The Untruth of “The Ministry of Poverty Eradication”

By Shivute Kaapanda [Think Tank Africa]

Since and even before the 1990’s political Independence, Namibia has experienced the tyranny of free-market economics and eventually has succumbed to various and serious states of economic instabilities whilst advancing political stability to maintain what is called “peace” today.

In the hands of brutal capitalists, the economy has shifted from apartheid capitalism to post-colonial capitalism, and in some eyes to the mixed economy, to reflect the best of the opinions of those who are said to be omniscient.

In defense of capitalism, those who own big farms and factories would tell stories that capitalism has worked well in Africa with several benefits such as economic freedom, technological innovations and good profits of course for those individuals who are called capitalists.

Some have pronounced the current economic system as a “mixed economy”.

Of course they embrace the theory of John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), the English economist who helped to lay the foundation of mixed economy whereby the Government intervention is by means of among others education, laws and health services in order to mitigate the wounds of the poor brought through capitalistic monopolies and policies that exploit people, and generating unemployment and poverty.

The current circumstances led to the establishment of things such as the Ministry of Poverty Eradication – something not only rhetorical in nature and by construct but also more of using political metaphors as a cover for widespread poverty in a country of abundant wealth.

To understand the government institution such as the so-called ministry of poverty eradication and its role in the provision of hopes to the poor, one needs to study and understand the local political myths.

The apartheid colonialist won economic independence for which Namibia is a loser, after the agreement handed over the resources of our motherland in choosing capitalism as our best economic system. On the day the colonialists gave us political independence, they sowed a seed of economic exploitation of Namibian people as in other African countries by choosing for us among the best, the superlative economic system for their benefit in order to continue oppressing Namibia and the rest of Africa.

In Africa the system of Capitalism is characterized by the worst among others; unequal distribution of resources (inequality), towering unemployment and poverty which also result into high crime and poverty.

Therefore I doubt if there was ever a success story of poverty eradication in the world of capitalist history; it was therefore a nonfigurative and a misguided notion in naming the ministry of poverty eradication as such, and so to say that the conceptual de-merits are applicable is not wrong either.

The very construct of the Ministry of Poverty Eradication under a capitalist system is a nonfigurative and misguided notion – it’s like telling a blind man how beautiful the Namibian flag is.

Where there is capitalism there is poverty; if there are poor people in the USA, which poverty does one really eradicate in Namibia? In macro-economics, poverty is the scarcity of resources; if you cannot eradicate the scarcity of resources with a socialist economy how would you do it with greedy capitalism? This misguided conception of poverty eradication must die sometimes.

Even at micro-economic level, one can understand with no doubt that capitalism cannot and has not worked in Namibia. In sharp contrast, our economy is more capitalistic than mixed because capitalism has won two third majorities in the Namibian economy, so where exactly is this mixed economy?

The labor market is suppressed and is at the expense of foreign labor; the result is devastating: high unemployment rate and poverty, yet we have a poverty eradication ministry and we choose to call it a market economy that is working, how? Here your enemy is your host, the system cannot defeat itself, one cannot use a vampire to guard over a pool of blood and blame it when the blood disappears, No!

One needs a radical economic shift from the current economic system to a better one compatible for African needs.

In the anecdotes of macroeconomic principles of command economy we ought to find solutions of issues perplexing African societies in order to secure the economic needs of everyone underneath the blue Namibian sky despite the scarcity of resources; we need to transfer our economy into the hands of the people and this requires following a radical path.

We need to secure the economic freedom of those to come and not to embrace the barbaric ideologies of colonial heritage but creating genuine  institutions that are of sound meaning to the majority and not to hide behind rhetoric.

The credible solution lies in the policies of socialism such as the nationalization of mines and the banks in order to create the economy that benefits all Namibians.

– Shivute Kaapanda is a leftist writer from Eyanda village; he is also the author of the book titled “The Conscious Republic”. Contact at