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Inaugural Address of H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba 2010

Inaugural Address of H. E. PRESIDENT HIFIKEPUNYE POHAMBA
at his inauguration as President of the Republic of Namibia
21 March 2010
Independence Stadium, Windhoek, Namibia

Director of Ceremonies,
Your Excellency, Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation,
Comrade Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma,
Your Excellency, Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and
Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellencies, former Heads of State and Government, 
Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Honourable Chairperson of the National Council, 
Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic of Namibia,
Honourable Members of Parliament, 
Leaders of Political Parties,
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, 
Esteemed Chiefs of the National Defence Force, Police, and other Services, 
Honourable Governor of the Khomas Region and Governors of the other Regions 
present,
Your Worship Mayor of Windhoek and other Mayors of other towns in Namibia,
Esteemed Traditional and Religious Leaders,
Distinguished Invited Guests,
Members of the Media,
Fellow Namibians,
A short while ago, I was sworn in for my second and last term of office as President of
our Republic. I, therefore, stand here before you today filled with pride, gratitude and
humility to deliver my second and last inaugural statement. I took a solemn oath that I
will dedicate myself to the service and well-being of the Namibian nation with no
exception. I promised to uphold, protect and defend the Namibian Constitution and to
do justice to all.
Once again, a new day has dawned on our beautiful country, and Namibia continues to
be a beacon of hope, opportunity, stability, peace, unity and democracy. This event
signifies the consolidation of the gains of freedom, for which thousands of Namibians
sacrificed their lives and shed their precious blood during our struggle for freedom and
national independence.
On behalf of the nation, I pay special tribute to the great sons and daughters of our
nation, the heroes and heroines of Namibia who lost their lives during the cause of the
struggle for liberty, democracy and freedom.
They held the beacon of freedom and liberty high in the face of a long and bitter struggle
for national liberation. Their sacrifices have not been in vain. We will always remember
them because their blood waters our freedom.
Director of Ceremonies
Allow me, also to first and foremost express special thanks and gratitude to all our
citizens, the eligible voters who freely and overwhelmingly renewed the mandate of the
SWAPO Party. The Namibian voters also reposed their confidence in me, by electing me
for the second time and last time as President of the Republic of Namibia to lead our
great country for the next five years.
I accept your mandate with sincere gratitude and humility. Your unequivocal support
gives me the courage to face the challenges that lie before us. It is a fitting tribute that I
took the oath of Office here at the Independence Stadium, the same site at which the
First President and Founding Father of our Nation, Dr. Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma took
the oath of Office twenty years ago, on 21
 
st March 1990. On that historic day, a th Anniversary of our nation’s st day of March 1990, following a protracted and bitter struggle th Independence Anniversary, our Government renews its st of March 1990. st century if our youth play a positive role in th Anniversary of our th Anniversary of our Independence.
sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary Namibian State was born.
Fellow Namibiaans,
Allow me to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Comrade Dr Sam
Shafiishuna Nujoma, a legendary freedom fighter, Leader of our Revolution and
Founding President of the Republic of Namibia for leading the way. I would also like to
thank him for championing our cherished policy of National Reconciliation. His
achievements throughout the years of his illustrious leadership should inspire all
Namibians to emulate his selfless-sacrifice and dedication to service. May his wisdom
remain at the service of the nation, and may he enjoy continued good helath for many
years to come.
Director of Ceremonies
I welcome the Excellencies, the Royal Highnesses, and Honourable dignitaries and
distinguished guests to this historic inaugural ceremony. Those of you who came from
other countries, I say welcome to Namibia and please feel at home.
I feel greatly hounoured that so many of you could travel from all corners of the globe to
lend importance and dignity to this special occasion.
The presence of thousands of our citizens in this stadium today as everyone can see
constitutes a profound statement of hope that all of us will continue to expand the
frontiers of human development, dignity, peace, security and stability in our country. I
thank you very much for coming in such big numbers.
Fellow Namibians,
Today, we have a dual celebration, namely, my inauguration for the second term of
office as President of our Republic and the historic 20
freedom and independence.
On that historic day of 21
for national liberation, we achieved our objective of political emancipation when we
hoisted the Namibian flag of freedom, independence and sovereignty, and lowered, for
the very last time, the flag of apartheid colonialism. The vote for freedom and
democracy was, and remains, an irreversible choice by all our people.
