I am delighted to address the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) Annual Stakeholder Gala Dinner, which gives me the opportunity to pay tribute to the GIPF and all stakeholders, for your priceless contributions, not only to the pension industry of Namibia, but to the Namibian economy in general.
Indeed you are all contributing to the building of the Namibian house, as accentuated by this year’s aptly chosen theme, your contribution helping to build the Namibian house.
I am aware that the GIPF Board of Trustees has made strides in ensuring that the outflow of capital from Namibia is limited. We all know that this has been a worrying issue over the past several years. However, through the approval of the Unlisted Investments Policy by the GIPF Pension Fund on July 10, 2008, the GIPF has ensured that more Namibian savings are invested in the Namibian economy. We are all aware that savings and economic growth are positively related to each other, so if we plan to contribute to the building of our Namibian House, then we must ensure doing so with our savings.
The concept of the Namibian house is but one of the catchphrases that describe our new narrative for Namibia. These concepts, which include war on poverty and corruption, no Namibian should feel left out, one Namibia – one Nation and Harambee, have been borne of the need to form a united front in helping to achieve Namibia’s developmental objectives. All these concepts connote oneness, which is an integral ingredient of national progress and success.
It goes without saying that as a nation, we have arrived at an important crossroad in our journey towards “improving the quality of life of the people of Namibia to the level of their counterparts in the developed world”, as underscored by our Vision 2030 policy.
As Namibians, we need to work together to overcome all obstacles that will hinder our ability to make good on our promise of a peaceful, stable and prosperous nation, in which all citizens will be able to share in the wealth of our country, that is, the Namibian house.
Poverty and corruption, amongst others, are the two major impediments to our plans to build a stable and robust Namibian house. It is for this reason that two of the five pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan aim to tackle these scourges; namely effective governance with accountability and transparency as sub pillars, as well as social progression.
I have deliberately highlighted accountability and transparency for a reason. If we are all going to contribute to help to build the Namibian house, then we must first develop trust. Trust begets teamwork, and it is only by teamwork and pulling in one direction, that is Harambee, that we will build our house. However, for trust to exist, we must first be accountable and transparent.
It is for this reason that I have coined the formula A+T=Tr. Accountability plus transparency equals trust. Over the past several years we have witnessed an erosion of trust that people have in their leaders and institutions.
As leaders, we should know that if we do not have the trust of the people, then the people would simply not contribute to our efforts to build the Namibian house. For example, GIPF Pension holders would like to see how their contributions are helping to improve their lives, both individually and collectively, and they demand accountability and transparency from us in this regard.
I therefore laud the GIPF Board of Trustees and management for the transparent manner you have gone about supporting the Harambee Prosperity Plan pillar three initiatives, namely land servicing, housing and sanitation. The GIPF, as part of its commitment in supporting Government’s housing efforts, has targeted taking up at least 30 percent of the deliverables of the Harambee Plan by:
Constructing at least 6 000 new houses nationwide during the Harambee period, with a minimum target of 1 500 new houses per year; and
Servicing a minimum of 7 800 residential plots countrywide during the Harambee period; with a minimum target of 1 950 residential plots per year.
Once more, let me commend the GIPF for these commitments. I encourage all stakeholders to follow this example by taking a bold decision to contribute to the Harambee Prosperity Plan in whatever way possible.
I am optimistic about the future prospects of our Namibian House. The fact that Namibians from all walks of life are espousing the new Namibian narrative is a sign that there is confidence amongst the people of a positive future for our country. If we pull together as stakeholders in the Namibian House, then we will be able to reach and maintain the requisite economic growth to attain our developmental objectives over the next 14 years towards 2030, and beyond that.
In conclusion, I would like to quote author Tony Robbins who said, “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment.” I would like each one of us to reflect on these words this evening. Let us endeavour to learn the power of sincere and selfless contribution, so that we are able to contribute towards the building of the Namibian House and in so doing, we shall all share in experiencing life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment.
• Vice President Nickey Iyambo delivered this statement, on behalf of President Hage Geingob, at GIPF’s stakeholder gathering this week in Windhoek.