Let’s watch out for the risks ahead

By Sibangani Dube
February 2014
Editors Note



The year 2014 started off on a rather mixed note with so much happening on both the home front, on our beautiful continent and the world beyond. On the African front we are worried about sad developments in the Central African Republic and in Africa’s newest nation South Sudan. Solutions to end the prevailing violence seem to be elusive. The African Union on the other hand seems to have their hands full, simply put they are a disappointment. Thousands are dying, some have lost their homes and livelihoods as life turns to be a living hell. I always ask myself who exactly benefits from such kind of heart rending developments.


Events in South Sudan were triggered by the demon Africa seems to be failing to face head on, “tribalism.” After years of suffering the people of South Sudan have gone through, they should be the last people to be haunted by that evil. But alas the nation is on a downward spiral not because of oil but “tribalism”. When and how this curse “tribalism” will be erased and replaced with national interest, and I mean, national interest in letter and spirit.


We are tired of leadership that says one thing during the day and another at night. It is the outcome of those Nicodemus meetings and consultations which are haunting us at the end of the day, numerous policies launched through pomp and fanfare are relegated to the bottom drawer. If it is true that President Salva Kirr has a special force which directly reports, then he has betrayed his people and so are the others who pursue similar agendas though in a different fashion but all in the name of pushing their own interest, only to leave the masses on the receiving end.


As we begin the year 2014 there is so much at stake at either individual or business level. It is our wish that we all put our energies and efforts to meet and exceed our intended plans for the greater good of the nation.


The Global Risk 2014 report published by the World Economic Forum drew my attention to some of the highest concerns the world is going to face in 2014. Namibia being part of the global village we are not immune from to risks. The report identified 10 such risks, they take the form of economic, environmental, geopolitical, social and technological factors and they are: fiscal crisis  in key economies, structurally high unemployment and underemployment, water crisis, severe income disparity, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, greater incidence of extreme weather events (e.g. floods, storms and fires) global governance failure,  food crisis,  failure of major financial mechanism or institution and profound political and social instability.


These risks are so real and we are feeling the effects of some of them. Take for instance the issue of unemployment, innovative and creative ways must be found. Government and private sector must work together to find lasting solutions, their adversarial relationship is not helping.  The bridges of trust must be built, actually this should have been done yesterday. As long as Government and the private sector don’t see eye to eye, we will continue to have this problem.


Climate change is already taking its toll on Namibia. Climate change, whether we like it or not, is here but how will we mitigate the challenges to prevent the loss of people’s livelihoods? We are told NamWater has enough water for Windhoek and surrounding areas until August. It is pleasing to note that the parastatal has plans to mitigate the effects, but how about elsewhere? The Ministry of Agriculture has to update the nation what happened to the drilling of boreholes and what happens beyond that.  These and many others need our attention and a closer look.


“Great works are wrought at great risks,” someone once said,  gloomy as it sound may we need to face the new realities and take them head on. Ours is a world of continuously finding solutions in the darkest clouds. Future generations will hold us to account if we fail them.


Happy Reading in 2014!