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Namibia Government Directory 2022-2023
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Description Advertised Closing
Request for Supply and Delivery of NetApp Storage Disk 10 August 2023 18 August 2023 at 10H00 a.m local time Open
Request for quotation - Printing of Letterheads 18 July 2023 27 July 2023 at 10H30 a.m local time Closed
Request for quotation - Supply of materials and set up a nursery at Mbora Primary School Garden Project in Kavango East Region 12 July 2023 21 July 2023 at 11H00 a.m local time Closed
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Latest News

Farmers are selling off livestock due to the impact of drought
The severe drought has led to a 47.9% increase in the number of cattle marketed during the first three months of this year.

In total, 86,693 head of cattle were marketed on a year-on-year basis. According to the Bank of Namibia’s Quarterly Bulletin released in June, this increase was primarily due to a rise in live exports of weaners and cattle slaughtered for export, which surged by 87.9% and 32.2%, reaching 57,562 and 21,252 head, respectively.

“This surge resulted from high demand for weaners from South Africa, compounded by drought-induced sales due to poor rainfall during the 2023/24 season,” the Bank of Namibia (BoN) noted. The bulletin also observed that farmers preferred exporting cattle to export-approved abattoirs over local ones due to better prices, leading to a 33.8% decrease in cattle slaughtered for local consumption, which fell to 7,879 head during the quarter.

Quarterly figures show a 43.5% increase in the number of cattle marketed, rising from 60,436 head. This increase was reflected in a notable rise in live weaner exports and cattle slaughtered for export, which grew by 76% and 7.8%, respectively, from 32,701 and 19,710 head in the final quarter of 2023.

The increased cattle supply amidst the drought has led to a decline in producer prices, which fell by 3.8% year-on-year and 4.4% quarterly, reaching N$57.62 per kilogram. Weaner prices also decreased by 22.8% year-on-year and 9.5% quarterly, to N$24.75 per kilogram.

In terms of small stock, the number marketed rose by 15.3% year-on-year to 219,071 units in the first quarter of 2024, compared to the same period in 2023. This increase was driven by a 27.8% rise in live small stock exports, reaching 176,985 heads, due to strong demand for sheep in Northern Cape and goats in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Conversely, the number of small stock slaughtered for local consumption and sheep slaughtered for export declined by 24.2% and 12%, respectively, to 20,613 and 21,434 head, due to unfavorable prices.

Milk production increased by 9% year-on-year to 3.8 million liters in the first quarter of 2024, but declined quarter-on-quarter. The rise was attributed to increased milk production from large-scale farmers acquiring cows from small-scale farmers due to higher input costs.

In crop production, white maize output increased by 70.8% to 2,203 tonnes for the quarter, primarily due to a successful harvest from irrigation. However, production of pearl millet and wheat fell by 38% and 6%, respectively, to 187 tonnes and 471 tonnes, due to generally disappointing rainfall during the 2023/24 season.

Namcor advocates for transparency in the oil sector
National Petroleum Corporation (Namcor) managing director Ebson Uanguta has expressed the company's commitment to enhancing transparency in Namibia’s oil industry.

Uanguta stated that Namcor is open to sharing non-confidential agreements with the public, emphasizing the need to balance transparency with the protection of sensitive information.

His comments follow the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s recent recommendation for Namibia to make its oil agreements public.

“We need to ensure transparency while protecting sensitive information. The public deserves to know the economic benefits, but not at the cost of compromising confidential agreements,” Uanguta said during a discussion on oil and gas hosted by Nedbank this week.

According to the IMF’s high-level summary technical assistance report, publicizing such information could help prevent corruption in the sector, as has been observed in other countries.

Uanguta noted that disclosure must strike a balance, as some information cannot be made public.

“Certain confidential and sensitive information, not meant for the public, should remain between the parties. However, information in which the public has an interest, such as taxes, royalties, and economic benefits, must be disclosed,” he said.

He explained that two primary agreements are pertinent to the oil sector.

