CAP Namibia

Failure of Namibia to translate national resources into improvements in poverty reduction and a living wage for every adult Namibian is due to systemic governance failures, especially arbitrary exercise of power of a selected minority of individuals within government structures.

Namibia’s political, administrative and economic elites are advancing increasingly constrained freedoms (CRAN wants to regulate the media through a cumbersome and restrictive broadcasting code regulatory, MICT Minister Tjekero Tweja wants to “punish” the media and change the Access to Information Bill to include the formation of a regulatory body) and diminishing accountability mechanisms ( City of Windhoek keeps council meeting documents secret, the Namibia Anti-Corruption Commission – ACC – fails to secure key witnesses in prosecuting fraud investigations against  secretary to Cabinet George Simaata and Speaker of the National Assembly, and Professor Peter Katjavivi allegedly claimed nearly N$13 000 in Subsistence and Travel (S&T) allowances from the National Assembly when he travelled to South Africa for his school reunion event). Similar examples abound and they directly undermine equitable and inclusive economic growth.

The Rule of Law alone will not lead towards economic, social or political change. A mindset of fair play and equal voice for every Namibian needs to be added to the public service toolkit to assure sustainable development and growth.

In Namibia two major governance deficits hamper equitable human development:

  1. lack of state capacity and accountability
  2. low citizen empowerment towards Access to Information (ATI)

Development is not only about wealth creation (in this case largely for a selectively connected minority group); it is about fair wealth distribution and citizen engagement and participation.

Namibia’s widening wealth gap, the increase of poverty, especially among the young majority, are the result of (bad or hasty) policy choices and not the lack of local expertise, technical failures or a debilitating socio-political past.