Namibia: Execution

Namibia: execution

We started the day with an amazing performance by the Namibian College of Arts Choir. They rendered a superb performance of a traditional African song. The NCA choir has performed in international events and are considered one of the best choirs in the world. Throughout the day we also had the opportunity of witnessing some traditional dances by local school children. These set of cultural performances allowed us to get to know a different side of the Namibian culture.

College of Arts Choir (Photo: L.C.)

Throughout the rest of the conference we had a series of very interesting presentations; however, one that caught my eye specially was one by Mr. Clive Smith, CEO of Walvis Bay Corridor Group.  He presented one of the key projects that Namibia is currently pursuing in order to diversify its economy. It’s very interesting to see how Namibia sees itself as a logistics hub in southern Africa and which are the currents projects currently underway in order to become a regional hub. The scope and the magnitude of this projects (e.g. Trans-Kalahari railway) speaks of the Namibian mindset and the relevance granted to the necessity of diversifying the economy before it’s too late.

How Namibia aims to become a regional logistics hub (Source: Walvis Bay Corridor group)

However, these projects have run into several complications intrinsic to small, developing economies. Some of the key issues are:

  • Size of domestic market
  • Geographic conditions (i.e. desert)
  • Political instability in neighboring countries
  • Alternative projects being developed in other countries

However, what I found interesting is that even after we questioned all these issues, Mr. Smith kept acknowledged them but he urged us to realize that fighting and overcoming these burdens was part of the Namibian psyche. Throughout their history they have had to overcome several hurdles (e.g. apartheid, colonialism, droughts, etc). This has given the Namibian people great resiliency. I fund this really inspiring, it showed me that you can not only focus on the barriers in front of you, rather you should focus on what lies beyond them. Only then, will you be able to focus on the objective.

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