“The petroleum agreement governs the relationship between international operators and the government, detailing their rights and obligations. The joint operating agreement, on the other hand, defines the relationship between the operators themselves,” he said.

However, National Planning Commission director general Obeth Kandjoze pointed out that the oil discovered in Namibia does not belong to Namibians.

“We have had the debate about whether the oil is ours – the oil is not ours. There is currently a topical debate about natural resources and who owns them,” he said. “This speaks directly to the existing challenges we face in relation to the aspirations of the owners of the resource.”

Kandjoze noted the growing demands from sovereign entities and the public, highlighting the need for a balanced approach in the mining and oil sectors.

“This is a real issue between the mining sector, the oil base, and the policy space. We are able to face each other across the divide and craft a regime that speaks to all of us,” he said.

He emphasized that the private sector and investors must play a role in creating a framework that satisfies all stakeholders.

“The private sector and investors need to really become partners in creating a dispensation that satisfies all. We in the policy space are feeling the heat,” Kandjoze said.

Christopher Coombs, the head of oil and gas at Nedbank London, stressed the importance of infrastructure development for the oil and gas sector.

“If the infrastructure lags behind, the industry cannot develop at its potential rate. Investment is needed in ports, airports, roads, and other critical areas,” he said.

Coombs highlighted the numerous opportunities at every level of the oil and gas industry, not just in offshore extraction, which may initially be dominated by major oil companies.

“. . . there are investment opportunities at every level that Namibians can be excited about,” he said.

Zebra Kasete, the president of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, emphasized the role of the country’s minerals in decarbonization efforts.

“We must ensure these resources are utilized responsibly to benefit the nation,” he said.

Kasete noted the potential for collaboration between the mining and oil industries.

“The mining industry has a history of social investment. We can share our experiences and collaborate to develop local skills and infrastructure,” he said.

Namibia pledges to preserve its forests
President Nangolo Mbumba has underscored Namibia’s commitment to working with the international community to restore and protect forests.

Speaking at a conference in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, last week, which focused on strategies to combat deforestation, Mbumba stated, “Namibia stands ready to collaborate with the international community to restore and protect forests for the benefit of its people and the African continent as a whole.”

He highlighted climate change as the most significant challenge to Namibia’s pursuit of sustainable development and emphasized the importance of trees as natural carbon sinks in mitigating climate change effects. Mbumba also outlined the ecological, economic, and social benefits of forests.

Furthermore, he stressed the crucial role of afforestation and reforestation in promoting sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. Mbumba noted the vulnerability of Namibia’s resource-dependent primary sectors, such as agriculture and fisheries, which are vital to the nation's economic well-being.

“There is strong support for the forthcoming adoption of a declaration and strategy aimed at bolstering international cooperation on African afforestation and reforestation efforts. I believe this is a positive development for Africa and the global community,” he stated.

Mbumba reaffirmed Namibia’s unwavering support for the proposed 10-Year Global Strategic Framework for Afforestation and Reforestation (2025-2034) and the commitments outlined in the Declaration of the First International Conference on Afforestation and Reforestation.

Convened by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the conference brought together over 2,000 participants, including heads of state, government ministers, representatives from international organizations, the scientific community, private sector entities, non-governmental organizations, and civil society.

The three-day conference focused on establishing a comprehensive strategy to combat deforestation and promote large-scale tree planting initiatives. A key outcome was the adoption of the Global Afforestation and Reforestation Strategy, which outlines a multi-pronged approach.

NamWater Launches N$3.5 Billion Infrastructure Initiative
The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) is launching a N$3.5 billion water infrastructure expansion program over the next three years to meet growing water supply demands.

NamWater spokesperson Lot Ndamanomhata announced this on Wednesday, explaining the company’s cost-recovery measures aimed at ensuring sustainable water provision. This announcement follows media reports of NamWater disconnecting defaulters in the Zambezi region.

Ndamanomhata noted that NamWater is currently owed over N$2.1 billion by town councils and individual consumers nationwide.

