Monday, December 10, 2018

Namibia As Fragile State On High-Warming

Namibia is ranked at 103 a ‘warning’ category,South Africa is at 108 behind Botswana (120)
This article focuses on the Fragile States Index, which ranks countries according to 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators, including economic decline and inequality, demographic pressures, war, and corruption. The Failed States or affectionately Fragile States in a less term are the countries in which the state's institutions are weak or lack orderly administrative policies,transparency and whose populations suffer from poverty, violence, inequality,corruption and political arbitrariness, The governments of fragile states are either unwilling or unable to perform basic governance functions in the areas of security, rule of law and basic social services. Some states of fragile states are super rich in natural resources but failed to utilize them very effectively or appropriately. 

Despite Namibia has been characterized by multi-party system with relatively good governance as compare to others on the continent and generally free media plus the respect for the constitution. Following independence, Namibia pursued a national reconciliation and merged the previously warring armies together, which this created a stable democratic political system that became a leading model in Africa.

The promotion of democracy and the policies of reconciliation in the country has consolidated the peace and stability. However, Namibia still one of the most unequal distributions of income and wealth in the world, although the country has vast natural richness and some untapped. The persistent of  high poverty and unemployment among the graduates which alarmingly on the increase. This article notes that Namibia is a sailing boat in the mist of uncertainty, the deplorable situation in country with the cocktail of tribalism is a serious ''time bomb'' if ignored.

Namibia is a higher middle-income country with an estimated annual per capita income of US$9 541 as according to the statistic done last year in 2017. But, hardly no Namibian citizens have such an income. About 10 percent of Namibian population have quite a bit more (political elites who have plenty more!). But most people live in material circumstances bordering on destitution and hopelessness. According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) data in 2018, the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), 44.9 percent of the population lives in multidimensional poverty and a further 19.3 percent is located near to this category.

Twenty-eight years into independence, Namibia still remains an unequal societies in the world in terms of the Gini coefficient, which measures income discrepancy. According to the UNDP’s Human Development Index, Namibia ranks at 127 of 187, with a Gini coefficient of 63.9. A value of 0 represents absolute equality; a value of 100 represents absolute inequality. South Africa is comparable, with a Human Development Index rank the country at 118 and a Gini co-efficient at 63.1.  Despite such inequalities, both Namibia and South Africa are regularly ranked among the best-governed states in sub-Saharan Africa. But this alone can grantee a lasting peace and stability in the country what if those unemployed youngsters the shack dwellers include the rural paupers stand up one day and say enough is enough? This is what fragility in Africa colloquially represents! 

Namibia is one of the countries in the ‘very high alert’ in the category of the Failed States Index. The Fund for Peace's Fragile States Index. Ranked Mauritius as the only African country classified in the index’s third most favourable category of ‘more stable’ ahead even Botswana, which often regarded as less corrupted and well governed state in sub-Saharan Africa.  In the ‘warning’ category, South Africa ranks at 108, behind Botswana (120) and the Seychelles (125), which are ranked as less fragile. Namibia appears at 103, under ‘elevated warning’.

Security experts have pointed out that in order to counter the radicalization and extremism which are the two packages of unhappiness which often led into violent protesting or uprising. The deliberation efforts should be laid squarely at the heart of addressing the problems that affecting the young masses.  To mitigate these ''red signs'' emerging the government must develop integral policies and implement the national socioeconomic programs to alleviate poverty. Hence the need for Namibia to adopt some mechanism to improve delivery services to its citizens especially the youth population who largely remain affected by high unemployment rate in the country, this should be a matter of priority that requires swift action and the only way to patch vulnerability to extremist ideology or political opportunism which might capitulate the fragility environment in swaying the poverty-stricken educated group, it is very important to address issues such poverty, deprivation,tribalism and marginalization, which will provide a good breeding ground to all form of manipulations. In this respect, particular attention needs to be paid to the education system and employment of the youth.

Economy

Namibia’s economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export, of which doesn't own big share in its natural wealth. Mining activities accounts about 11.5% of GDP, and provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Some mines under Namdeb Holdings diamonds deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds in a combination to marine diamond mining. The rising cost of mining diamonds, especially from the sea, combined with increased diamond production in Russia and China, has reduced profit margins. Namibian authorities have emphasized the need to add value to raw materials, do more in-country manufacturing, and exploit the services market, especially in the logistics and transportation sectors.

Namibia is the world's fifth-largest producer of Uranium yet large chuck is the hands of foreign investors, and the government hold no satisfactory share right in most of all natural resources the country possessing. The Chinese-owned wholly Husab uranium and now then Rössing uranium mine that sold out this year by Rio Tinto to Chinese company CNUC both they are expected to produce more yield in uranium ore by 2019. Once the Husab mine reaches full production, Namibia is expected to become the world’s second-largest producer of uranium. Namibia also produces large quantities of zinc and is a smaller producer of gold and copper. However, Namibia's economy remains vulnerable to world commodity price fluctuations and manipulations. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its food requirements and double it during drought time when there is food shortages. Food scarcity is a problematic in rural areas, whenever there is a poor rainfall.

The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Namibia receives 30%-40% of its revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU); volatility in the size of Namibia's annual SACU allotment and global mineral prices complicates budget planning.


Obstacles To Poverty Reduction

Economically or political fragility is one of the main obstacles to effective, sustainable efforts to combat poverty. Only very few of the more than 40 fragile states in the world are expected to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or the year they set as target (2030). About 1.5 billion people live in fragile countries. They are among the world’s poorest – and often they suffer doubly, from extremely poverty,deprivation and from the impact of conflicts.


Vicious Cycles of Poverty & Conflict Trap


According to the “World Development Report 2011” of the World Bank, fragile states are twice as likely to be affected by malnutrition and infant mortality as other developing countries. Moreover it is three times more likely that children in these countries will be unable to attend school and twice as likely that the population will have no access to clean drinking water. Fragility, poverty and violence thus form a vicious circle: when state structures are weak and it is no longer possible to guarantee basic social, economic and legal services or security, conflicts often escalate and once a country experienced political violence ''conflict trap'' is often very hard to go back to normal. However, these vicious circles can be broken through the development of legitimate institutions and an active civil society.

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