Fellow Namibians,
Last year, for the first time in our history as a free and independent nation, those
citizens who were born after independence, commonly referred to us the “Born Frees”,
were able to exercise their democratic right to vote as guaranteed under Article 17 subarticle
(2) of the Namibian Constitution. Next year, these young people will be in a
position to occupy public elected offices at the age of 21. This is a reminder that our
nation is slowly but surely reaching adulthood.
I am, therefore, pleased to note that our Policy of National Reconciliation has
contributed to creating a society that is in harmony and at peace with itself. In order to
continue on the path of peace, security and stability, we must embrace our diverse
cultures. We must rally together as one people with a common destiny. We must
consolidate the foundation for peace for our children and their children’s children.
Now, more than ever before, we must stand united. Just as unity was vital during the
liberation struggle, it is still a very important element for the implementation of our
common objectives. A divided community waste valuable time in internal wrangles that
can only sap its strength and cause its failure. This must be avoided at all costs in our
country.
Fellow Namibians,
Today is Independence Day. It is an occasion for all Namibians to renew our collective
resolve to contribute positively to the development of our great country. On this
occasion of our 20
commitment to the development of our country and the creation of opportunities for
every citizen to access all socio-economic opportunities.
Our Republic was founded by dedicated patriots whose vision has inspired our nation to
move forward in unity. We will forever remember our heroes fought many battles. We
crossed many rivers of blood and we won a decisive victory on the 21
The spirit of dedication and courage must continue to guide and inspire us to
confidently face the present and future challenges.
I am aware that the attainment of independence was not the end of the struggle waged
by the Namibian people for many decades. We must continue to work with greater
commitment and diligence to ensure that more Namibians enjoy the fruits of
independence.
We will continue to implement development strategies adopted by our SWAPO Party
Government to combat poverty and create social safety nets for our citizens. We will
continue to address the socio-economic welfare of all our people, especially senior
citizens, workers, the youth, the peasants, the orphans, the vulnerable children, women,
war veterans, and people with disabilities.
Director of Ceremonies,
Unemployment and poverty, particularly among women, youth, residents of informal
settlements and peasants remain a source of great concern for our Government. This
calls for decisive policy interventions that can bring about tangible results. Against this
background, there is urgent need to implement specific programmes and projects with a
view to addressing this unacceptable state of affairs.
In order to secure results during the next five years, our Government will be guided by
our chosen policy instruments including the 2009 SWAPO PARTY Election Manifesto.
This is a social contract between the Party and the Namibian people. It outlines
programmes and projects which will require implementation by our Government, once
they are adopted and incorporated within Government programmes.
In addition, the Government will ensure that NDP3 is implemented to the letter. Our
long term road map to achieve a developed status for our country, namely, Vision 2030
will also continue to receive special attention.
Projects with the potential to create employment must be pursued in earnest. These
include the Green Scheme, aquaculture, rice production, grape cultivation and other
agricultural projects along our perennial rivers. More land must be put under cultivation
in order to increase harvest volumes and the diversity of crops.
I must, however, point out that food security cannot be achieved through government
interventions alone. Therefore, Namibian citizens, the private sector and research
institutions must become fully involved in the quest for food security in our country.
The entire spectrum of Namibia’s agricultural potential must be explored and harnessed
to its fullest extent in order to achieve this national objective. Therefore, wherever there
is arable land, a river, a dam, a borehole or a well that can yield enough water for
cultivation efforts, such resources must be utilized to boost food production.
I have no doubt that a successful agricultural sector will go a long way in addressing
unemployment among our citizens. It will also address the socio-economic plight of our
peasants. Our Government will continue to provide assistance to the peasants by
expanding programmes, such as ploughing services, subsidized seeds, provision of
fertilizer at subsidized prices, and provision of improved livestock.
We will continue to expand the tourism sector and put more emphasis on assistance to
community based conservancies. Aquaculture projects will also be expanded so that
rural communities can benefit from this fast growing sector. With these and other
measures in place, I have no doubt that we can roll back the frontiers of poverty and
unemployment.
Our Government is revisiting the regulations pertaining to recruitment of unskilled
labour. We will also expand labour-based projects, especially in rural areas. We will
work out mechanisms to ensure that successful tenderers are required to adopt, where
necessary, labour-based methods during the construction of infrastructure projects.
Moreover, from now on, companies that are awarded public tenders must source their
unskilled labour requirements within Namibia. In addition, a strategy will be put in
place to co-ordinate the placement of graduates from the National Youth Service in
different sectors of our economy. Against this background, Government departments
and the private sector are encouraged to enlist the services of these graduates in areas
such as brick laying, maintenance and plumbing works.