“It is essential for all NamWater customers to make timely payments to support ongoing water supply operations, infrastructure maintenance, and expansion,” he said.

Due to outstanding payments, NamWater will implement prepaid bulk water meters to encourage responsible usage and ensure upfront payments. The utility is also considering introducing prepaid meters for individual residences as a new standard.

Ndamanomhata mentioned that NamWater North-East Business has held extensive stakeholder and customer engagement sessions to inform the community about outstanding bills and the importance of prompt payments.

“These sessions have emphasized our cost-recovery model to maintain sustainable water provision,” he said. He cited Katima Mulilo’s settlement of its debt over the past year as an example of the positive impact of proactive engagement.

Katima Mulilo chief executive Raphael Liswaniso confirmed this, stating that since 2018, they have used a bulk pre-paid meter and pay for water in advance. “We do not owe NamWater; they actually owe us N$3.2 million for rates and taxes,” he said.

Ndamanomhata explained that NamWater inherited pipeline projects and assets from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, including water meters and community water points. Under the transfer arrangement, community water points were to be managed by individuals from community or village development committees, who were responsible for collecting and remitting payments to NamWater.

“Unfortunately, many community leaders mismanaged the funds, leading to non-payment to NamWater and significant vandalism of water points,” he said. He encouraged residents to apply for individual connections, as shared community water points are no longer sustainable.

Considering the challenges faced by the Zambezi communities and the ongoing drought, NamWater has decided to resume water supply to affected points, individuals, and communities.

“We urge affected customers to contact NamWater officials at the Linyanti and Sibbinda constituent offices and at the NamWater offices starting Monday, 8 July. This decision reflects our commitment as a responsible corporate citizen,” Ndamanomhata said. He added that NamWater’s infrastructure, including dams, reservoirs, pipelines, and purification plants, is expensive to build and maintain.

Despite these challenges, NamWater strives to keep water tariffs affordable, currently at an average of 1.5 cents per litre. This rate has remained unchanged for the past four years. “That is N$15 per cubic meter, and one cubic meter equals 1,000 litres,” he said.

Agronomic Board Engages Schools for Awards Program
The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) will host its annual National Agronomy and Horticulture Awards at Olushandja in the Omusati region on 19 September.

According to a statement from the board, this event aims to recognize and honor producers, processors, traders, service providers, and schools that have made significant contributions to the growth of Namibia’s agronomy and horticulture industry.

Last year’s awards, which featured 43 winning entries, took place at the Mashare Irrigation Project in the Kavango East region. AvaGro, a prominent coastal agricultural entity working with smallholder farmers, agripreneurs, and large-scale cultivators, was the biggest winner, receiving both the Master Crop Value Chain Actor of the Year and Horticulture Innovator of the Year awards.

NAB spokesperson Emily Abraham announced that about 300 guests are expected at this year’s event. To encourage youth participation in agricultural activities, NAB is inviting schools with active gardens to enter the competition.

“The aim is to promote the ‘one school, one garden’ concept to support the school feeding program, which helps reduce the dropout rate. Gardens assist in practical teaching and learning and help groom future farmers,” she said.

“We call on all schools with active gardens to submit entry forms and participate in the competition for the Best School Garden of the Year. The competition seeks to identify schools that extend teaching and learning beyond the classroom through gardening,” Abraham added.

As part of the criteria, schools must demonstrate how their garden aids in the practical teaching and learning of agriculture subjects. Selected agriculture pupils will be interviewed, and the school must serve as a model for other school gardens. Additionally, the school must have a clear sustainability plan for its garden.

Once applications are received, NAB will assemble a team of five experts to assess all qualifying school gardens. The winning school will be announced at the award ceremony and will receive N$30,000 to maintain its garden.

TransNamib Secures N$2.6 Billion Loan
TransNamib has finally signed a N$2.6 billion loan agreement with the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), nearly three years after the initial announcement.

TransNamib, Namibia’s national railway company, had to meet specific conditions before both parties could finalize the agreement.

