Namibia accounted for 10 percent of global uranium supply in 2008, according to a 2009 report by the World Nuclear Association (WNA) and the country targets to become the third biggest supplier by 2015.
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Diamond sorters at work

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Mining: Namibia’s economic backbone
Namibia should not have difficulties reaching that target or surpassing it by 2015, especially if other mines that are currently under construction come into production within the next five years. The next big thing on the block could be French State owned company Areva, which owns the yet to be commissioned Trekkopje mine in the Erongo Region. According to the Chamber of Mines of Namibia (CM), the Trekkopje mining project is the largest direct investment ever made in Namibia. Areva said it would inject a whopping US$750 million (over N$5.8 billion at the current rate) in its Namibian project, hence its tag of the country’s biggest direct investment ever. Skorpion Zinc is currently the biggest foreign investment in the country, standing at N$3,2 billion. Apart from Rossing, Areva and Langer Heinrich, there are also other companies operating in Namibia’s uranium sector, signaling a new episode in the country’s version of ‘uranium rush’. Such companies include United Kingdombased Kalahari Minerals Plc, West Australian Metals, Deep Yellow Ltd, Extract Resources and Bannerman Resources all from Australia, and Canadian firms Xemplar Energy Corporation and Forsys Metals Corporation, which owns the Valencia Uranium mine. Several Russian companies have also shown great interest in Namibian uranium and could come to the country anytime soon following the State visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Namibia last year. Other mining sectors Apart from diamond and uranium, Namibia plays a pivotal role in other mining sectors. The Navachab mine at Karibib is the country’s leader in gold production and employs about 360 permanent employees. The company, which in 2008 paid N$58 million in corporate taxes and N$14.7 million in royalties, has a lifespan stretching to 2016. Skorpion Mining and Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation battle it out in the zinc-producing industry and have a combined workforce of 1213 permanent employees. With regard to copper, UK-owned Weatherly Mining Namibia is still owner of the Tsumeb and Otjihase copper mines, which were abruptly closed due to bad copper business in the international market, but these mines are billed for re-opening as prices continue to stabilise. There have been talks of possible sales of Weatherly’s Namibian assets, with possible new owners being mooted. Other small mines in the country include Walvis Bay-based Salt and Chemicals and Okorusu Fluorspar outside Otjiwarongo, which is owned by Belgian pharmaceutical giant, Solvay. Ownership While Namibia continues to make strides in mining, questions continue to be asked regarding equities in and the ownership of Namibian mines.

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The mining industry is predominantly foreign owned and Namibia’s benefits so far have been in terms of employment and in corporate and royalty payments that government receives from the mining companies. Namdeb, which is 50 percent Namibian owned has been the only mining company with a considerable Namibian stake, but the rest of the companies are yet to avail equities, especially in line with the Broad-Based Economic Empowerment (BBEE) initiative that government is driving to bring more Namibians into local companies. Rossing continues to be predominantly foreign owned, with 68.58 percent belonging to Rio Tinto, while the Government of Iran owns 15 percent of the mine. IDC of South Africa owns 10.10 percent of the company, while Namibia’s overall stake amounts to 6.32 percent only. Navachab, the other big mine in the country, is wholly-owned by AngloGold Ashanti of South Africa, so is Langer Heinrich which is 100 percent Australian-owned through Paladin Energy. Skorpion Mining is also wholly foreign owned, with Anglo American the sole owners of the company and its Namibian assets. Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation completed its Namibianisation transaction in July 2008, which gave the company a more Namibian identity and ownership. The Rosh Pinah Employee Empowerment participation Scheme Trust, for example owns three percent of the company. The only other company where Namibia holds good stakes is Weatherly Mining Namibia where local institutions such as Bank Windhoek (3.4 percent), Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) (3.2 percent) and a couple of individuals own shares. Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Energy, has established a mining company, christened Epangelo Mining, which would be actively involved in mining activities. Mines and Energy Minister Erkki Nghimtina, upon breaking news of the establishment of the new company, said “Epangelo Mining will ensure that Namibians through their own company acquire a meaningful stake in their mineral wealth.”


