Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Solving Namibia's economic problems - excerpt from Future Namibia

I read a very interesting piece on “Solving Africa’s Commercial Poaching Pandemic” by Ron Thomson and use his analogy below in relation to our economic problems.

“To begin to solve the problem we have to identify its real causes. This can be likened to the approach to the AIDS pandemic. In AIDS, like in economics, there are two levels that must be looked at. The underlying or “proximate” cause of an AIDS patient’s death – even though he dies of pneumonia or TB – is his primary infection with HIV. Pneumonia and TB – the “ultimate” cause of death – can be treated with modern medicines; but they do not work when the patient’s immune system has been destroyed by HIV. You cannot save an AIDS patient’s life by treating only the ultimate disease unless the proximate cause of the illness is removed.

Namibia’s economic problems have both proximate and ultimate causes, too. The solution must eliminate its proximate causes which are multiple and complex.

They include: a hugely expanding rural population that is moving to the urban areas; illiteracy – especially in regards Information Technology; lack of adequate schooling and medical care facilities; and their constantly escalating states of poverty.

But the principal proximate cause is poverty. Removing poverty from the equation will take lots of money. But where will the money come from if the solution is to be sustainable for Namibia?” [i]

It is time for us to stop the blaming game of “colonial masters” or “the white man”, and tackle our problems with both hands to show that Namibia can solve its own problems.

In this book I have used a wide variety of experiences and quotes from other people around the world that I think can influence and shape our future direction. Not only have I researched the history of countries and economic policies, where possible, I have also consulted with experts in various fields to provide specific solutions which we can use in Namibia. (While doing my research for this section of the book I spent a lot of time on research and quite a bit of time reading through some of the Ancient Greek philosophers. I especially enjoyed reading “A treatise on Government” by Aristotle and would suggest it to any reader. These, and others, I got free of charge from the Project Gutenberg – over 25,000 free books available online.[ii] )

These lessons and advice has been added to my experience and is summarised as policies for a future Namibia at the end of my book.

[i] Paraphrased from - Ron Thomson, Solving Africa’s Commercial Poaching Pandemic – African Sporting Gazette (Volume 11· Issue 3)
[ii] www.gutenberg.org