Speaking at the Public Enterprises Forum in Windhoek this week, TransNamib CEO Desmond van Jaarsveld announced that the loan would be used to purchase locomotives and multipurpose wagons.

“We have just secured funding, a N$2.6 billion investment, for the much-needed locomotives and multipurpose wagons,” van Jaarsveld said.

This loan is part of an N$8 billion pledge made by the DBN and DBSA for infrastructure development in Namibia during a 2019 investment summit in Windhoek.

The procurement of the locomotives is expected to begin soon, with a lead time of 24 months. TransNamib is also working on a 24-month interim solution by enlisting additional locomotives, van Jaarsveld explained.

TransNamib plans to repay the loan within five years through improved efficiency and an increased customer base. Van Jaarsveld emphasized the need to boost the railway's contribution to Namibia’s fuel transport needs.

“Currently, TransNamib only transports 14% of the total fuel requirements in Namibia, and that needs to be increased,” he stated. He also highlighted the importance of integrating road and railway transport systems.

“In Namibia, we need to focus on regional integration, and rail needs to work with road transport,” van Jaarsveld added.

The company recently received a tender from a mining company to provide railway and road solutions, using SMEs for the road transport component.

At the forum, Louise Shixwameni, deputy executive director at the Ministry of Public Enterprises, noted that more investments have historically gone into road infrastructure, neglecting railways.

“Namibia is the only country lagging behind in railway infrastructure,” Shixwameni said, stressing the need to find ways to fund railway development without consuming the country’s entire budget.

Roads Authority CEO Conrad Lutombi acknowledged Namibia’s progress in regional integration, as the country is linked to all SADC regions via economic corridors. However, he pointed out that there is still work to be done in linking constituencies.

“We have a huge responsibility to reach all corners of this country. There is still a problem linking constituencies to the traffic economic belt of the country,” Lutombi said, emphasizing the need for rural areas to participate in national development through better linkages.

Sugar Industry Stakeholders Clash Over Transformation Funding
South African sugar industry stakeholders are clashing over millions of rand allocated for transformation funding, with accusations of fronting and racism against black small-scale growers.

The conflict arose after the SA Farmers Development Association (Safda) accused the SA Canegrowers of “fronting” and condemned what it described as “disturbing anti-transformation tendencies.”

Safda executive chairman Dr. Siyabonga Madlala explained that black farmers left the SA Canegrowers in late 2015 to establish Safda due to the “oppressive colonial legacy.” He asserted that black farmers would not allow SA Canegrowers to dictate the terms of the transformation funding, which was secured through their activism to benefit black farmers.

Madlala criticized the SA Canegrowers for showing “colonial colours” by blocking transformation funding intended for black small-scale farmers. He accused the organization of using black faces to cover up its resistance to meaningful transformation while pretending to be progressive.

“We will vigorously resist these tendencies and expose them,” Madlala warned. “There will be visible resistance across the sugarcane belt to convey a strong message.”

The South African Sugar Association (Sasa) reported spending R1.12 billion on transformation initiatives for black small-scale growers over the past five years. Sasa’s five-year transformation plan, which ended in the 2023/2024 season, has been extended to 2024/2025 with a R238.9 million allocation.

Additionally, Sasa allocated a minimum of R60 million in premium price payments (PPP) to small-scale growers as part of the Industry Master Plan for three seasons, with an increase to R68 million in the 2023/2024 season. As this season concludes, the PPP has been extended to 2024/2025 with an inflationary adjustment, bringing the allocation to R72.5 million.

Sasa’s independent chairperson, Advocate Fay Mukaddam, acknowledged the dispute between Safda and SA Canegrowers and stated that it was being addressed urgently. Mukaddam emphasized that Sasa is driving the “Reimagined Cane Industry Strategy,” focusing on diversification and transformation to ensure industry sustainability.

“We remain committed to advancing meaningful transformation and sustainability throughout the value chain,” Mukaddam said. “I urge all industry leaders to collaborate and prioritize the industry's interests, particularly those of all our growers.”

