Pohamba Foundation Rakes in N$6,7 Million

BOSSES of parastatals, ministerial heads and private sector chiefs pledged over N$6,7 million to the inaugural Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation which was launched on Saturday.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba launched the foundation in Windhoek at an event witnessed by over 1 000 people, among them former President Sam Nujoma who also spoke about Namibia’s rich mineral resources and the possibility of growing vegetables in the desert using sea water.

The amount made public by the auditors as pledged and immediately available is N$4,7 million while the remaining pledges of N$2 million will be made available over a two-year period.

The 108 tables available cost N$10 000 each and brought in the first N$1million.

“The foundation will provide financial assistance to talented and committed young Namibians who wish to pursue studies in specific disciplines, especially in agriculture science and related fields. This is because the area of food production is very close to my heart,” Pohamba said at the gala dinner on Saturday night.

The highest pledge of N$7000 plus a 60 hectare of land worth N$1,2 million came from the Karas Regional Council followed by the Knowledge Foundation which promised the foundation N$500 000 and Namsov Community Trust which gave N$350 000.

Ohlthaver amp List (OampL) Group of Companies promised N$200 000 plus free office space for the new charity body. The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) pledged N$150 000 while the Office of the Prime Minister which had already bought six tables worth N$60 000 pledged another N$100 000.

Some people made pledges in their personal capacities while others made promises on behalf of the institutions they work for.

The foundation will be administered by Pohamba after he retires as President next March. Pohamba, who said that he had consulted his “dear wife”, pledged N$10 000 as a starter and to give N$12 000 annually to the foundation for as long as he lived.

“We should, therefore, educate and train more young people in the field of agriculture in order to make Namibia self-sufficient in food production,” the President said.

Former President Nujoma who pledged his customary N$5 000 on behalf of his family, spoke about the need to be patriotic in supporting and unearthing talents in science.

Nujoma even said that God “took his time to craft Namibia as He endowed the country with natural resources and a good landscape such as a rich desert.

“When you dig you find uranium. We [can] use the sea water as you cannot finish the water because it goes all the way to Brazil,” he said, adding that the desert is already de-bushed and people can grow fruit and vegetables such as bananas and apples because the weather at the coast is good.

He also reiterated his call for the need for scientists and that the new foundation can help nurture those careers.

Nujoma said the United Kingdom is a small island with less natural resources than Namibia is blessed with but Namibians can learn from the UK which has patriotic people who support the education of the youth, even in former colonies.

Source : The Namibian