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High performing organisations are the foundation of Namibia’s prosperity

High performing organisations are the foundation of Namibia’s prosperity

By Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila
Prime Minister of Namibia.

Our country is going through a transition following one of the most challenging periods. COVID-19 put us on the back foot. Globally, every nation had to deal with the socioeconomic fallout from this terrible pandemic. Namibia is, thankfully, seeing the first shoots of recovery as an economy, which is very positive news.

This cautious recovery is attributable to the resilience of us as Namibians across every level of society and in every region. We are survivors, and we persevere. Our strong institutions are another reason we as a nation have been able to pick ourselves up and move forward after the severe economic knocks we took while at the same time dealing with a social and health emergency.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) has 17 goals, with Number 16 focusing on Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. Africa’s Agenda 2063 has seven aspirational points, and its Third Aspiration focuses on; An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law. There is a good reason why this Development Goal has been included in the UN SDGs and Agenda 2063’s third Aspiration, which focuses on good governance. Without strong institutions, the rule of law, peace, and good governance, Namibia would not be in its present position.

Every nation demands a lot from its institutions; they must be robust, resilient, and, most importantly, there for its inhabitants. Therefore, our Ministries, SOEs, and local and regional governments need to be High Performing Organizations (HPOs).

There are many definitions of HPOs, that pertain to for-profit companies, where one definition is; “A high-performance organization gets better results than competitors through innovation and sales. Its business leaders are forward-thinking and constantly seek to improve their innovation strategy.” I strongly believe that the same rules can, should, and need to be applied to Governmental Institutions. Although the government does not pursue profit, we are constantly looking to ‘upgrade’ and improve the lives of every Namibian, something we have been doing consistently for more than 33 years as the government.

The pandemic underlined the importance of HPO Institutions; we would not have been able to implement emergency initiatives, offer financial assistance to those that needed it most, or build mobile health facilities as and when required.

Over many years, our government has put mechanisms in place so that our Ministries can quickly and efficiently change their operating structure and practices to meet needs, just as was necessary during the pandemic. Our organizations focus on long-term success while delivering actionable short-term goals. We have created flexible, citizen-focused organizations, and our highly effective teams deliver results for all Namibians.

As we nurture the seeds of recovery, having HPOs in place has become even more essential as Namibia is on the cusp of an oil and green hydrogen gas boom. Namibia is well positioned to avoid the ‘resource curse’ that befell other nations. Not only can our country embrace best practices, but everything ranging from our Constitution to our esteemed institutes and our deep-rooted need to care for and protect our fragile environment and ecosystem means that we can prosper as a nation from oil and gas.

Every aspect of society will be touched and transformed. Education, technology, infrastructure, healthcare, manufacturing, and climate mitigation activities will all benefit from the potential oil and hydrogen gas investments through companies like Shell and Hyphen Energy. A bright and reassuring, and cheerful prospect for our nation, and with our HPOs, the checks, and balances are already in place to ensure every Namibian will benefit. We will become a High Performing Nation like Namibia.


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A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.