In response, SA Canegrowers dismissed Safda’s allegations as “baseless,” asserting that the association is inclusive of both commercial and small-scale growers. The leadership and board of SA Canegrowers are democratically elected, including active small-scale and commercial growers, making it unique among industry bodies.

SA Canegrowers emphasized that transformation funding in the sugar industry comes from various sources intended to support previously disadvantaged individuals, including small-scale growers. The industry has committed to contributing R239 million towards these initiatives in the 2024/25 season, exceeding the R232 million spent in the previous season.

Caltex Makes a Comeback in Namibia
The Caltex brand is set to return to Namibia after nearly 13 years of absence.

In 2011, Puma Energy acquired all Caltex gas stations and fuel storage facilities in Namibia through a deal with Chevron, increasing the number of Puma stations in the country and rebranding BP stations with its own green and red colors.

Yesterday, Chevron Brands International LLC, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, announced a long-term retail trademark licensing agreement with Bachmus Oil and Fuel Supplies (PTY) LTD, marking the return of the Caltex® brand to fuel retailing in Namibia.

Chevron has appointed Bachmus as its licensee of the Caltex brand to sell, market, and distribute fuels under the Caltex name in Namibia, aiming to grow the Caltex-branded service station network across the country.

Caltex is a globally recognized premium brand with a presence in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

This agreement further strengthens Chevron’s presence in Namibia, where it re-entered the oil and gas upstream business in 2022, becoming the operator of the PEL 90 offshore deepwater block in the Orange Basin. In April 2024, Chevron also signed an agreement to acquire an 80% operating interest in the offshore block PEL 82 in the Walvis Basin.

Commenting on the agreement, Danielle Lincoln, Chevron’s vice president of international products, said, “Re-entering the Namibian retail market is a significant milestone for Chevron. Through a network of retail fuel sites nationwide, we plan to build the strength of the Caltex brand in close collaboration with Bachmus. The brand promises quality and reliable energy to motorists in Namibia. We are confident that this partnership will generate new growth opportunities and look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

Corné Schalkwyk, managing director of Bachmus Oil and Fuel Supplies, said, “We are honored to partner with Chevron as they return to Namibia’s retail market with the Caltex brand. Bachmus has the expertise and infrastructure to support the growth of Caltex-branded fuel stations in Namibia. We believe the synergies between Bachmus and Chevron will bring great value for consumers in the form of quality products and services. We look forward to collaborating closely with them to provide energy solutions to the Namibian market.”

Namibia Urged to Improve Financial Management for Growth
Namibia has been urged to improve its fund management to enhance economic competitiveness and capitalize on available opportunities.

At the recent Nasia Networking Series event, Ninety One founder and CEO Hendrik du Toit called on stakeholders to utilize private credit and equity for well-governed projects, particularly given the limited number of listed companies.

He emphasized that investments should support both business growth and pension sustainability.

Industry leaders at the event outlined recommendations to address key challenges and opportunities in Namibia’s investment landscape.

Du Toit stated, “We should focus on competitiveness and available opportunities,” highlighting the potential of private credit and equity to fund well-governed projects, despite the scarcity of listed companies as a barrier. He also advocated for robust regulatory frameworks to bolster investor confidence.

Addressing sustainability challenges, Du Toit noted Namibia’s need to align agricultural practices with global market demands for low-carbon products. He contrasted Namibia's situation with the United States' green investment incentives, urging Namibia to carve its unique path while considering the impact of European border taxes favoring low-carbon economies.

Anne Cabot-Alletzhauser underscored the importance of mobilizing Namibia’s long-term savings for sustainable development. “We need to address the sustainable development imperatives of Namibia and enhance the quality of life for Namibians,” she said.

Criticizing foreign pension fund models as unsuitable for Africa’s development context, Cabot-Alletzhauser called for broader industry engagement beyond traditional pension fund priorities. She highlighted a significant gap in Namibia’s investment landscape and urged local stakeholders to explore diverse investment opportunities aligned with national developmental goals.

