THE year 2016 will likely be remembered as one of the more eventful years in recent history. It delivered a number of surprises in sports, politics and finance which caught many bookies, economists and political pollsters on the wrong side of the results.
As the exhausting year finally winds to a close, it’s only human to grope around for meaning and comfort.
On the global front 2016 will be remembered for the West ending its romance with globalisation, and its impact on the rest of the world but Confidente remembers the year as one in which the Namibian economic growth trajectory suffered several blows, the soccer fraternity languished in the trenches, and one in which the political landscape showed us glimpses of what looms at the 2017 Swapo congress among other key incidents pasted in our lasting memories.
The year that saw President Hage Geingob enlist his first year in office paved way for an ambitious new national strategy – the Harambee Prosperity Plan – which in its confines aims to elevate and accelerate policies that will significantly raise the living standards of poorer Namibians. Whilst the plan remains a tacit admission that Namibia’s five-year development plans have not worked and that a new approach is needed, the plan fell behind its own target in 2016.
This year the economy was lucky to squeeze out much more than one percent growth and next year’s outlook is scarcely much better. Weak commodity prices and a sluggish world economy are all contributors to slow growth but even so, we have to realise that many of the barriers to faster economic growth remain within the Government’s gift to change.
Equally essential is the fact that the outlook for Namibia’s rating which was revised by both standards and poor and Fitch, from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ should serve as a warning to the country that it needs to get its act together to restore investor confidence in 2017.
On the political arena we should also realise that the perceived and growing division in the ruling party as witnessed with the women’s council in recent weeks are elements that should not be taken for granted as they have the capacity to derail progressive reforms of the party as many disruptive forces are exploiting the ignorance of the younger generation, in order to bring about social unrest, confusion and chaos in 2017.
As we look forward to the unknown in the New Year, we can only hope that we continue with what we did well this year.
We hope that as responsible authorities finalise their policy positions, job creation will be uppermost in their minds, and that they will resist the temptation to substitute sound policies with corruption and ignorant governance. The least the Government can do is to provide hope that it has seen the error of its ways by making an inspired choice in leadership. As we wish our readers a merry Christmas and a happy new year we also say goodbye to you 2016.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015