EDITORIAL: Namibia must listen to her inner child

23 July 2021 | Opinion

The oil search in the Kavango East Region gives Namibia another glimmer of hope for a prime resource breakthrough, but this has not been without resistance.

Canadian company ReconAfrica, which owns the project with little if any input from minority shareholder Namcor, faces serious questions mostly from foreign lobby groups who claim the company is on a mission to destroy the environment.

The government of Namibia, often hailed internationally for its strict environmental protection regime, insists it has not sold out on this principle and that the Canadian oil hunters are strictly following a state-sanctioned template.

If government’s version is truthful, it’s time Namibians embrace the search for black gold and pay little attention to naysayers. Africa cannot continue to be the subject of ridicule for merely exploiting its God-given natural resources, as other nations of the world have done with theirs.

Most of the armchair critics are shooting salvos of disapproval from skyscrapers built with oil money, but somehow Namibia is being asked to call off her own hunt and continue relying on aid money for her development ambitions.

We will not swallow ReconAfrica’s assurances hook, line and sinker, but we have no reason to doubt our government’s version on this matter, given its track record on environmental protection.

Unless that stance is proven to be deceitful, Namibians have every reason to rejoice in the hope that the many decades of oil search are about to unearth dark drops of happiness.