|Development Challenges for Namibia: Vision 2030 in Perspective|
|Written by Bob Kandetu|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 22:21|
I hold the view that we must look critically at our development agenda and avoid the danger of stagnation at the thought of who is right and who is wrong. We must think in terms of what is right for the nation in contemplating development ideas.We must encourage a public debate on our national development agenda and do so openly without being side-tracked on personalities or political trends. And this brings me to the thought that perhaps the time has arrived for us to interrogate our supreme national development agenda: Vision 2030. The idea for the development of a vision and roadmap for the development of Namibia was first introduced by then President Sam Nuyoma to Cabinet in January of 1998. At the time President Nuyoma implored cabinet to develop thinking around ‘…where we were, where we wish to go and over what time-frame.’ This played against the backdrop of nurturing relations between Namibia and Malaysia, the latter a country that is reputed for progressive economic advancement policies and programmes. This was the peak in relations between Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and President Nuyoma. At the time Malaysia had developed their Vision 2020, which had been introduced by the Prime Minister in 1991, the year in which we celebrated Namibia’s first birthday.The vision was mooted in 1998 and only six years later did we publish a document that gave expression in writing to the thinking. The National Planning Commission (NPC) pulled together a team of technocrats headed by Izaack Kaulinge, then Secretary to the President. Kaulinge was later replaced by Erica Shafudah, then Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and the preparation work proceeded under Shafudah with technical support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In time the NPC managed to consolidate the thinking and formed eight thematic groups to undertake relevant research for the realisation of Vision 2030. The groups were to focus on Inequality and Social Justice, headed by Beth Terry, Peace and Political Stability headed by Hadley Mwashekele, Human Resources Development and Institutional Capacity-Building, headed by Zac Kazapua, Micro-Economic Issues headed by Mihe Gaomab, Population, Health and Development, headed by Jane King, Namibia’s Natural Resources Sector, headed by Chris Brown, Knowledge, Information and Technology, headed by Roland Losch and Factors of the External Environment, headed by Joel Heita. Against this backdrop, the final document was developed to be known as Vision 2030: Policy Framework for Long-term National Development.I contend that, many in society do not seem to know much about the content of our Vision document and it remains to be seen if even the legislature is broadly conversant with the letter and spirit of this voluminous document. I further contend that, given the fact that this document was produced long ago and, save for peripheral discussions and casual references to it in formal speeches and addresses by the Head of State in mitigation when he addresses parliament or gives the State of the Nation address, there does not seem to be evidence that the nation is on course with the development, progress and conceptualisation of this national development plan with all its sub-visions.In the converse, there is a need for the nation, not just parliament and the executive, to get to grips with the development goals and strategies for its implementation. Therefore, there is a need for a public debate on Vision 2030 and the responsibility for this must not be left to the state alone. At least the state has conceived this idea and much as it has been at best tenuous about its evolution, the challenge is on the nation at large, to try and get to understand this national development agenda and to interrogate the best ways to efficiently realise the plan.
The critics of Vision 2030 have along the way intimated that the chances of realising this plan are low and some predict that we shall in the end have to ditch the development agenda, because the pre-requisites for its realisation are out of tune with no possibility of being arrested. Whatever the case may be, there is a case for the nation to take a fresh look at the construct, implementation and progress made with this national agenda for the nation’s development and progress. And we need to ask ourselves: are we on course for Vision 2030 in the year 2030 or will it be realised later? What must obtain for Vision 2030 to be realised in 2030 or even 2025?
In the final analysis, perhaps the nation needs a public platform to interact on these issues and seeing that no such public platforms exist, perhaps the media can provide such a platform to the nation and facilitate the debate.
|Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2012 14:19|