1997 Namibia experiences an exceptionally good rainy season.
Namibia conforms still to the classic picture of an African raw materials’ producer. But, its export structure has changed somewhat since independence, but the traditional resource exports (diamonds and other minerals, fish and beef) still dominate. Some progress has been made in increasing manufactured exports: They increased from 13,1% in 1981 to 27,5% in 1997, down from a high of more than 30% in 1992 to 1994. The relative importance of raw material processing has increased - from 63% in 1981 to 76% in 1997.
The newly released "Policy and Programme on Small Business Development" recognises the vital role the "Small and Medium Enterprises Development (SME)" sector can play in the achievement of the Government central economic objectives of growth, employment, reduction of poverty and inequality between the "two Namibias" (first world and third world Namibia).
The agricultural sector makes a significant contribution to exports from Namibia. This ranged from 15% in 1990 to a high of 19% in 1996. The export of cattle and meat products accounts for more than 70% of agricultural exports since 1990.
There are considerable achievements which have been accomplished since independence. The adult literacy rate doubled from 40% to 80% in 1997 and further improvements in literacy and the school enrolment rate are expected owing to Government’s policy priorities. But these achievements are threatened by the serious HIV-Aids situation. Life expectancy has dropped from 56 years (1994) to 52 years (1997).
The National Labour Force Survey (NLFS) establishes that unemployment in the strict sense rose from 19,4% 1993/94 to 19.9% in 1997 and in the broad sense rose from 32,9% 1993/94 to 38,8% in 1997.
Ovambanderu Chief Gerson Hoveka dies. His successor is Sylvanus Hoveka.

Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Hoveka_1.JPG (192314 bytes)

Councillors of the Ovambanderu Community of the Hoveka Group at the Meeting with the Cabinet Committee: Archives of Anticolonial  Resistance and the Liberation Struggle (AACRLS) at Epukiro Pos 3: 28.07.2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Hoveka-Headman_3.JPG (162276 bytes)

Chief Silvanus Hoveka of the Ovambanderu Community of the Hoveka Group at the Meeting with the Cabinet Committee: Archives of Anticolonial  Resistance and the Liberation Struggle (AACRLS) at Epukiro Pos 3: 28.07.2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Otjozondjupa_Okahandja_Hoveka_1.JPG (205017 bytes)

Herero Day in Okahandja: Memorising the Home Coming of Late Samuel Maharero: 23./26.08.1923: Ovaherero Chief Silvanus Hoveka: Otjozondjupa Region: 24.08.2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Hoveka-Headman_1.JPG (168672 bytes)Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Hoveka-Headman_2.JPG (171731 bytes)Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Hoveka-Headman_4.JPG (158535 bytes)Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Silvanus-Hoveka.JPG (136789 bytes)

Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Hoveka-Headman_5.JPG (136495 bytes)Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Hoveka-Headman_6.JPG (154054 bytes)

Councillors of the Ovambanderu Community of the Hoveka Group at the Meeting with the Cabinet Committee: Archives of Anticolonial  Resistance and the Liberation Struggle (AACRLS) at Epukiro Pos 3: 28.07.2003
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Omaheke_Epukiro_Kamburona_1.JPG (148072 bytes)

Bishop Kamburona of the Ovambanderu Community of the Hoveka Group at the Meeting with the Cabinet Committee: Archives of Anticolonial  Resistance and the Liberation Struggle (AACRLS) at Epukiro Pos 3: 28.07.2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

