A birthright for a song

10 July 2019 | Opinion

Like the proverbial biblical Esau who sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of steaming hot lentil stew, Namibia still finds herself guilty of giving away her prized jewels for next to nothing.

A case in point would be our mining resources and so too would be what has been happening with our timber.

It is in this light that we must view a call by the Muzokumwe Volunteers Association (MVA) for timber factories to be built, so we can halt the practice of selling centuries-old trees for peanuts.

MVA chairperson Paulus Mbangu said at the weekend that timber from the two Kavango regions should not be sold cheaply to the Chinese market, but should rather be processed inside the country to create employment for local youth.

Youth unemployment in Kavango East stands at about 63%, while in Kavango West it is currently at about 47%.

“We have timber, a lot of timber that can enable us to come up with timber factories, unlike the tendency that we just picked up that there are some who want to sell timber like vetkoek at a price of N$300,” Mbangu said.

As has been succinctly argued over the years, Namibia's economic growth is largely dependent on investments in the primary sector (raw materials), specifically in mining.

The country has for years been urged to change its focus to the secondary and tertiary sectors, if its resources are truly to benefit ordinary citizens.

We must pay more than lip service to value-addition and beneficiation as drivers of employment.

We cannot be left to the mercy of ailing commodity prices, a situation that continues to push our employment rate higher and higher.

It is critical that we do more than just talk about value-addition, if we are to truly move towards being a self-reliant. What we can ill-afford is to continue shipping our raw materials at low cost to those who sell it back at massive profit.

Similar News

 

Our cadre deployment curse

16 hours ago | Opinion

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste’s frank admission that appointing the right board members to parastatals is pivotal to ensuring their success must have been music...

Death on wheels

1 day - 16 September 2019 | Opinion

What does one say after such a shocking weekend on our country’s roads that has not been said before?Many have spoken and written about attitudes...

Let's talk about sex

4 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Opinion

Teen pregnancy in Namibia remains a rising concern. The high teen pregnancy rate has also resulted in many girls dropping out of school to stay...

Delegates must vote with conscience

1 week ago - 04 September 2019 | Opinion

Much has been written about the upcoming Swapo electoral college which is set to draw up a list of 96 members the party intends to...

After an unending debate on whether it is better...

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Opinion

Chaisa MfendaI would rather read the book first, before I consider watching the movie. This is because reading the book first gives me a hint...

Van 'n droom tot werklikheid

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Opinion

Lezanne BritzAs klein dogtertjie was een van my grootse drome om eendag oorsee te gaan. Ek het gedroom van kastele, woude, ou geboue en al...

CEF brings hope

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Opinion

Jonette De KoningThe future of the country is in the hands of the youth of today. That is why non-profit organisations in Namibia, such as...

Okahandja’s sleeping on the job

2 weeks ago - 02 September 2019 | Opinion

The multitude of challenges that the residents of Vergenoeg, an illegal settlement on the western outskirts of Okahandja, face, have now been compounded by the...

Stop dictating the agenda

2 weeks ago - 30 August 2019 | Opinion

There has been a frustrating and an enduring debate on whether the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species should allow Namibia to sell its...

Rid the system of unnecessary funds

2 weeks ago - 29 August 2019 | Opinion

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts has brought to the fore a number of accountability issues and concerns within government offices, ministries and agencies...

Latest News

Legal bullet aimed at cops

16 hours ago | Justice

A Namibian police officer and his bosses are defending a N$3 million lawsuit brought by a grieving mother whose four-year-old son was killed by a...

Botswana boots Namibian refugees

16 hours ago | International

The deportation of 855 Namibian refugees living in Botswana will start today after Botswana nullified their refugee status. The now illegal immigrants have refused...

The next big thing

16 hours ago | People

Elizabeth Joseph #TeamGraduate is a project that was started by Helena Mboti, a Rhodes University alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial...

The next big thing

16 hours ago | People

Elizabeth Joseph #TeamGraduate is a project that was started by Helena Mboti, a Rhodes University alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial accounting...

Our cadre deployment curse

16 hours ago | Opinion

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste’s frank admission that appointing the right board members to parastatals is pivotal to ensuring their success must have been music...

Respect is a two-way street

16 hours ago | Columns

Octavia Tsibes Imagine being kind, humble and respectful. You have nothing to lose, and as a matter of fact, it costs you nothing to be...

To the brave souls walking...

16 hours ago | Health

The dictionary defines brave as ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. More often than not it is the ‘visible’ bravery that...

HKIA upgrades start, finally

16 hours ago | Transport

The handling capacity of Hosea Kutako International Airport will be doubled by a N$250 million project starting next week to eliminate congestion at Namibia's flagship...

Health services around the clock

16 hours ago | Health

The Katutura health centre, which offers a lifeline to thousands of people each year, will now be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a...

Load More