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President's New Year Message 2017

January 4, 2017

Fellow Namibians, 2016 has been an eventful year. It is the year we shifted gear, from planning to implementation. We have accomplished significant milestones as reported in the December review of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. But we acknowledge that unprecedented headwinds encountered during the year, adversely affected our ability to deliver on developmental objectives.

These headwinds may have created questions of doubt in your minds, as to whether our goals as a nation are attainable or whether we can indeed eradicate Poverty? I reassure you today, that the Namibian House remains on course and that we are moving forward. Namibia is on the right track because the recent performance review concluded, that the Plan is working.

In life, as is in driving, the rear view mirror reflects what we have left behind. 2016 is now behind us and we look forward, through the windshield, to the future, with our eyes set on what lies ahead, in 2017.

The start of a New Year presents us the opportunity to start afresh. This is the time of year when many make New Year resolutions and as the saying goes, “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story, by setting goals.”

Our single-minded resolution as Government is to rededicate ourselves to the full implementation of our goals and objectives, during 2017. This is therefore, the year for rededication.

We anticipate that the same challenges we experienced during 2016 will persist into the New Year. A resilient and innovative approach will therefore be required to mitigate the severity of these challenges.

The tough economic outlook will require us to draw on the experiences and lessons learned during 2016 and to tackle difficult debates over limited resources and competing priorities.

Government will forge ahead with the following planned initiatives in the New Year:

1. We will increase the Old Age Social Grant by N$100 to an amount of N$1,200 by June 2017.

2. Government will provide subsidized ploughing services, fertilizers and seeds to communal farmers in rural areas, commencing mid January 2017.

3. A multi-disciplinary Youth training center will be established in Kavango, in Quarter 3 of 2017.

4. Construction of a new Vocational Training Center in Nkurenkuru will commence in September 2017.

5. The new Public Procurement Act will become operational in February 2017, thereby enabling a first computerized procurement system that will enhance transparency.

6. The e-Health services with online patient-record and pharmaceutical-dispensing systems will go live September 2017.

7. We will continue to service urban land and deliver affordable housing, with 6 000 Plots and 5 000 housing units planned for the New Year.

8. We will work hard to eliminate the bucket system in rural areas and replace it with more decent sanitation solutions, by end 2017.

9. The state of affairs in the Sports sector remains a concern to all sport loving Namibians. To this end the line Ministry will conclude its review of the Sports Act and Policy, aiming to define and prioritize the national sport codes, which will guide funding and development.

10. As a Nation that has emerged from a long struggle for Independence, Namibia sympathizes with those who are denied their right to self-determination. We will therefore continue to call for the full implementation of all relevant United Nation resolutions on Palestine and the Western Sahara.

I would like thank outgoing Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki Moon and wish him well in his future endeavours. In the same vein I would like to welcome the incoming Secretary General Mr Antonio Guterres. We hope he will continue the good works of his predecessor, including overseeing the conclusion of the Security Council Reforms.

I will elaborate on all goals and planned activities for the New Year, during my State of the Nation Address, in April.

I have previously stated that delivering on the Prosperity mandate will not be easy, but with all Namibians working together, in the spirit of Harambee, it is possible! We should therefore all rededicate ourselves to continue with the vital work of building a united, inclusive and prosperous Namibian House, “where No One Feels Left Out”.

We have done a tremendous job in this respect but the second half of 2016 was marred by some unfortunate incidents with tribal undertones. This should be of great concern to all of us, since it is an indication that there are certain elements who want to throw a spanner into the wheel that is propelling Namibia forward.

Instead of being deterred by elements to whom peace is boring, we should work harder than ever before, to defeat these enemies, with success.

This success however, can only be achieved once each of us commit to being a productive citizen, in the tireless process of nation building.

Our dream is to bequeath to our children, a Namibia in which every citizen has equal opportunity to pursue his or her dreams – a Namibia defined by democracy, rule of law, peace, stability and prosperity.

As we prepare to turn the page to the next chapter, let us think about the story we would like to write in 2017. Let us remember these words from Ms. Nike Campbell–Fatoki who said, “We are the authors of our destinies. No one can see the vision any clearer, believe in and work any harder to make it a reality, more than the visionary.”

As residents of the Namibian House, only you and I can script this next chapter of our common destiny. Our Plan is to deliver Prosperity for all and this year 2017, we intend to stick to the Plan.

Successful implementation of our Plan will result in a more transparent Namibian House, where all citizens have access to basic necessities such as decent shelter, food, safe and potable water, quality education and health services. We aim to meet these human needs, so as to enable every Namibian to realize their full potential and prosper, each according to their ability.

As I draw to a close, I commend those Namibians who have excelled in boxing and athletics, in particular the Paralympians. The uniformed personnel who continue to serve selflessly. Similarly, I thank all Namibians for what we have achieved together, throughout 2016.

We would not have been able to achieve the milestones we are celebrating, without your personal dedicated involvement. Neither can we realize our 2017 goals, without our rededication to the cause.

Finally, fellow Namibians, wherever you may find yourselves this evening, I would like to wish you a Productive and Prosperous New Year.

May God continue to bless the Republic of Namibia.