A radical path is the way to go

By Victor Angula |

If it’s true that Namibia has been experiencing a recession every year since five years ago, this tells you that the path we have been following is leading us into a ditch.

And this ditch is not far away. By the year 2030 (only 9 years to go) Namibia will be in a cesspool of untold poverty to such an extent that even the angels in heaven will be wondering how the people of Namibia got themselves into such a situation.

Start from the year 1990, when the newly-born nation was touted as the smile on the face of Africa – and by the year 2030 Namibia will be the biggest scar on the face of Africa! It’s scary.

In order to avoid this scenario we need to take a radical although painful economic approach.

At the time Namibia was being born (1989) socialism was falling apart with the demise of the Soviet Union, so that only a foolish person would have gone the way of adopting socialism for Namibia while the very people who were its proponents for more than half a century were running away from it.

Thus the idea of a free market system might have been well-intentioned. But how we handled it is where it all went wrong. We didn’t handle capitalism in a manner that could be beneficial to the local people.

Of course some intellectuals do believe that there is no way that a capitalist system may be made to work for the local population. So that all that we need here is a radical shift to the left. Well, they might be right. But I don’t know for sure if a radical shift to the left without a political revolution is ever possible in Namibia.

By political revolution I mean a non-democratic manner of making leftists take over government and state institutions. This is because this capitalism has been designed in such a way that it also benefits such other powerful institutions as the army and the judiciary.

What we need right now is a radical approach that falls short of a revolution. What we need is a process that keeps the system in place but removes its characteristics.

This is what the Chinese did – they kept their socialism or communism intact while adopting free market economics. We have to do the same – by keeping our capitalism intact while adopting socialist economics.

In the end what we will have is Africapitalism. Africapitalism is the kind of free market system which is built from the bottom, the capitalism of the masses.

Or else we will end up in a swimming pool of poverty if the recession is made to continue for the next nine years.