Future Namibia: Smile My beloved land

By Michael Tambo
February 2012
Book Review
Future Namibia: Smile My Beloved Land is Milton Louw’s debut book recently published by Create Space publishers, a ‘start to a national debate on how every Namibian can make Vision 2030 a reality’.

Leo Rosten (an American script writer) once said that ‘a writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood’.

Future Namibia is a proposal ‘on things we can be doing... to make this country an even better place to live’. The 150-page book is the start of a process to discuss the issues Namibians are facing and provide solutions that can be implemented.

“Rather than answer the question of when, this book answers the question of the future Namibia I would like to be the President of,” writes Milton.

The book is a result of the author’s experiences and study of the best system ‘for making this country even better for us and generations to come.’

Milton has carefully divided the book into 19 chapters, with each chapter zeroing in on a particular subject, addressing outstanding issues in the country that may hinder Namibia from achieving goals set for Vision 2030.

In the book’s foreword, Namibia’s revolutionary hero, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo writes, “Milton Louw has been observing and studying the progress made by political leaders of our country and has now come forward to share his insights and recommendations for governance, economic and social developments and how to avoid mistakes in the future. I am proud that we have Namibians who have the courage and the discipline to develop their ideas and bring them to a public arena for consideration.

“I am particularly impressed that Mr Louw has made proposals for: greater transparency in governance; education of young people in morality and ethical behaviour; expansion of consumer rights; promotion of information and communications technology; measures to nurture entrepreneurism and to support business development as well as strengthened social protection of vulnerable people. Because he is outside the Government, he may not be aware that some of his proposals are similar to Government initiatives already in operation or in preparation,” says ya Toivo.

Namibians have a lot to be proud of. It is one of the most spectacular countries in terms of scenery and wildlife. In addition, it has enormous mineral wealth.

The most important ingredient of this country, however, is its people. Namibians have emerged from decades of colonialism and apartheid rule to become one of the most integrated societies in the world. Regardless of social, economic or political background, Namibians are proud of their country.

Louw decided to write the book as a ‘business plan for Namibia’, thus he looked at strategic areas such as management (government, legislature and executive), external and internal environments (PEST analysis), Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), marketing and planning (through segmentation and targeting), to find the best value proposition and forecasting, using the best results achieved in other countries such as China, Germany, France, Netherlands, Japan, USA and adapted to the Namibian situation.

The inspiration to write the book, for Milton came after losing his job. “It might sound funny but while I was working, I always told myself that I did not have the time. I was fired from my part-time job at the ICT Alliance and was really down. My business partner and friend, Detlef Frormann offered me a place to stay for three months, free of charge, in his three-star guest farm in Okomitundu and I managed to still write a book on the things I was continually writing about in my e-mail newsletters and blogs. I have learnt to live each day as if it is my last. I have learnt that the strength to take on something must come from inside. There is nobody you need to impress, except yourself.”

Born in Windhoek in December 1969, Milton Louw is a Namibian socio-political entrepreneur. He has travelled extensively, promoting Namibia as an investment destination. His publications, e-mail newsletters and more recently, his blogs are read by entrepreneurs from all sizes of businesses. His research on managing a country as a business is in using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, which have been received by a wide audience of business, academics and other social entrepreneurs.

He is also a lecturer in Information and Communication Technologies at the Polytechnic of Namibia and has assisted in various ICT research papers. His most recent contribution was to Libraries, Tele centres, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: International Comparisons by the University of Washington.

He was amongst the group of people who raised the Independence flag in the capital in 1991. He has worked closely with the chamber of commerce movement and the development of the small and medium enterprises.

Milton has also studied languages including English, Afrikaans, French and German and is also armed with an advanced diploma in International Business from Cambridge (equivalent to a 13-year diploma), which covers finance, marketing, human resources, communication and business organisation as well as Advanced ICDL and Microsoft Master MCAS computer courses.

He has also worked overseas at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) in Paris, France and spent a year working in Duesseldorf, Germany, studying credit rating systems. Last year, he spent three months in Germany, developing a central register proposal to help the Namibian government streamline citizen data. PF