EDITORIAL: No genuine appetite to fight poverty

15 June 2021 | Opinion

Research by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) shows that almost half of the Namibian population lives in multidimensional poverty.

Multidimensional poverty essentially means a concoction of various deficiencies in the lives of the poor, be it in the context of health, education, living standards, disempowerment, poor quality of work, threat of violence and so forth.

Ironically, NSA has called off the 2021 population census, leaving the country with a very acute deprivation of factual scientific demographics needed for rolling out development.

You don’t roll out socio-economic development by shooting in the dark indiscriminately like Christmas fireworks. It’s like shooting blanks in the paternity sweepstakes.



There were even laughable efforts to “eradicate” poverty just some six years ago – with a specific ministry created towards this end.

That ministry, which doesn’t exist any more, ended up being a mere agency to distribute existing monthly social grants.

Fighting poverty and winning against it is not mere lip service. It requires a multidimensional approach of thought and action – with the former probably the most vital prerequisite.

Agriculture is supposed to be the heartbeat of our economy, yet entities like Agribusdev, which manages the country’s green schemes, cannot even pay staff salaries. Who bewitched us?

Land, another important cog in our arsenal against destitution, remains a pipe dream for the masses of our country. How do we then sound surprised when research shows that half the population lives in poverty?

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