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LAND LESSON LEARNED

LAND LESSON LEARNED

THE 2nd Namibian Land Conference that closes tomorrow will forev­er be a watershed and will introduce new opportunities for a brighter future and a stronger Namibia forged from a deep-rooted common desire of justice and equality for all.

The past cannot be undone and a better future will be determined by Namibian citizens and not by the mistakes and pressures of others. The 2nd Land Conference is a call to action and an opportunity for a better future that might not soon present itself again.

When delegates and experts leave the conference tomorrow, com­mon sense and goodwill should not also adjourn.

The conference is taking place in the worst possible economic conditions, which proves Namibian resilience to be able to tackle ad­ditional difficult issues, even in the most difficult times that Namib­ians can endure.

The course is set, but now the journey to a better and more just Namibia must begin. Namibians will not talk and accuse their way out of the past, but must work their way towards wealth creation and employment creation to restore dignity amongst all, lest they be re­membered as the generation who enjoyed freedom so much that they forgot about justice and equality for their children.

Even if every Namibian has more or less the same needs, the 2nd Land Conference demonstrated that priorities and needs differ from region to region, from village to village and from citizen to citizen.

The sun will not suddenly rise in the West and set in the East, but the Conference confirmed that more challenges will present them­selves during the coming weeks and months, not least the elections just more than a year away.

Even more significant is that the revolutionaries of the liberation struggle who took on a hostile international community and embarked upon an armed struggle against all odds sixty years ago, are today still the revolutionaries who as elder statesmen of democracy, toler­ance and sovereignty lead change from the front, and Namibians are changing.

As members of the international community, Namibians again dem­onstrated that they are at war with inequality, not with themselves.

They can be trusted, because their word is their bond and their inter­nationally acclaimed constitution is their commitment and way of life in a world under siege of bad leadership and turmoil.

Those who plotted and planned for the Land Conference to be post­poned or abandoned, failed, not because they are weak, but because Namibian unity is still stronger than division.

The nation has all the reason to have confidence in each other. Every day, Namibians are much wiser than a week ago, because they were introduced to issues that they might not have been exposed to every day.

They know that the 2nd Land Conference will not end with a magical solution for the challenges of a fair and just land distribution. What they do know, after a mountain of statistics was presented, is that officials were seized by the issue and most are knowledgeable in their various fields, but the knowledge is not coordinated and can therefore not be applied in a systematic way.

They also know that in many cases capacity was lacking and they will realise that the same mistakes cannot be repeated.

Namibians have seen a side of themselves and the various commu­nities in the past few days that most never experienced.

The land conference is nothing short of a State of the Nation expos­ing the fault lines between cultures, groups and lifestyles that remind everybody that solutions in this country are not one that suits all.

Justice without sustainable growth and wealth creation is also not possible.

The harsh reality is that the most pressing issue is the question of urbanisation. The land conference exposed an ugly truth of appoint­ing politicians on local and regional level who refuse to believe that they are accountable to the appointing authority and to citizens alike and the question is not where is the land, but where were the so-called representatives of communities that were supposed to campaign on their behalf and not for themselves.

When the land conference closes, it will be the time for a new kind of economic revolutionaries to step up to the plate as the storm troop­ers of home-grown wealth creation, social justice and employment creation.

The trust and cooperation between the private sector and govern­ment is the very foundation that must support the revolution of trans­formation. The 2nd Land Conference proves that there is no substitute for frank and honest dialogue amongst Namibians.

The land conference is a small step for correcting wrongs, but a gi­ant step towards nationhood and the right thing to do.

Because the conference confirmed interdependence, Namibians can­not declare independence from each other.

Therein lies the strength of a nation that is continuously forged from adversity.

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