President Hage Geinbob, sacked many corrupt politicians when he took office in 2015. He made a statement by drawing his new employees from Namibia’s diverse tribes. For example, he gave important posts to members of the Nama (5%) and the Herero (7%). Traditionally, these tribes have had a lot of conflict with each other, but because they now sit together in government, the tribesmen can get along better. Hage believes that everyone is human first and only then belongs to a tribe or a country. By far the largest group in Namibia are the Ovambo (50%), but because of the diversity in the government there is also more solidarity in society.
Say Africa and you think, unfortunately, of corruption. That is unfortunate, of course, but it can also be explained in a way. Everywhere in the world where there is poverty and things are less strictly regulated than here, people will want to earn extra money, just because it is necessary but also because it is very common. That cup of coffee for the policeman who lets you drive on while you were not wearing your belt, for example. A small case of corruption if you ask me, but in Kenya -or Bangladesh for my part- the most normal thing in the world.
With its third place, after Botswana and Cape Verde, Namibia is the least corrupt country in Africa. It is not entirely clear why, but it seems that as wealth increases and is better distributed, corruption decreases.
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ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NAMIBIA
What Halbe Geinbob has done by ignoring the traditional distribution of power positions on the basis of your tribal origin is very clever, because in doing so he has shown that Nama and Hereros can indeed work together. If you then also experience an economic growth of more than 5% per year, you convince the population that this new approach might be a very good one. Congratulations!