The entrance to the Namibian Institute of Mining Technology

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

20 Years on -fertile ground for Namibian media
amibia has one of the smallest media industries in the world, but the country is ranked as one of Africa’s top countries when it comes to media freedom. The Namibian media industry, whether in terms of freedom or investment, has recorded positive growth in the past 20 years of the country’s independence thanks to be media-friendly environment implemented after 1990. At independence there were only a few media outlets in the country, both in print and electronic media, but just like cauliflower during the rainy season, the local media has since flourished. Media freedom The Namibian constitution provides for press freedom, and as opposed to theoretical press freedom, government respects such constitutional provisions. Various international media right groups have always ranked Namibia among the top nations where media freedom is upheld and respected. Before independence was attained in 1990, Namibian media, particularly the electronic sector, was strictly controlled by the State through stringent laws that served the oppressive targets of the colonial government. Strides have since been made and the latest international press freedom index, released by France-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization in October 2009, Namibia has continued to do well and is currently ranking 35th in the world, ahead of historical human rights model France who stands at 43 in world rankings. Freedom of expression is enshrined as a fundamental right in the Namibian constitution, and the head office of the independent Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), founded in 1992, is based in Windhoek. The media landscape has been described by international media right observers as vibrant and includes small community radio stations. “The media operated within a legal environment deliberately aimed at curtailing and controlling freedom of expression and free access to gathering and disseminating information. For its part, the independent press that existed was subjected to continuous harassment,” said media specialist and former Director General of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Dr Ben Mulongeni in his acclaimed piece on National Information and Communication Infrastructure. According to Mulongeni, it was not until independence that this situation was to change. Under the Constitution of Namibia, hailed as revolutionary, freedom of expression and the right to information were guaranteed, he said. The NBC was created by an Act of Parliament of 1991 as an autonomous entity with an independent editorial and programming policy. Although governed by a Board appointed by the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, the Board nor the line Ministry are directly involved in the day to day operations of the NBC, their activities, particularly the Board, are largely limited to policy matters,” Mulongeni said, in reference to the freedom that his former employers enjoy. Unlike in many African and other countries, media freedom has been the pillar of the industry in the country such that 20 years after independence there is still no notable incidence reports of any journalist arrested while executing their official duty. Achievements From a policy and regulatory perspective, Namibia has managed to create and maintain one of the most media-friendly regulatory environments. Even when concerns were raised about the work of the media, authorities have never made any practical interventions that would otherwise compromise press freedom in the country. A typical example came in recent years when government proposed the establishment of a media council that would oversee and address complaints against the media. The proposal sparked bitter emotions across the media fraternity, while media rights advocates also criticized the idea. Government then suggested that the media industry itself must come together and brainstorm on the establishment if a media council with minimal government input. The Editor’s Forum of Namibia, in reaction to talks of a government-instituted media council, moved swiftly to launch the Media Ombudsman portfolio through which the public will air concerns about the role and activities of the media as well as facilitate the process through which media will keep a finger on their own pulse. A major achievement was reached when in August 2009, the media, through the Editors


The Namibian media are free and safe to do their work in a conducive environment
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Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Namibia telecoms infrastructure impressive
evelopments in the telecommunications sector have set Namibia apart as one of the countries in the Southern African Development Community, (SADC) which has a better developed sector. While the country stands out as one of the best in terms of infrastructural development due to the fact that it is the only country in the region with a 100 percent fibre optic connection, it also has the potential to become one of the best in terms of service delivery.


According to Director of Communications in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Henri Kassen, this achievement is attributable to a focused approach to Information and Communication Technology that the ministry has adopted. Apart from the country’s roadmap to industrialisation - Vision 2030, which has ICT as one of the most important pillars of the economy, the National Development Plan 3 also envisions a Namibia that is knowledge based and technology driven by 2030.

In 2008 when the ministry was created, a new body of ICT policies was developed including policy direction in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Postal and Broadcasting. In addition, the ministry has developed a new licensing framework that addresses ICT convergence as well as progressive legislative reforms. Late last year, the Communications Act, whose development process started almost 10 years ago, was also passed while further laws pertaining to the recognition of electronic transactions, data protection and cyber security and access to information are being developed.
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20 Years on -fertile ground for Namibian media
Forum of Namibia appointed lawyer Clement Daniels as the country’s first ever Media Ombudsman. Currently a process is underway to create a self-regulatory framework for the media as part of the new developments. Information and Communication Technology Minister Joël Kaapanda, upon hearing that the media has finally established a self-regulatory body, expressed delight an assured the media that it is government’s least intent to meddle into private media affairs. Also on the regulatory front, Namibia has made significant strides when the muchawaited Communications Bill was tabled in parliament in 2009. Through this Bill, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) the country’s regulator was created. CRAN replaces the Namibian Communications Commission (NCC), which was established under the NCC Act of 1992. The Bill is particularly vital in the sense that it sets out the licensing framework for both telecommunications and broadcasting, including class and individual licenses for telecommunications services, and contains provisions designed to cover interconnection, tariffs, the allocation of broadcasting frequencies, the promotion of competition and the establishment of a universal service agency. On a commercial front, the Namibian media, both print and electronic, has gone against all odds to make the industry a profitable one in terms of advertising revenue. There are however newspapers, magazines and radio and stations that collapsed as a result of lack of funds to sustain them. Namibia’s overall advertising pool on which all media outlets rely for income is, by international standards, very small hence the competition among media houses. Challenges While the media in Namibia enjoys the benefits offered by a liberal market system, there exists a need for regulations safeguarding fair competition and guaranteeing commitment to social responsibility. To face competition the media also need to have flexible access to the commercial market in order to generate resources that would enable it to invest in the production of quality content for its target segments. The majority of the Namibia media carry their contents in English, the country’s official language, yet there is a big portion of Namibians who do not understand English. This does not only disservice the people in terms of information access but also bites a big share of potential income for the media who could rake in good revenues by reaching such segments. Infrastructure development or lack of it thereof, remains one of the stumbling blocks of media prosperity in the country. An extended road

