Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of Namibia, discusses how in 2015 Namibia has achieved significant progress in poverty reduction in the 25 years since independence.
Poverty in Namibia can be squarely blamed on Namibia’s colonial apartheid legacies that continue to haunt the country since its independence in 1990. The lasting consequences of apartheid, which because of its systemic bias cannot be wiped out or reversed in a matter of decades, include enormous levels of socio-economic inequality, primarily along racial lines, but also according to gender and class. Apartheid also imposed pauperism on indigenous communities by the creation of reservations, Bantustans, the contract labour system and the denial of proper education.
While on the surface poverty is often defined as a lack of income or assets, in the day-to-day lives of the very poor, poverty becomes a network of disadvantages, each one exacerbating the others. The result is generation after generation of people who lack access to education, healthcare, adequate housing, proper sanitation and good nutrition. They are the most vulnerable to disasters and powerless to improve their circumstances. These conditions often carry with them dysfunctional family and societal relationships, low self-esteem, perceived lack of hope, and spiritual darkness. Therefore, the eradication of poverty is an alluring challenge. Poverty is as pervasive as it is difficult to pin down. Its human face is disturbing, yet its presence is seen almost every day…
*Statistics within article correct at original publication date of CHOGM 2015 Report.
Prime Minister of Namibia