IN 1972, Hage Geingob was appointed to the United Nations Secretariat as Political Affairs Officer, a position he held until 1975 when he was appointed Director of the United Nations Institute for Namibia. He, with his team, was responsible for starting this training and research Institute whose primary function was to train cadres who could take over the civil service of Namibia on independence. An important component of the Institute was also to carry out sectoral research to develop policy framework for the government of independent Namibia. Over the years, the Institute grew in stature and institutional relations were established with various institutions of higher learning in Europe, e.g., University of Warwick, University of East Anglia, and University of Sussex. These and other institutions recognized the Institute’s diploma and readily admitted its graduates for further studies.
Hage Geingob held the position of the Director of the Institute until 1989. At the same time, he continued to be a member of both the Central Committee and the Politburo of SWAPO. In 1989, he was elected by the Politburo of SWAPO to spearhead SWAPO’s election campaign in Namibia. To carry out this assignment, he returned to Namibia with many of his colleagues on 18 June 1989, after 27 years’ absence from the country. As SWAPO’s Director of Elections, Hage Geingob along with other members of his directorate established SWAPO election centres throughout the country and spearheaded an election campaign which brought SWAPO to power in Namibia.
On 21 November 1989 subsequent to the elections, he was elected Chairman of the Constituent Assembly which was responsible for formulating the Namibian Constitution. However, before a constitution could be formulated, he had to ensure that the Constituent Assembly went through a process of confidence building between the people who were known for their hatred of each other. Seeds of national reconciliation were thus sown at this Constituent Assembly. Subsequently, national reconciliation was to become government policy. Under his chairmanship, the Constituent Assembly unanimously adopted the Namibian Constitution on 9 February 1990. This Constitution is considered to be one of the most liberal and democratic in Africa if not the world.
On 21 March 1990, Hage Geingob was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia, and on 21 March 1995, he was again sworn in as the Prime Minister of Namibia for the second term. He served in this capacity for twelve years. Hage Geingob, as Prime Minister introduced modern management approaches to the running of the government.
Hage Geingob was also committed to nature conservation coupled with tourism, and in the early 1990s opened the Ongava Lodge, just south of Etosha National Park.
In a cabinet reshuffle on August 27, 2002, Geingob was replaced as Prime Minister by Theo-Ben Gurirab and was instead appointed Minister of Regional and Local Government and Housing. Geingob declined to accept this lesser position, however. He had placed ninth, with 368 votes, in the election to the Central Committee of SWAPO at the party’s August 2002 congress, but on September 15, he failed to be re-elected to the SWAPO Politburo; he received 33 votes from the 83-member Central Committee, while the lowest scoring successful candidate received 35 votes.Geingob signing a trade deal with Russia in 2009. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is standing on the left at the back
In 2003, Hage Geingob was invited to be the Executive Secretary of the Global Coalition for Africa based in Washington, D.C. The Global Coalition for Africa is an innovative intergovernmental forum that brings together top African policymakers and their partners in the international community to build consensus on Africa’s priority development issues. It is based on the premise that Africa can grow only from within, but to do so it needs outside support. His focus was to work with African continental and regional organizations and Africa’s development partners towards conflict resolution in Africa, promotion of good governance in African states, and integration of African economies in the global economy.
In the nomination of SWAPO parliamentary candidates by party delegates on October 2, 2004, Geingob, who was at the time still in Washington working for the Global Coalition for Africa, placed 28th out of 60. He then left the Global Coalition for Africa and returned to Namibia to participate in the November 2004 parliamentary election, in which he won a seat.
Geingob became the Party Chief Whip of SWAPO in the National Assembly on April 18, 2007.He was brought back into the SWAPO Politburo in mid-2007, filling one of two vacancies.In November 2007, a few weeks before a party congress, the Politburo named Geingob as its sole candidate for the position of Vice-President of SWAPO. At the congress, he was accordingly elected without opposition on November 29, 2007 and subsequently appointed as Minister of Trade and Industry on April 8, 2008.
At SWAPO’s 2012 party congress, Geingob was re-elected as Vice-President of SWAPO on 2 December 2012, a result that was considered likely to make him the successor of Hifikepunye Pohamba as President of Namibia in 2015. Geingob received 312 votes from the delegates, while Jerry Ekandjo received 220 votes and Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana received 64 votes. Following the congress, President Pohamba appointed Geingob as Prime Minister on 4 December 2012.
As the SWAPO candidate, Geingob was elected as President of Namibia by an overwhelming margin on 28 November 2014, receiving 87% of the vote. He was sworn in as President on 21 March 2015; and the ceremony was attended by fifteen regional Heads of State and Government.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015