President Hage Geingob says Independence Day is a day to put differences aside and cultivate positive aspects of our national identity.

He says wherever there are problems, Namibians should take responsibility and collectively resolve to solve them.

Namibians from all regions of the country converged at the Olufuko Centre at Outapi for the 33rd Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday.

The celebrations kicked off early, as people started arriving at the Olufuko Center at 6 o'clock in the morning.

A colorful display of Namibia's diverse cultures by different cultural groups entertained the attendees through unique story-telling dances and depictions.

Bearing in mind the past injustices, the multi-cultural groups also showed the sad and horrific acts Namibians endured during the German and apartheid South African colonial regimes.

"For as the Argentine revolutionary, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, said, "We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it." Therefore, in order for us to live today as free and independent Namibians, others who came before us had to die for it. We should never forget that. We should never forget those who paid the ultimate price," said President Geingob during his keynote address.

The pride of free and independent Namibia, the Namibian Defense Force (NDF), further displayed their military capabilities in defending the country's territorial integrity from the land, sea, and air much to the enjoyment of those in attendance.

President Geingob reiterated that Namibians set differences aside just as they did pre-independence and decisively forged ahead with the quest for self-determination.

"With this in mind, let us appreciate the important date of March 21st, for this day should remind us of the momentous occasion in 1989, when for the first time, thousands of Namibians went to the polls and cast their vote for freedom and independence. That collective decision permanently and positively changed the lives of each and every Namibian. As a result, today is a day to reflect on the positive emotions brought about by the gift of independence. It is a day to look forward with hope, optimism, and confidence to our national revival. It is a day to forget divisions and differences in order to bond with family, friends, and community under the single roof of our inclusive Namibian House."

While political freedom has been attained and maintained over the last 33 years, economic struggle requires the same vigor and conviction.

President Geingob outlined several key government policies and strategies aimed at taking advantage of the country's natural resources and economic opportunities.

The policies include the development of the green hydrogen industry and oil and gas sub-sectors as well as the enhancement of agricultural production to accelerate industrial development and job creation.

"As a government, we understand the needs of our people for jobs, shelter, food, and self-actualization, and therefore we remain seized with improving the livelihoods of all of Namibia's citizens with the understanding that only through shared prosperity can peace be maintained. In this respect, we must ensure that the struggle for economic emancipation does not become a justification for the fomenting of social unrest and division."

This year, the northern town of Outapi hosted the commemorations for the first time.

"On this 33rd Independence Day, we are encouraged by the fact that we have made tremendous strides as a people and as a nation, enjoying peace and
stability and development. With each step we take, we get closer to the realization of our collective dreams and aspirations," concluded the President.

Photo Credits
Namibian Presidency


Blanche Goreses