Due to the high quality papers that have been presented at this conference, we are left with much food for thought and many take-aways to ponder on as we return to our respective duty stations.
Our policy conference was a resounding success. It is indeed a great pleasure to make these closing remarks at the end of what has been another milestone for our SWAPO Party.
At the onset let me extend a word of gratitude to all participants who have contributed to the success of this 2nd SWAPO Party Policy Conference. The presentations and ensuing discussions have been excellent. I thank all of the chairpersons of the respective sessions for the way they handled proceedings. Once again you have all exemplified the typical SWAPO way of doing things.
Let me also thank all our special guests, including our comrades from Cuba, who helped add additional value to this conference.
Due to the high quality papers that have been presented at this conference, we are left with much food for thought and many take aways to ponder on as we return to our respective duty stations. We have listened to a number of presentations ranging from the SWAPO Party Ideology, presented by Comrade Vincent Hailulu, up to the Generational Transition, thanks to Comrade Dr. Andrew Niikondo. Indeed all the presentations were excellent and these are just a few of the presentations that been highlights on the conference program.
The purpose of having this policy conference was twofold. As I said during my opening address, the main purpose of this conference is to provide a platform for us to engage in frank and open discussions that will guide and determine present and future decisions of the SWAPO Party. However, this conference also serves another purpose, in that it will help ensure a smooth and more brief SWAPO Party Congress next year. Given the quality studies carried out and presented by our experts, I expect that by the time we arrive at Congress, many issues should be ironed out.
Having read the papers on SWAPO Ideology and Generational Transition I must say that SWAPO has made tremendous progress especially with regards to ensuring that our younger generation of cadres are groomed to assume future leadership roles. SWAPO is leading the way when it comes to the promotion of women and youth.
There is no other party that even comes close when it comes to the innovativeness of SWAPO. The success of this policy conference is proof of this notion and that is why our political opponents are hurting and attempting to deflate our achievements with the help of some newspapers.
Deflating is the act of trying to subdue, depress or reduce a person or a group of people’s hopes and spirit. This is what our opponents are attempting to do. Many had hoped that they could instigate situations that would lead to divisions and disunity within SWAPO. As SWAPO we have proved the doubters wrong by going about this conference in a spirit of camaraderie and unity.
You have seen our Founding Father Comrade Sam Nujoma and our second President Comrade Hifikepunye Pohamba attending many of the sessions of this conference. It is a rare sight anywhere in the world to see successive leaders together in one place. That is the famed SWAPO dedication and unity in action, and I would like to take this moment to thank our lifelong SWAPO Part members for their attendance, since their presence alone speaks volumes about the cohesion within our party.
It has been said that if everyone is moving forward together, then success will take care of itself. This Policy Conference has allowed us to take several steps forward in the same direction as one. We can be assured that through our SWAPO spirit of unity against a common enemy, success will be inevitable.
At this juncture I would like to address several issues that have been discussed in recent days and which have a bearing on our present and future policy discussions. These issues are the Namibian Constitution, and inequality.
As far as the constitution is concerned, I was one of the drafters and was the Chairperson of the process of drafting the constitution. When I referred to the Constitution as just a paper, I was not trying to devalue its relevance. All that I was saying is that the constitution is written in English and therefore many Namibians have not been able internalised it.
We are trying to rectify this by translating the constitution in all our languages. By way of example, if we look at the United States Constitution, which was drafted in 1787, we find that up to today, students in schools and scholars at Colleges and Universities still study it in an attempt to fully understand and internalize it.
In terms of inequality, we must all understand that if we don’t address the imbalances that exist, we are placing our peace and stability in jeopardy. Let us not fool ourselves.
Joseph Stiglitz said that, “The only true and sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity”. Therefore as the SWAPO Party we have a responsibility to pursue shared prosperity through all possible means available. If we don’t do this then whatever prosperity exists will not be sustainable.
In conclusion I would like to say that this 2nd SWAPO Party Conference should act as a basis for the establishment of our narrative for conducting the second phase of the struggle and bringing economic prosperity to our people.
This week has been one of immense pride. It has afforded us the opportunity to collaborate with each other, together with some of the best minds within SWAPO, in order to deliberate on the way forward for our party during the next several years.
Thank you once more for your attendance. I wish you all safe travels as you return to your respective duty stations. May your passion be re-ignited and may the flame of hope and optimism for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Namibia burn strong within all cadres. Long live the SWAPO Party Legacy!
* President Hage Geingob delivered these remarks at the closing of the second Swapo Party policy conference in Windhoek this week.