Sydwill Scholtz, operations manager at the Retirement Funds Institute, emphasized integrating environmental, social, and governance principles in investment strategies. “Our members rely on pension funds for savings and risk management,” he said.

Scholtz stressed the institute’s commitment to educating members on sustainable investing practices and promoting long-term financial security. “Starting early and maintaining consistent investments are crucial,” he said, highlighting the societal benefits of responsible financial stewardship.

Industry leaders at the event emphasized regulatory clarity, sustainable investment strategies, and stakeholder collaboration as pivotal to achieving sustainable economic growth and prosperity in Namibia.

South Africa and Namibia: Why Liberation Movements Struggle Once in Power
The decline in support for the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa’s elections on May 29 was anticipated. However, the drop from 57% to 40% represents a significant shift in the country’s democracy and highlights the broader trend of diminishing popularity of former liberation movements as governing parties in southern Africa.

Since the late 1990s, I have examined the limitations of liberation movements when they transition into governance, pointing out their shortcomings. Upcoming elections in Namibia at the end of November may also reveal a decline in popularity for the ruling South West African People’s Organisation (Swapo).

Anti-colonial movements fought for self-determination at great cost to their members and populations. Once their goals were achieved, there were high expectations for significant improvements, both socially and materially.

Instead, a new elite took control, often prioritizing its own benefits. This has led to growing frustration among the “liberated,” eroding the initial support for these governments. The loss of trust has resulted in the development of kleptocracies, where the party becomes synonymous with the state and entitlement becomes entrenched.

This issue was anticipated by some within the struggle. Frantz Fanon, a member of the Algerian liberation movement, observed decolonization in the late 1950s in West Africa and offered enduring insights in his work, The Wretched of the Earth. In the chapter "The Pitfalls of National Consciousness," Fanon noted how the sovereign state imposes itself on the people, demanding obedience and discipline through mistreatment and intimidation.

Fanon’s analysis remains relevant for those observing the governance by former liberation movements in southern Africa. As noted by South African academic Imraan Buccus, many of these movements have devolved into "rapacious kleptocracies" akin to what Fanon described.

Artur Carlos Mauricio Pestana dos Santos, known as Pepetela, also addressed these issues in his novel Mayombe, highlighting the emerging power structures and the divide between those who wanted to build a strong, unified party and those who recognized the limitations of their revolution.

The transition from liberation movements to political parties has often led to authoritarianism rather than good governance. As Keaobaka Tsholo of the International Studies Group at the University of Free State notes, this shift has not resulted in effective governance.

A Namibian newspaper editorial summed it up well: “Former liberation movements that eventually came to power in southern Africa have evolved into parties that have siphoned off resources meant for the poor and disadvantaged.”

The conflation of party, government, and state has contributed to troubled democratic transitions. Younger generations, raised after the end of white minority rule, are frustrated by the "shattered illusion of the post-liberation state," as Sara Rich Dorman observes.

William Gumede, a South African political scientist, outlines several failures, including one-party rule, ethnic politics, and corruption. He concludes that “African independence and liberation movements turned governments have often become obstacles to building lasting democracies.”

For both the ANC and Swapo, the upcoming 2024 elections are crucial. Their decline has been fueled by a culture of entitlement, state capture, and corruption, with insufficient benefits delivered to the people. Both parties experienced significant support losses in recent elections, with even poorer results in local and regional elections.

My research suggests that the military mindset and confrontational approach of liberation movements are not conducive to fostering democratic norms and human rights.

While independence brought important achievements, including self-determination and civil rights, it remains incomplete without a solid foundation for democracy and human rights. The ruling elites from former liberation movements in southern Africa seem more focused on retaining power than on democracy, as seen in Zimbabwe.

The ANC's willingness to acknowledge and respect the electorate's will sets a new standard. Transforming a former liberation movement into a democratic political party may be a step forward in addressing the unfinished business of building a robust democracy.

