Celebrating 33 years of Independence

Today, Namibians live in a country known for its peace and stability. With much room for improvement on many fronts, as with all developing nations, Namibia has set a good track record despite its small size. A nation filled with hard-working people and with a government that has seen the peaceful transition of power from one head of state to the next for more than three decades. But what led us to this moment where we can celebrate 33 years of Namibia? Let’s take a walk through history from our corner of Southwestern Africa…

Before independence, Namibia was under the rule of South Africa for over seven decades. The journey to independence was long and arduous, marked by years of struggle against apartheid and colonial rule with the country finally gaining independence on March 21, 1990, becoming the 160th member of the United Nations.

The road to independence for Namibia began with the formation of the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) in 1960. SWAPO was formed with the intention of fighting for the independence of Namibia and ending apartheid rule in the country. The organisation quickly became the leading voice for independence in Namibia. It had credibility in the eyes of the globe. SWAPO would go on to become the ruling party of Namibia and continue to lead the country to this day.

In 1966, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of South African forces from Namibia and the granting of independence to the country. The resolution was not immediately implemented, however, and South Africa continued to occupy and control Namibia for another two decades.

During this time, Namibians fought against apartheid rule through various means, including peaceful protests, strikes, and acts of resistance. The most notable of these was the Cassinga massacre in 1978, in which South African forces killed hundreds of Namibian refugees who were seeking asylum in Angola. This massacre sparked outrage around the world and brought international attention to the struggle for independence in Namibia.

In 1988, the United Nations and South Africa finally agreed to a peace plan that would lead to the independence of Namibia. Under the plan, a transitional government was established and elections were held in 1989. SWAPO emerged as the clear winner of the elections, and on March 21, 1990, Namibia finally became an independent country.

Over the past 33 years since independence, Namibia has made significant progress in several areas. One of the most notable achievements has been the peaceful transition of power between heads of state. This peaceful transfer has been critical in maintaining stability and democracy in the country, and it has helped to create a culture of political tolerance and respect for the rule of law.

Another area of success for Namibia has been its economy. Despite facing numerous challenges, including a high level of poverty, inequality, and unemployment, Namibia has managed to grow its economy at a steady pace over the past few decades. The country has attracted investment from both local and foreign businesses, which has helped to create jobs and spur economic growth. In addition, the government has made significant investments in infrastructure, including roads, ports, and airports, which has helped to improve connectivity and facilitate economic activity.

As with any developing nation though, there is much scope for improvement. With its strong track record of peace and stability, its rich endowment of natural resources and its willing and able workforce, Namibia has vast potential if resources are managed correctly and sustainably. Despite facing numerous challenges, Namibia has continued to make strides in addressing key issues and it remains a beacon of hope and progress in Africa.