Namibia: The Poor are Getting Poorer

 Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG


“Twenty-five years after its independence, Namibia is a politically stable country and is growing economically. One of the biggest problems we have to face, however, is the distribution of the wealth produced. We see the gap between haves and have-nots increase every year. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But we have an efficient judicial system, which emphasizes the responsibility of government and also, corrupt ministers are likely to be brought to trial and end up in prison”, this is how His Exc. Msgr. Liborius Ndumbukuti NASHENDA, Archbishop of Windhoek and President of the Episcopal Conference of Namibia, in Rome for their “Ad limina” visit, describes the situation in the African country to Agenzia Fides.

“Since independence there has not been a civil war. In this period of time there have been three Presidents. None of them wanted to stay longer than two terms of five years each, as required by the Constitution”, said the Archbishop. He explains that “the pastoral priorities have changed compared to the past. We are no longer in the emergency of the times of the war of independence, and now we can carry out an ordinary pastoral program focused on the teaching of the Gospel. Next to this, we place the emphasis on social programs to alleviate poverty. We have invested in particular in schools, and this is our biggest contribution to the development of the Country. In economic terms, we can do little but we are contributing to the formation of a new class of managers and entrepreneurs for the future development of Namibia”.

“We have also invested heavily in health centers, especially in rural areas, where medical care is not easily accessible. Since 1998 we have also been carrying out a prevention program against the spread of HIV and AIDS and distributing anti-retroviral drugs for those who have contracted the virus and the disease. Particular attention is given to orphans whose parents have died of AIDS”, added Mgr. Nashenda.

Archbishop Ndumbukuti Nashenda, OMI

As for relations with the State, he says: “We have good relations with state authorities, pursuant to an agreement of understanding, to the point that we have designated a person to liaise between the Episcopal Conference and the government. We cooperate but we remain a voice independent from the authorities. The government still appreciates our efforts and provides subsidies to our schools and hospitals”, concluded the President of the Episcopal Conference.

The Republic of Namibia owes its name to the Namib Desert together with that of the Kalahari. The capital city is Windhoek. It is bordered to the north with Angola and Zambia, to the east with Botswana and to the south with South Africa; the west overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 824 292 square kilometers and has a population of 2,220,000 inhabitants, of whom 444,000 are Catholics. There are 3 ecclesiastical districts. (Agenzia Fides)