Fuel Prices Set to Decrease
The Ministry of Mines and Energy has announced a decrease in fuel prices for July, following a decline in global oil prices over the past month.

Starting Wednesday, the price of petrol in Namibia will drop by 80 cents per litre, diesel 50ppm will decrease by 60 cents per litre, and diesel 10ppm will reduce by 70 cents per litre.

After the adjustment, fuel prices at Walvis Bay will be N$22.20 per litre for petrol, N$21.57 per litre for diesel 50ppm, and N$21.67 per litre for diesel 10ppm.

The ministry attributes this decrease to several factors, including the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision to maintain production levels until the end of 2025. Additionally, ongoing global economic concerns have led to a drop in consumer confidence, resulting in lower oil prices.

According to the ministry’s data, the average price of unleaded petrol 95 (ULP 95) fell from US$98.83 per barrel at the end of May to US$94.73 in June, a 4.15% decrease. Diesel prices also saw slight declines, with diesel 50ppm decreasing by 0.05% and diesel 10ppm by 0.3%.

“While the Namibia dollar depreciated slightly against the United States dollar, this had a negligible impact compared to the overall drop in oil prices,” noted the ministry.

In May, fuel prices were increased, with petrol rising by 70 cents per litre and both diesel grades increasing by 40 cents per litre.

Creating an Economy that Serves Current and Future Generations
In my recent reading, I came across a statement I have long wanted to see, hear, and shout about: “The African economic development doctrine has been dominated by Western ideologies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.”

This insight, which I found in the African Development Bank's 2024 Economic Outlook, filled me with excitement. It made me want to gather all university economics faculties and public studies departments for a comprehensive workshop.

Ironically, this revelation is inspired by Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the IMF, an institution known for its significant influence on global development agendas through its financial power and research capabilities. Georgieva herself was inspired by an essay written by economist John Maynard Keynes in 1930, titled "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren."

In many conversations, people express their frustration with the current economy, feeling it doesn’t work for them. This widespread discontent has led to what Georgieva refers to as an "age of anger."

Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that our economic structures and empowerment projects are too deeply rooted in Western ideologies, failing to address the realities on the ground. We should consider developing an economic framework that suits our unique context—accounting for our population dynamics, informality, rural settings, and more—without relying on Western economic models.

It’s crucial for our academics to develop informed theories on how African economies should be structured. It's perplexing that African currencies often react negatively to anti-Western policies—the rand, for instance, declined when the MK and EFF gained momentum.

This realization underscores that our economic structures are deeply embedded in Western ideologies and have never been properly restructured. Young people, in particular, are struggling under these exclusive economic frameworks, facing challenges such as paying for education, finding employment, buying homes, and dealing with the high costs of climate change.

Many young people bypass formal university or vocational training channels, ending up in the informal sector, often abandoning the dream of home or land ownership.

Given these realities, we must start asking ourselves difficult questions. The most pertinent one is: Can we build an economy that benefits us now and provides a strong foundation for future generations?

We need to collaborate with African university researchers to develop economic models tailored to our needs. As a young person, I find myself competing with Chinese investors backed by their government and Canadian investors with access to cheap loans, while my own leaders threaten to revoke my license if I don’t engage in exploration or auction my land if I don’t develop it.

Such scenarios are all too common for young Africans on their own continent. Therefore, I recommend rethinking every piece of legislation we implement. This requires a deliberate effort from leaders and economic facilitators to move away from outdated, Western-driven agendas of foreign direct investment and raw material export strategies.

This restructuring will be a challenging journey, as our currencies may fluctuate, and some investors might withdraw, but ultimately, our people will benefit.

We must take steps to build better. Solutions exist and are possible if we work together as a continent. For instance, supporting Zimbabwe’s currency and restructuring phase could set a precedent for other nations like Namibia. Similarly, working with Botswana to secure a share of the global diamond value chain can help build a self-reliant economy.

Namibian leaders and economic facilitators must move away from traveling to Europe for benchmarking and investment begging. Instead, they should tap into the potential within their own people.