Our Government is also encouraging private sector companies to enter into joint
ventures with small and medium size enterprises, to create more effective synergies for
growth. In the same vein, Government encourages financial institutions to support the
local economy by providing capital to local entrepreneurs.
Fellow Namibians,
It is said that education is the best equalizer. I, therefore, believe that a strong education
sector, which is capable of creating an educated nation, is the backbone of every nation.
Our education sector will continue to enjoy top priority of our Government. Through the
Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme, work has already started to
address problems in this strategic sector.
Specific attention will be given to the physical condition of school buildings, teacher’s
houses, libraries, laboratories, hostels and the availability of text books. The
procurement of text books for our primary and secondary schools has commenced.
I urge all the parties involved in this endeavour to ensure that this programme proceeds
smoothly in order to ensure that our school children are equipped with the necessary
tools to be able to undertake meaningful education.
Fellow Namibians,
The greater majority of our people live in rural areas, where thousands eke out a living
on marginal lands without the necessary tools, to engage meaningfully, in the modern
agricultural economy. Hence, their activities have been reduced to subsitence
agriculture. This difficult existence is compounded by the absence of public services and
social amenities such as water, electricity, housing, healthcare and education facilities in
some areas.
The state of affairs in rural areas is duplicated in informal settlements on the periphery
of many of our towns and cities. I have visited many of these areas and believe that
drastic steps must be taken by our Government to find a durable solution to this
situation.
With regard to informal settlements, urgent action is needed to address the questions of
habitation, sanitation and access to public services. The present state of affairs is a
source of great concern and it must be addressed and addressed now and not later.
Fellow Namibians,
Together with education, the provision of high quality health care services to safeguard
the helath of our nation is critical to the success of our socio-economic development
strategies.
Our Government will, therefore, give urgent attention to this vital sector to ensure that it
functions properly and professionally to provide care to those who need it. In addition to
curative medicine, preventive programmes will also be intensified as a strategy to
maximize the deployment and utilization of resources.
Immunization coverage must also be expanded to protect Namibians from preventable
diseases, especially the childhood illnesses. Ongoing efforts to expand access to antiretroviral
treatment will continue to enjoy top priority. Increased coverage of this
treatment has made visible changes in the lives of many Namibians who are today living
healthier lives and contributing to the development of our country.
I am pleased to say that the provision of services in this sector will be boosted by the
recently established School of Medicine at the University of Namibia. Through this
School, Namibia will for the first time be able to train health professionals locally.
The priority areas I have highlighted will not be implemented in isolation. They are part
and parcel of the broader programme of our Government to improve the living
conditions of our people, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to create
more prosperity through employment creation. Therefore, ongoing Government
programmes and projects in the areas of land reform and resettlement, crime
prevention, decentralization, as well as the development of our mining sector will
continue.
Fellow Namibians,
Our programmes and projects will only succeed if their implementation is assured.
Against this background, we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to improve
efficiency in the Public Service. We will also ensure that public resources are only used
for their intended purposes. When I took oath as Second President five years ago, I
informed our nation that our Government will address corruption. I am pleased to
report that the Anti-Corruption Commission is now in place. I request all citizens to
report corruption when you see it to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
I want to assure our nation that our Government and its public officials will continue to
lead by example in the promotion of transparency, accountability and honesty.
We will lead by example by ensuring dignity through committed public service at all
times. Our actions and deeds will be motivated and directed towards the promotion of
the best interests of our nation. We will continue to subscribe to the principles of the
Rule of Law and good governance.
Let us continue to work hard to attain socio-economic development within the
framework of NDP3, the 2009 SWAPO Party Election Manifesto and Vision 2030,
which are our roadmap for peace, stability, Security and socio economic development.
Fellow Citizens,
You will recall that our modern struggle for national liberation was started by the
workers. I, therefore, pay tribute to the workers of our nation. It is their labour,
dedication and sweat that have transformed the economy of our country from colonial
to a free and participatory economy. It is their toil that continues to sustain and nourish
our economy.
It is their toil that continues to give us the means to pursue the nation’s developmental
goals. I believe that we can only become a winning nation if we improve productivity in
order to create wealth for our nation. Workers are at the forefront and there fore they
should take a lead in this regard.
