Fly Me to the Moon?

I am wondering when we announce Namibia’s entry into the space world as compared with many recent (pre-election?) statements such a suggestion (of flying me to the moon) is beginning to sound reasonable! Maybe it will be Air Namibia’s next profitable route? Or maybe the Facebook world really is reality.

But before prattling on too much, I am glad there seems to be a small, but growing coming together of minds over our up-and- coming election and start of the third “presidency”. It does seem rather dumb to have our elections in early November but wait until Independence Day in March 2015 for the “new” government to start work. If nothing else, it means that the incumbents, both politicians and officials at senior levels, are left in a state of organisational limbo from a lack of leadership. Having said this with the probable new President already in the “wings”, maybe I am being over-pessimistic but, whatever else, it is quite obvious to me that the vote in November should be immediately followed by the installation of the ‘new’ government.

Why? Firstly, it seems quite evident that despite all his efforts and hard work, our current President seems ready to go into retirement as soon as possible, judging by his final ongoing travels but maybe I am wrong? Secondly, the time delay between the elections and the appointment of the government is a hangover from our original vote in 1989. The period post elections required us to develop a constitution and set up the primary structures for our new government of which our current elder leaders are well aware.

That period from November to 21 March, nearly five months, is lost time in many ways and should be eliminated by appointing our newly elected government immediately the ‘results’ are declared and accepted. The ‘new’ government would then have time to work with the budget, settle into their new positions and still have some holiday and be ready to go by mid-January! An efficiency gain of some 5 months! And less excuses not to spend the budget well?

This period over Christmas would also give politicians and senior officials a chance to listen to their families, friends and supporters, and even opponents, to get new ideas for the coming year! Maybe even a design for a moon rocket?

But returning to the serious matters of the day, it is becoming apparent that large investments and protective support for fledgling industries of cement, chicken and milk plus a seeming want to play a significant role in mining activities, that our role as government is focussing on money creation for the moneyed classes while there are almost no new jobs created beyond low- skilled ones. And especially leaving out our youth.

Yes, an upgraded transport system, a lower dependency on imported power, a growing class of talent with vocational skills are all stated aims, but whenever we actually do anything, guess who comes to do the job? Yes, outsiders. Our economy is skewed to basic primary materials and a fairly sophisticated tertiary financial system while secondary industries beyond beer and fish meat processing remain on the sidelines, exactly where growth and skilled jobs should appear! But don’t!

And this is why our third presidency needs a kick-start to get our nation moving. And this is why we need to bring their appointment forward to immediately after the elections so that we avoid wasting almost a year.

It is also the time to bring in more women and under 50’s into the system – the ‘double zebra’. We have seen the impact that a few younger faces are having. We are also, sadly, seeing the lack of impact of some of those ‘well-passed-it’. We are also seeing the lack of interest by youth in political business beyond regarding it as a way to a ‘quick buck’.

Namibia, we need our third presidency now to overcome the apathy that is so evidently gathering steam (!). A look at the rest of our world shows our problems are just as much their problems. This is the one time in our history where both the elders who created our nation, and our up-and-coming younger generation can work together rather than against each other. Maybe we can fly to the moon?

Source : The Namibian