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network, for example, makes the distribution of newspapers and magazines easier. Currently some areas have no access to such media as a result of the fact that road infrastructures are not conducive to drive to such remote areas. As for electronic media, some parts of the country have no frequency receptors that would allow both radio and TV broadcasts to reach such areas. Considerable progress is however, being made in this area. Being a relatively newly independent country, Namibia has a small pool of human resources needed in the media. A lot of expatriates have come to Namibia to work in various capacities of the country’s media, although Namibians have picked up considerably in as far as acquiring media skills is concerned. Namibian media at a glance: Households with television 39.22 percent Internet access: 113,500 Internet users as of Jun 09 Radio stations: 20 National dailies newspapers: 4 National weekly newspapers: 5 Commercial radio stations: 9 Community radio stations: 6 Television Sets per 1,000: 33.4 Internet Access per 1,000: 16.7


Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Namibia telecoms infrastructure impressive
Recognising that telecommunications infrastructure continues to be the lead driver upon which ICT development depends, Namibia two years ago joined the West African Submarine Cable System (WACS) to ensure direct and independent international connectivity. Namibia has been experiencing limited bandwidth capacity because the country does not have direct access to undersea communication cables. This said Kassen, has forced Namibia to route it major portion of out communication through South African networks, which has made it expensive. Although in 1995, Namibia acquired bandwidth capacity on the Southern African Communications Cable (SAT-3), there is no submarine cable landing point on the coast. With Namibia joining WACS, the country will not only have adequate bandwidth capacity but also have its own landing point at the coastal town of Swakopmund by 2011. In the past 20 years, the government says it has also made great strides in ICT development. “At policy level, government embarked on liberalising the ICT sector,” he said, citing the separation of functions of policy development from operational responsibilities which were entrusted to Telecom Namibia, Mobile Telecommunications Corporation (MTC) and Nampost, while regulatory responsibilities were given to the Namibia Communications Commission. The short term goal of government policy on telecommunications is faster liberalisation of the sector to provide telephone access to between 80 and 90 percent of the population, to ensure that each community of 100 people should have one connection. The measurement of telecommunications penetration is agreed to be one connection per 100 citizens. In terms of population coverage, MTC statistics indicate that 95 percent of the country is covered by

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mobile telecommunications services, with a penetration rate of 50 percent. The country stands at about seven percent on fixed line telecommunications and three percent on internet penetration. The coming on board of Leo and Switch mobile providers will enable Namibia reach the goal of up to 90 percent penetration rate by 2012. In the telecommunications policy and regulatory framework adopted in 1999, the government made commitments to liberalise the ICT markets, thereby opening it up to competition. “The legal framework adopted by Government in 1992 provided for a liberalised market structure. As a separate statutory body, the Namibia Communications Commission could issue telecommunications licenses second fixed line operators, internet service providers, international gateway services,” he said adding that no second fixed line


