San Community as an integral part of Namibia’s development plans
By Nyae Nyae Development Foundation Namibia
Namibia is constantly trying to improve the plight of its citizens, the economy, social equality and society at large. Through launching the very ambitious Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), Vision 2030 and the National Development Plans the societal problems are to be tackled.
Reaching the goals, developing the five pillars upon which HPP is based is essential for the long term growth and prosperity of Namibia as a nation and its people. These plans have been put in place and are implemented to see a general increase in prosperity. However, shouldn’t the Gini-coefficient gap decrease to ensure that the very poorest experience the same level of increased prosperity as the rest of us?
Shouldn’t the progress made be measured in the most marginalised communities of Namibia and use them as the nation’s benchmark? How do the five pillars affect, improve and develop the highly marginalised and impoverished rural communities for example?
The five pillars namely; Effective governance and service delivery; Economic advancement; Social progression; Infrastructure development; and International Relations and Cooperation sound progressive and exciting if you are a business person in Windhoek or any of the other Namibian cities. However, will it help the poorest, will it start to address the extreme inequality in Namibia?
Will it curb infant mortality rates or reduce school dropouts (especially amongst girls) in the most challenging Namibian environments or communities? Namibia needs to be successful in achieving this throughout the 14 regions, which includes the very poor, disenfranchised and underrepresented. Only then can we be proud of achieving the goals set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Each of the pillars in the plan represents a catalyst for change in one way or another for our country. The first pillar focuses mainly on effective governance and service delivery to the Namibian people across the country. There’s a positive sequence of events to fulfilling the pillars; without effective governance, there can be no sustained economic development, job creation and poverty eradication. This movement truly starts at the bottom rung of society and although our governance and democratic structure is strong, we need to focus on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the service delivery, especially in the marginalised areas of this nation.
We need to know that each community is protected by the same rule of law and that these laws are enforced, even when they only benefit the poor, the landless and often the under-educated in our society. This need immediately focuses on the San Bushmen and other marginalised communities. The San community within the Nyae Nyae Conservancy is assisted by the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation and its donors, but this community like the other San communities need to know that they are seen as an intrinsic and important part of Namibia and the Harambee Plan and to receive the same attention and protection of their rights as other communities.
Addressing the extreme inequality of our country and addressing the needs of the poorest in our society is at the core of the Harambee Prosperity Plan vision and together, the different stakeholders can improve the lives of everyone in Namibia, including the San community.