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Women's retreat empowers

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THE Twapewa Kadhikwa Annual Women's Retreat weekend, which aimed to activate the faith of women, as well as renew their mindsets for a more productive and prosperous future, will be remembered by those who attended as a life changer.


'Ompata' Headed to Big Screen

THE gritty reality of township life is often overlooked or ignored, but young film-maker Roger Rafael has found a way to creatively tell these stories through a YouTube series titled 'Ompata'.



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Average house prices edge up

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AT the end of March this year, the average price of a house in Namibia was N$1,2 million – about N$100 000 more than during the same time last year.


Namibians show interest in US trade

Elijah Mukubonda

SEVERAL Namibian entrepreneurs have shown interest in pursuing business opportunities in the United States after making contacts at the Namibia-US trade summit held in Namibia early this month.


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      President is Not Father Christmas

      by Editorial Team

      WILL SOMEONE PLEASE break the news to president Hage Geingob that he and the institution of state president are neither Father Christmas nor some tooth fairy?

      Needless to say, the president is elected to solve complex problems facing contemporary society and to lay a solid foundation for future generations.

      Yet, Geingob too, often seems to need reminding to be aware of the tough responsibilities.

      During the state of the nation address this week, Geingob was at it again, promising prosperity and a great future – as he has done since his first day in office in 2015. This happened in addition to handing out sweeteners without so much as indicating how they'll be paid for in the short and long term.

      Among the sweeteners is that 2% of public service positions will be reserved for internships for the youth, an increase from N$250 to N$1 300 a month grant for children with disabilities, and a 12-month amnesty on government student loans.

      Looked at in isolation, the pronouncements are noble and are similar to the increase in old-age pensions that Geingob made at the start of his Presidency.

      Besides, 2% interns in a central government service of 100 000 is minuscule.

      What should be of major concern is that the state or the public sector dominates Namibia's economy by perhaps more than 70%, if you take into account parastatals that depend almost entirely on taxpayer funding to stay in business, and sub-national governments such as regional councils and local authorities through to village level.

      Before long, all governmental agencies, regional, town and village councils, as well as the many state-funded parastatals will adopt Geingob's internship programme.

      The motive for these internships appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to the intractable challenge of high youth unemployment, and to complaints that there's often a demand for experience when employers recruit.

      Internships play an important role in grounding young people in the ethos and culture of productivity. However, we can only imagine the potential damage to people coming out of the government's culture of work.

      In addition to a highly bloated civil service that gobbles up more than 40% of the annual budget, Namibia could now get internship products with a poor work ethic.

      Despite calls to restructure the Namibian economy so that productivity driven by the private sector is promoted, this latest move can only feed the mentality of doing more of the same while hoping for a different outcome.

      The Presidency is not Father Christmas. Tough decisions such as trimming the public service and using the savings to promote productivity and a change in work ethic are what we need.

      Much Ado About Oil Ownership

      NAMIBIANS should think and act carefully in deciding what the general population really needs from the recent oil discoveries, especially when they reach production stage.

      It appears many people got too excited over a silly and senseless comment president Hage Geingob made on Al Jazeera television that “the oil is not ours”.

      Sadly, Geingob and several of his officials seem to enjoy the fruitless debate, which is narrowly based on information that the government owns a 10% share in the oil finds through Namcor.

      Lest we forget, Namibians own the majority of fishing rights and the government has been dishing out most of the quotas to a few individuals.

      It would be instructive to know how much money has gone into tax coffers compared to the enrichment of the few given fishing rights and quotas at the expense of the public.

      Namibians also ought to look at how much tax was paid by foreign companies in cahoots with the fishing quota recipients.

      Benefits to Namibians must be judged by the number of people employed, the skills to do the technical jobs, and the management of the companies. How well tax revenue is deployed for schools, hospitals and general infrastructure should be the yardstick.


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