The Namibian delegation, consisting of Deputy Prime Minister Libertina Amathila and former Information and Broadcasting Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and officials attended the second leg of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia in 2006.
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Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Namibia telecoms infrastructure impressive
telecoms service license and gateway license was issued up until two years ago. The new law has provided for a new licensing regime, which has not only seen the granting of two international gateway licenses but also the introduction of a third mobile operator, Switch. The commercialisation of the telecoms operator started in 1992 with the establishment of mobile services in 1995 through MTC. The coming on board of Cell One, now known as Leo, “marks a definitive milestone of introducing competition in mobile telephony”, said Kassen. He added that the creation of the NCC, also established the legal basis for open competition. However, the government will have to give policy direction as to how many open licenses the regulator can give. This development also introduced competition on the market and led to the reduction of telecommunications costs over all the networks. A welcome development as a result of the existing competitive environment is the free calls and sms, as well as free internet connection from the two main mobile operators. “Namibia pioneered a standard reduced interconnect regime between mobile operators based on benchmarks within SADC and beyond to prescribe operators,” the director added. As a result, last year saw the reduction of mobile interconnected rates between mobile operators from N$1.20 to N$0.60, with the aim of further reducing the rates to N$0.30 by next year. The next stage of implementation entails the operators passing on the lower interconnect rates to the consumer and end user, thereby ensuring lower telecommunications service costs for Namibians. Namibia is also one of the few African countries that successfully piloted Digital Video Broadcasting via Mobile Phones (DVB-H), technology that enables clients to watch television on their mobile phones. Although good developments in the sector abound, the country’s telecommunications rates remain high because of lack of an own landing point and consequently scarce bandwidth. Namibia has capacity which is dormant until the 2011 project comes to fruition. With the direct cable, Namibia will not have to depend on South Africa anymore, which at present is the country’s gateway to internet connectivity. Kassen described the undersea cable as the “biggest single event that influences development in the sector. A major constraint is limited bandwidth to be able to roll out more and faster e services, such as e government services.”

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This will however be addressed by the country’s involvement in the WACS project. Namibia and Botswana are equal partners on the project on which they feature at second tier, which gives them a preferential position among a group of other countries. Limited public funds and shortage of human resource capacity within the sector have also been a problem. Entrepreneurial development and creating a critical mass of ICT professionals are two of the ICT policy objectives that the government will strive to achieve through the implementation of ICT policies. Although Namibia’s industrialisation by the year 2030, which is 20 years from now, happens to be a time that many seem sceptical about, ICT will be the enabler to achieving the vision’s goals in all the other sectors, said he. Namibia has the vision, political will, development plans and programmes in place to overcome the challenges such as limited human resource capacity. After all, the biggest problem facing the sector, which is limited bandwidth for the country to be able to roll out more and faster e services, will be a thing of the past, when the WACS project becomes operational next year.


Art development calls for decentralisation
“Art and music are basic human functions. Humankind and art cannot function without one another. We have the burning desire to create, whatever it may be and however tiny or grand.” – Gilbert Galindo, composer


hy if Gilbert Galindo’s words speak the truth, does it seem as if the arts enjoy so little attention? What has happend in the Namibian arts industry in the last 20 years? And what is the current state of affairs? According to Mr. André Strauss, Deputy Director: Culture Programmes of the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, the new goverment of 1990 had a dream to move away from an exclusive to an inclusive community.

“They went to the drawing board and identified priorities on the cultural front, amongst others theatre, performing arts, visual arts, literature, and festivals.” Theatre “Unfortunately not much has happened in the last 20 years, and worst still, theatre in schools has disappeared. The situation is dire,” says Mr. Strauss. “Theatre is especially essential in Namibia where literacy levels are low, since it is a powerful tool to carry messages across.”

A theatre project that will train 30 Namibians from 30 towns will start this year. “Our hope lies in decentralisation so that communities can run their own theatre.” Well-known director and board member of the National Theatre, Ms. Sandy Rudd, says that everything is not doom and gloom. “With energy and passion anything can happen!” She is of the opinion that the previous regime killed local theatre to a great extent. “We were
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Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Art development calls for decentralisation
seen as one of South Africa’s provinces and only their actors graced our stages. This created a culture that ‘outside is better’ and in so doing suppressed local theatre.” “But we should keep in mind that the Namibian population is small. According to international statistics, 0.1 % of any given population are theatre-goers, which means that there are essentially about 3 000 theatre-goers in Windhoek.” “Of course financing is an issue. The grant we receive is just enough to cover salaries and even the smallest play costs about N$250 000 to produce.” Thanks to the National Theatre’s Theatre Zone Project (aimed at staging communitybased theatre productions), the Golden Pen Script Writing Awards and the Youth Theatre Development Project, there is hope. Performing arts “In terms of musicians, we’re experiencing a revolution,” says Mr. Strauss. “Especially local languages, like Oviritje, have made great strides and the rest of Africa and Europe love our music.” He finds that the younger generation are creating their own opportunities. “I believe that within the next five or ten years, we could have international stars. For example, Gazza has already made his mark overseas. Choirs from Unam, the Polytechnic, the Cantare Audire and the Mascato Youth Choir are also creating waves.” International tours however are often only made possible by the generosity of sponsors and invitations by host countries, like the Voices of Namibia that will be travelling to China to participate at the World Choir Olympics in July. According to the trip organiser, Mr. Rolf Hansen, the 40 choir members are working hard to collect enough money to cover expenses. “Not an easy task, since we have to rely on the support of the public.” Visual arts and crafts “Visual arts and crafts are perhaps doing even better than performing arts,” says Mr. Strauss. “Usually

