In December 2010, Namibia’s Fitch rating was upped from stable to positive which is a true reflection of a healthy economy.
The steady progression is indicative of the blazing economic trail the country is etching buoyaed by a vibrant mining sector that forecasts a quadruple in uranium production by 2015.
For a young nation at 21, this is plausible.
This month, the Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Control Board (ECB), Siseho Simasiku, expresses concern about the current situation where the country is thriving on borrowed power.
Namibia imports 60% of its power from countries in the SADC region; Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. While this fulfils the spirit of brotherhood, this places the country in a very precarious position, considering that some of the countries firing up the Namibian grid like Angola, and Zimbabwe have serious power shortages.
The 60% power importation scenario resembles one sitting on a time bomb or relying on someone to light your path. Just imagine the day the torch bearer decides to blow out his candle! And as Simasiku rightly puts it, ‘the Minister of Mines and Energy, Isak Katali always asks what if one day the power suppliers decide to stop supplies and leave the country groping in the dark?’
Besides, so much money is spent on importing power and it is high time drafted policies are implemented and alternative power sources established to avert the looming crisis.
Although the country lacks hydro generation resources, it has abundant sunshine and ample wind that can be utilised to generate alternative renewable energy, as asserts Simasiku. The prerogative is on NamPower to engage private investors as soon as possible to support the booming economy with local power.
The year of our industrilisation, 2030 nears and the target is not achievable or capable of being implemented if our sources of energy are not ‘real’.
Also in this edition, our Prime Business story hails Schachter Namdar, the first company in Namibia and probably in the region to embrace and engage disabled people in its prestigious and precious mineral processing company. The firm employs 17 deaf and wheelchair-bound workers working in an environment that has special provisions for ease of movement and operations and this empathetic gesture must be emulated and applauded while the directors are saluted.
The troubled Government Institutions Pensions Fund (GIPF) has entrusted Mandi Ellaine Samson with the stewardship of the organisation. Samson takes the hot seat armed with a sound educational background and youthfulness to tackle the mammoth task of cleaning up the mess, sprucing the battered image of the organisation and winning back the trust of the Namibian masses.
Samson, in her own words, says it is a herculean task that many critics doubt in her youth and gender she will achieve but remember, “still waters run deep”.
The Old Mutual annual Jazz Festival comes to town and jazz lovers on October 8 will sway to tunes by jazz masters of the likes of Major 7s Adora, The Fu Jazz All Stars Band and South Africa’s Jimmy Dludlu. The sponsors concur that all work and no play is not good.