Namibian women have been a strong pillar in our struggle for national liberation. We
can, therefore, not succeed if they are excluded from socio-economic upliftment. They
must continue to play a central role in the process of nation building.
Against this background, our SWAPO Party Government will continue to build on the
gains scored by our Government in the past twenty years. We will ensure that the
protection and promotion of the rights and interests of Namibian women are realized. I
must also record that over the years, we have made progress in the emancipation of
Namibian women, especially in education. We can proudly say that, we have reached
parity and in some cases even exceeded parity in school enrolment between boys and
girls.
Today at tertiary level, more graduates are women. For instance, there are more women
than men at the recently launched School of Medicine at the University of Namibia. As
caring mothers, I have no doubt that our patients will be in good hands. We will always
be indebted to our women for their contribution to the development of our country.
Namibia is also indebted to our senior citizens. They will continue to enjoy centre stage
in our policies aimed at uplifting their socio-economic status. Recently, our SWAPO
Party Government took a decision to exempt our senior citizens from paying user
medical fees in our State hospitals. This will be effective from next month. We recognize
the fact that our senior citizens also played a crucial role during the struggle for national
liberation. Our Government will continue to look for ways and means of showing the
nation’s appreciation for their contribution to the development of our country. We
salute them for their positive contribution.
Traditional leaders are custodians of our cultural heritage and are promoters of our
cultural values. It is said that a nation without culture is a lost nation, therefore, we will
always hold our traditional leaders in high esteem.
Today, we are a free. We are a free and proud nation partly because of the contribution
made by our traditional leaders in the struggle for national liberation. Indeed, the
earlier liberation struggle waged by our fore-bearers was spearheaded by our traditional
leaders. This is why we always recognize heroes such as Hedrik Witbooi, Samuel
Maharero, Nehale IyaMpingana, Mandume ya Ndemufayo, Iipumbu ya Shilongo and
many others. Our Government will, therefore, always hold them in high esteem. We will
also continue to work closely with the Council of Traditional Leaders on matters of
national interest.
We will always cherish the positive role played by our young people in the development
of our country. We have always recognized the fact that the youth are a transmitting belt
of any nation’s vision and programmes. We salute our youth for their role in the
national liberation struggle and the development of our country.
The backbone of our freedom fighters consisted mainly of the youth. Today, our young
people are playing a positive role in institutions such as the Namibian Defense Force,
the Namibian Police Force, Namibian Prison Services and the civil service. In this
regard, they play a crucial role in the defence and security of our nation. Namibia can
only leap forward into the frontiers of the 21
the development of our country.
We, therefore, salute our youth for mobilising their follow youth, especially the “born
frees”, to participate in last year’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in big
numbers. Education and training should continue to take centre stage in order to
prepare our youth as leaders of tomorrow.
It is also an established fact that peasants constitute the largest population of Namibia.
We are aware that in most cases, our peasants live under very harsh conditions and
depend on meager resources to eke out a living. I, therefore, wish to reaffirm the policy
of our SWAPO Party Government to uplift the living standards of our rural population
in order to enable them to contribute to our ongoing efforts to attain socio-economic
development.
Our Government will continue to support measures aimed at improving rural life such
as agricultural output, providing safe drinking water, electricity, adequate and
affordable medical facilities and services, and infrastructures like feeder roads and
schools.
The advancement of any country is supported by economic growth. I believe that the
more the economy grows, the more the benefits are spread among the citizens. Against
this background, the business community plays an important role in the vision of our
nation. We believe that the more Namibians become economically prosperous, the more
stable, peaceful and secure our country will become. We will, therefore, continue to
promote a conducive environment for both domestic and foreign investment. We will
also continue to maintain good relations between our Government and the business
community.
Last but not least, allow me to pay tribute to our religious and spiritual leaders of our
country and their religious organizations. We pay tribute to our religious and spiritual
leaders because they look after the spiritual needs of our people.
Their unshakable and persistent stand against apartheid colonialism is well-known.
Their role in advocating our cherished policy of National Reconciliation is highly
commended. I urge them to continue preaching awareness, especially among our young
people, about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse and other social evils in our society.
On our part, we will always call on them for advice and support in our effort to maintain
peace, stability and security in our country.
In conclusion, I would like to once again thank Their Excellencies, Heads of State and
Government, Representatives of International Organizations and indeed all our
honourable guests for having come to join us in the 20
Independence and to witness my inauguration for the second term as President of our
Republic.
I wish all our citizens a happy 20
Long Live the Republic of Namibia!
I thank you.