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the best art is created in times of strife, but in Namibia it seems to be the peace that inspires.” He says he sometimes has the impression that the older generation relies on the government for support. “However, the younger generation are go-getters that make use of every opportunity.” According to the director of the National Art Gallery and artist, Joseph Madisia, there has never been a support structure (medical aid, social security, etc.) for visual artists. “You are basically on your own,” he says. One of the things he feels the goverment can do, is to become affiliated to the International Artists Association Federation. For US$7 000 per year, so many more doors would open to artists. He is also of the opinion that there are too few museums and galleries. “Now everyone must travel to Windhoek to exhibit and treasures often remain hidden in rural areas. We need to promote the arts in rural areas. The fact is we must aim towards decentralisation. Then the arts will be on peoples’ doorstep.” A possible solution is cultural villages where the Namibia Tourism Board can come on board by promoting cultural tourism. One support organisation is Visual ArtistsNamibia (VA-N) that was launched in 2006 and currently has more than 100 members. Through their outreach programme 15 regional workshops were held for 216 people in 2007 and 2008. “As a representative organisation, VA-N would like to ensure that the benefits of being a memer of the art community do not stop in Windhoek, but also reach Namibians across all regions,” says chairperson Mr. Peter Kewowo. Literature According to Mr. Strauss, literature kicked off well with projects like the Children Book Forum. “But I’m afraid there’s a lack of writers and if we as a nation don’t read, we won’t develop and we’ll be worse off.” He says that the Namibian Book Development Council had the objective to develop a writer’s culture, but unfortunately the council died a silent death. “While the government failed to a certain degree in this sector, there is talent. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”
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A linocut artwork by acclaimed Namibian artist, John Muafangejo

Government Information Bulletin March 2010

Art development calls for decentralisation
Festivals “A programme of cultural festivals, which receives a grant of between N$5 and N$6 million per year, was implemented in 1995 and we have enjoyed great success in this arena,” says Mr. Strauss. At the moment there are about 1 400 performers from traditional groups from all regions, of which about 10 % perform regularly. “Through the festivals, winners are chosen to become cultural ambassadors and they have the opportunity to travel. We’ve made it possible for groups to travel to and perform in place like Germany, India, China and Cuba. Because of the successes, we feel the groups have enough critical mass to go ahead on their own steam.” Planning ahead “Firstly we want to identify the most beautiful place in each region. Once found, we would like to create a platform, a Centre of Excellence, that showcases everything that is unique to the region and from where training can be done. Thirdly, we want to teach Namibians to become entrepreneurs of cultural things.” Through the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) about N$1.3 million was awarded to artists last year in comparison to the N$760 000 in 2008. In 2009 grants were approved for performing arts (N$323 000); visual arts (N$671 000); theatre (N$93 110); craft (N$63 500); literature (N$40 000); and media (N$51 600). The arts rely heavily on the support of private companies and one of the biggest contributors is Bank Windhoek. In the last five years the Bank Windhoek Arts Festival (BWAF) has seen an increase of 400 % in budget allocations, a lengthening of the festival from three days in 2005 to four months in 2007 and since March 2006 monthly mini festivals were implemented. In February 2010 the bank hosted the 44th mini festival with 19 events ranging from exhibitions to dance, poetry/prose, stand-up comedy and theatre. An organisiation creating opportunities for visual artists, is berlin-windhoek, managed by Namibian artist Imke Rust. Through the initiative, selected artists have the opportunity to participate in an exchange programme in Germany.

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Namibian singer Gazza is making waves in Europe.

Namibia’s blossoming film industry is supported by the work carried out by the Wild Cinema Film Festival which aims to establish a lively art cinema culture and to provide cinematic

experiences benefiting the local film industry. The Namibian Film Awards, held for the third time last year, have greatly encouraged local producers to create outstanding work. Another valuable partner in the capital’s art scene is the Windhoek municipality that through the annual /Ae//Gams festival promotes arts and cultural activities and provides exposure for local talent to the Namibian and international community. The Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, as well as the Goethe Centre also provide invaluable opportunites for the arts. Above and beyond financial constraints, many of the programmes mentioned in this article are restricted to the capital. So the development of the arts essentially boils down to one thing: decentralisation. Because, in the words of Albert Einstien, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead... his eyes are closed.”


Namibia’s Maranatha Singers have toured extensively in Europe and recently performed in Algeria.

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