Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation Launched, Food Production Close to My Heart Says Pohamba

Over 1 100 people attended the launch of the foundation of President Hifikepunye Pohamba, pledging over N$6,7 million to the foundation. The Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation aocates to support and promote Namibians through education by providing assistance to talented young Namibians who wish to pursue their studies in specific disciplines, especially in agricultural science and related fields.

President Pohamba, who is serving his last term as the president of the republic, said he was touched by the fact that many Namibian households and communities are struggling to meet their basic daily livelihood needs.

The immediate cash pledged on Saturday was N$4,7 million, while other pledges made in kind and other forms amounted to N$2 million, bringing the total pledges on the night to N$6,7 million. Over N$1 million was made from table sales alone.

“Despite the laudable interventions by the government and social partners, there remains a great need for all of us as citizens to provide assistance to the needy members of our society,” he said.

He urged those in a position to nurture and develop young talent to do so by meeting government halfway in its efforts to overcome challenges facing the nation.

“The assistance given may appear small, however, for a child from a low-income household, it may just be the breakthrough that such a boy or girl would need to break the vicious cycle of poverty. It may just be the boost that such a young person may need to start the journey to become an engineer, medical doctor, architect or a geologist,” he said.

Pohamba said that during his travels across the country he has seen first hand the challenges that the country faces with regard to food security and the need to boost food production in order to feed the nation.

“We need more professionals and technicians in the field of agriculture. With more experts in this field, the nation will be able to complement the efforts of government aimed at boosting food production,” he said.

Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Hifikepunye Foundation, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, said the foundation was preceded by the President’s Charity Fund that was started in 2012.

President Pohamba has in the past urged private and government institutions to stop spending money on print and broadcast aertisements to congratulate him on his birthday but to rather spend it on more noble causes that help destitute Namibians. Amongst other pledges, Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma pledged N$5 000, Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob on behalf of the Office of the Prime Minister donated N$100 000, Dr Sam Nujoma pledged N$5 000, Pohamba donated N$10 000 and Swakop Uranium pledged N$200 000. The Knowledge Katti Foundation pledged N$500 000, while the Karas Regional Council pledged land worth N$1,2 million as well as an amount of N$70 000.

Speaking to New Era after the launch of the foundation, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Joseph Iita, said he was not surprised that the foundation would spend much of its attention on food security in the country.

“We are excited and we never doubted his (Pohamba’s) commitment to the agriculture sector. If the youth can take up this field of study it will contribute significantly to the agriculture sector,” the permanent secretary said.

According to Iita: “We can talk and talk but investors will not come here to process and develop our manufacturing industries, we need to do these things ourselves.”

“We have to invest in technology and skills transfer. The president identified the Sikondo Green Scheme Project and pushed it to where it is today, this should speak volumes. With this foundation I think we will see more concentration on the agriculture sector,” said Iita.

Source : New Era