Pumping fuel in a car without an engine

By Victor Angula|

The Government’s efforts at trying to revive the economy are like a man putting fuel in a car that has no engine.

This was said by one man yesterday at a meeting called by the Business Rescue Task Force which was appointed by the President to investigate and identify problems which are confronting the business community.

The gentleman pointed out that the problems facing the business community are a result of the Government’s policy failures over the years. And I agree with him totally.

So let me just point out just four policy failures by the Government over the years.

Takeover by foreign investors. Over the years the Government has allowed for foreign investors to take over the economy, not only by investing in the mining sector, fishing sector, construction sector, etc. but the Government has also allowed foreign investors to take over sectors like retail and wholesale, leaving the economy all to stand on the back of foreign capitalists.

Neglect of informal economy. Over the years the Government has done absolutely nothing to try and pull the informal economy up. All the efforts at pumping fuel in the car which has no engine have also been directed at the formal economy. But the problem facing Namibia is that the economy is not growing, and an economy cannot grow if there is no feeder economy from the bottom.

Disinvestment in the productive sectors. The Government of the Republic of Namibia has consistently done nothing at all in trying to create a productive, industrial, job-creating and money-producing economy. This is why today, 31 years after Independence, most of the factories and industries in the country were set up years before Independence.

Increasing inequality. Dr Sam Nujoma, Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba and Dr Hage Geingob have done one thing well. The one thing they have done well is to continue presiding over the economic inequality, unfair income distribution and the greed and gluttony of the people at the top of the pyramid.

The result of the takeover of foreign investors is that money has been flying out of Namibia to go and built countries where such foreigners came from.

The result of the neglect of the informal economy is that the formal economy has also stagnated because it is not being fed with excellence, innovation, success and positive vibes coming from the bottom.

The result of the disinvestment in the productive sectors is that unemployment has skyrocketed, and the nation depends heavily on the social safety net of the state for survival.

The result of economic inequality is that the majority of the population is living at the margins of the economy, where there is little production except for sexual reproduction.

So now unless the Business Rescue Task Force will look at addressing some of these policy blunders, it will just be another useless committee of important people who will go down in history as people who produced a document with good written English but little else that can get the economy moving.