Namibian president promises jobs

2010-03-21 22:32
A Namibian woman dances during the swearing in ceremony of President Hifikepunye Pohamba in Windhoek. (Brigitte Weidlich, AFP)

A Namibian woman dances during the swearing in ceremony of President Hifikepunye Pohamba in Windhoek. (Brigitte Weidlich, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Windhoek - Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba was sworn in for a second and final term on Sunday, pledging to a crowd of thousands at a colourful event to create jobs and bring development to rural areas.

Pohamba took the oath dressed in a black suit and vowed to "uphold and defend the constitution of Namibia", in a ceremony attended by regional and international heads of states but boycotted by opposition politicians.

"I will protect the independence, sovereignty, territorial, spiritual and material resources of Namibia and ensure justice for all inhabitants of Namibia, so help me God," Pohamba said as the packed stadium of about 20 000 people erupted with ululations and applause.

In his inaugural speech, the 74-year-old president said his next five years in office would see more rural development, a cut in unemployment now at around 51%, and large-scale agriculture projects.


"I thank the voters who had confidence in me to elect me a second and last time last November, I accept the mandate with humility," Pohamba said.

"We will see that employment-creating projects are implemented in earnest," he said, adding that rice and grape farming would be expanded.

Also, "more land must be put under cultivation to increase volumes and diversity of crops," he said.

Pohamba announced he had reappointed Nahas Angula as prime minister and chosen former foreign affairs minister Marco Hausiku as deputy prime minister.

The remaining members of the cabinet were to be announced late on Sunday.


The event saw a military parade and entertainment by cultural groups, but also the no-show of 11 opposition politicians who had already boycotted their swearing in on Friday as new members of Parliament.

The politicians are awaiting the outcome of their appeal against a court's rejection of their demand for an audit of the results of November's election which gave Pohamba's South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) a landslide victory.

A court rejected the case last month on a technicality.

Swapo, which has been in power since 1990, won the general elections with more than 75% of the votes in a process declared fair by African observers.

His inauguration on Sunday coincided with Namibia's 20th anniversary of independence from apartheid-era South Africa in 1990 following a protracted war between Swapo and the South African defence force.


In Namibia presidents are restricted to two five-year terms in office.

Since independence the government has united a fragmented population, with about a dozen main ethnic groups making up the two million population, spread over an area larger than France.

Despite the new schools, clinics, hospitals, houses and roads, many Namibians feel disappointed by the economic gains since independence.

HIV has infected about 15% of adults. Its small economy still depends heavily on South Africa, with its currency pegged to the rand.

And the country has struggled to adapt to the globalised economy, still relying on exports of commodities, with mining accounting for about one-quarter of the nation's income.

The economy has grown steadily at an average of 4% a year, but economists say Namibia must become more competitive to curb poverty and unemployment.

Read more on:    swapo  |  hifikepunye pohamba  |  namibia  |  southern africa


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24


Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...


Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true

Something may be concerning you and this puts a dampener on your spirits. You may need to take a closer look into documents, more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.