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Namibia’s President Geingob Urges Unity and Prosperity in New Year Address

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In a New Year message to the nation, President Hage Geingob called upon all Namibians to unite and collaborate towards a brighter future as the country embarks on the “Year of Expectations” in anticipation of the 2024 elections.

Reflecting on the triumphs and tribulations of the past year, President Geingob underscored the pivotal role of unity, resilience, and shared prosperity in the nation’s journey.

President Geingob commenced his address by acknowledging the inherent optimism that accompanies the start of a new year, emphasizing the collective hopes and aspirations of Namibians for their nation.

He stressed the imperative for intensified efforts to enhance Namibia for the benefit of all its citizens, urging everyone to join forces to ensure inclusivity within the Namibian House.

Reviewing the past 12 months, President Geingob acknowledged the significant progress achieved in what was termed the “Year of Revival.” He lauded the nation’s steps toward collective prosperity, fortifying the foundations of the Namibian House, and sustaining economic rejuvenation. He also acknowledged the challenges that tested the nation’s resolve in recent years.

President Geingob recounted the impact of the global commodity crisis in 2015, resulting in declines in government revenue and affecting development projects. He recognized the severe droughts experienced between 2016-2019, necessitating substantial government spending on drought relief. The President also acknowledged the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, leading to loss of lives, economic struggles, and job losses.

Despite these adversities, President Geingob underscored the government’s commitment to supporting its citizens. He commended the policies enacted during the pandemic, including fiscal support to businesses and cash grants for vulnerable Namibians. He highlighted the increase in the old-age pension grant and expressed optimism for further increments before the end of his term.

President Geingob spotlighted the successful implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II, aimed at post-COVID-19 economic recovery, reinforcing social safety nets, and fostering intergenerational prosperity. He mentioned the establishment of the Welwitschia Fund to bolster national resilience and redistribute benefits from natural resource endowments.

In the tourism sector, President Geingob noted the recovery with 64 cruise liners docking at the Port of Walvis Bay in 2023, invigorating tourism and supporting small businesses. He highlighted Namibia’s top ranking in Africa for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2022 and a promising GDP growth rate of 7.2% in the third quarter of the same year.

Addressing the nation’s focus on green energy and industries, President Geingob applauded the progress in developing green hydrogen and related industries. He mentioned efforts to cultivate giant kelp forests and produce iron, signaling a shift towards clean energy and sustainable manufacturing.

Looking ahead to 2024, President Geingob shared expectations for tangible outcomes, including offshore oil drilling, uranium mine operations, and green hydrogen projects. He also anticipated the positive impact of the Walvis Bay container terminal concession on investment and container traffic.

On the international stage, President Geingob highlighted Namibia’s contributions to regional peace and prosperity as Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation. He also mentioned his role as Co-Chair of the 2024 United Nations Summit for the Future, addressing global challenges such as climate change, conflicts, and technological revolution.

President Geingob concluded by emphasizing that Namibia’s successes are rooted in unity, peace, and stability. He urged the nation to continue working together towards shared prosperity and extended his best wishes for the upcoming “Year of Expectations” and the forthcoming elections.

As Namibians embark on the new year, President Geingob’s call for unity and collective effort resonates, setting the stage for a year filled with expectations and opportunities.

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