Comprehensive Study Outlines Post-Independence National Development Strategies for Namibia

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Comprehensive study outlines post-independence national development strategies for Namibia

A comprehensive study on post-independencenational development strategies for Namibia was presented to the International Conference for the Immediate Independence of Namibia, held from 7 to 11 July in Vienna.

The study--entitled "Namibia: Perspectivesfor National Reconstruction and Development"--provides a comprehensive view of the prevailing socio-economic conditions in the Territory, and articulates various options to achieve broad-based and self-sustaining socio-economic development in an independent Namibia.

Published by the Lusaka-basedUnited Nations Institute for Namibia, the study was prepared by the Institute in co-operation with the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The study states that the socio-economicand political conditions in Namibia at the present were epitomized by South Africa's "pernicious policies based on racial discrimination and exploitation". Those policies had resulted in widespread poverty among the blacks and "considerable affluence of the privileged white community". Excessive exploitation of the mineral, agricultural and fishery resources, the externalization of the wealth generated in Namibia, the near complete neglect of the human resource development and the basic infrastructure for the majority "mean that major socio-economic restructuring will be needed upon independence".

An abridged edition of the comprehensivedocument on all aspects of socio-economic reconstruction and development planning for an independent Namibia identifies and prioritizes specific sectoral recommendations. The sectors dealt with are: macro economic structures, trends and perspectives; agriculture; water resources; fisheries; forestry; wildlife and tourism; mining; industrial development strategies and programmes; energy; transport and communications; housing and construction; commerce and external economic relations; education and culture; health and social welfare; regional development, urbanization and resettlement; community development; labour and employment; monetary system, financial institutions and public finance; national planning for socio-economic reconstruction and development; public administration; public enterprises; income distribution; women in development; science and technology; environmental protection; and legal and constitutional framework.

Recommendations 'conciliatory'

SWAPO President Sam Nujomatold the Conference that the study was comprehensive, covering all sectors of the Namibian economy and the socio-political environment in which it operated. It also had a focus on the future independent and self-sustained economy. It called for a sharp increase in state intervention in the economy, including state control and ownership of the commanding sectors of the economy. The study also recommended worker control, decentralization, expropriation of unused land for use by the indigenous population and diversification measures to reduce excessive reliance on mineral wealth.

The study's recommendations weremoderate, conciliatory and progressive, and suggested equal treatment for the populations in a future independent Namibia, he said. The study had been prepared with the assistance of Namibians. There was a need for follow-up programmes to the study. Financial and technical assistance would be required as physical and social infrastructure projects envisaged in the study came up for implementation after independence.

Jacob Mwanza, Vice-Chairman ofthe Senate of the Institute for Namibia, said more than 30 experts had contributed to the 1,008-page study. The document showed that South Africa had engaged in plunder of monumental proportions. Agriculture had been sadly neglected and mineral exploitation, which brought quick results, had been stepped up. …