January A former Brigadier in the South African Defence Force (SADF) and head of the former SA Apartheid Government’s chemical and biological warfare programme, Project Coast, Wouter Basson, is arrested for possession of the drug, Ecstasy, in Pretoria. He spends some years in prison until he is acquitted by Judge Willie Hartzenberg on 11.04.2002 on 61 charges of murder, fraud and drug trafficking. Most of his crimes he allegedly committed in Namibia in the pre-independence years. Within hours of the verdict, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Theo-Ben Gurirab, vows that the Government would not rest until it had seen justice done. Basson’s alleged crimes were confirmed by members of the SADF’s covert South African Civil Co-operation Bureau (CCB). This evidence lifted the lid on Operation Dual, a systematic plan to exterminate captured PLAN soldiers and thus solving the problem of overcrowding Fort Rev, the notorious top secret SA Special Forces Base on the outskirts of Ondangwa. The base was destroyed shortly before independence, and today, only the foundations remain of the detention barracks and interrogation rooms where detainees were held and tortured until they agreed with the SA Forces, or signed their own death warrants by remaining loyal to SWAPO. Due to formalistic, legal arguments Basson has not be extradited to Namibia until the present day.
11.01. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, announces that the road rehabilitation project between Otavi and Otjiwarongo will commence before the end of the month.
13.01. The San community of the Hai||om in the Etosha Pan blocks two access roads into this popular tourist resort. This spectacular demonstration by the San is intended to force the government to acknowledge their ancestral land rights on parts of the Etosha Pan. The Police arrests 73 demonstrators (14.01.), later 11 of the accused get small fines and 62 are acquitted (23.06.).
20.01. Klaus Dierks declares that Namibia’s railway system faces a difficult future without rail connections to the east and north, especially the Angola railway line from Tsumeb to Oshikango and the Trans Kalahari Railway from Gobabis to Botswana. TransNamib operates the railway network well and efficiently, and better than most of its counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa. There are, nevertheless, areas which do not function optimally, primarily in the domains of business management, strategic planning, and finance transparency. The heavy cross-subsidies between TransNamib Rail and the ailing airline Air Namibia bleed Namibia’s railway system to death. Another field of concern is TransNamib’s erosion of assets which leads to the huge financial problems of the Namibian railway company. By this time TransNamib’s good financial reserves and many of the assets (more than 50% of all locomotives) are gone.
23.01. President Sam Nujoma's attacks on homosexuals at the beginning of December last year are supported by an official press release of the SWAPO Party. Organisations like the National Society for Human Rights (NSFHR) and the Sister Namibia Collective condemn this release on 30.01., followed by the Legal Assistance Centre on 06.02. Consequently the Rainbow Project is established.
31.01. The government reacts on increasing pressure to become active in the burning land issue with the announcement to commence with the expropriation of land on a legal basis.
The German Ambassador, Hanns Schumacher, and the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, officially open the section of the Trans Caprivi Highway from Divundu at the Okavango River to a point 100 km east of the river. The German Government has financed the project with N$ 72 million. The actual costs were N$ 58,5 million. Of the 583 km between Rundu and Ngoma at the Botswana border, 427 km are now completed. The section from a point 100 km east of Divundu at the Okavango River to Kongola at the Kwando River (99 km) is currently under construction and is financed by the European Union.

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_09.jpg (57488 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (German Section), Km 9 east of Divundu, View to the West, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_15.jpg (61252 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (German Section), Km 15 east of Divundu, View to the East, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_50.jpg (59057 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (German Section), Km 50 east of Divundu, View to the West, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_50_2.jpg (61900 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (German Section), Km 50 east of Divundu, View to the East, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_60_1.jpg (87359 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (German Section), Km 60 east of Divundu, View to the West, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_69_2.jpg (71938 bytes)Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_69_1.jpg (76006 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (German Section), Km 69 east of Divundu (Omega Interchange), View to the West, December 2002
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_120.JPG (64911 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (European Union Section), Km 120 east of Divundu, View to the East, Caprivi Region, May 2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_140.JPG (65749 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (European Union Section), Km 140 east of Divundu, View to the West, Caprivi Region, May 2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Caprivi_TransCaprivi_km_160.JPG (79085 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway (European Union Section), Km 160 east of Divundu (40 km west of Kongola), View to the West, Caprivi Region, May 2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

04.02. A rescue operation is launched in Frankfurt/Main to save the national airline, Air Namibia, which faces its biggest financial crisis yet, with possible losses of N$ 40 million. The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Oskar Valentin Plichta, mandates the Deputy Minister, Klaus Dierks, to re-open negotiations with the German airline Lufthansa for a new cooperation agreement between the Germans and Air Namibia, after the latter had unexpectedly suspended an earlier agreement. It is common knowledge in aviation circles that Lufthansa was irritated at the decision by TransNamib Management two years ago to abruptly and unilaterally cancel the existing well-functioning and profitable cooperation between the two airlines. Dierks’ mandate includes to persuade Lufthansa for concrete partnership proposals. But indications are that the German airline plans to table suggestions to take-over of all Air Namibia’s international flights. The planned Frankfurt meeting between the Lufthansa management and Dierks is unexpectedly called of by the airline in the last moment under the pretext that the German Parliament had just approved a privatisation law.
06.02. A set of four stamps which picture the pre-colonial ruins of ||Khauxa!nas, which were discovered by Klaus Dierks in 1987, is released by the commercialised Namibian Post Agency, NamPost.

Khauxanas9.jpg (17394 bytes)Khauxanas7.jpg (18153 bytes)Khauxanas5.jpg (18781 bytes)Khauxanas8.jpg (18576 bytes)

Khauxanas6.jpg (13594 bytes)
NamPost Stamps on the ||Khauxa!nas Ruins

01./12.02. The annual Consultative Conference of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) takes place in Windhoek.
12.02. President Sam Nujoma visits India.
14.02. USA Vice President, Albert Gore, pays Namibia a short visit.
20.02. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, addresses the members of the Windhoek Chamber of Commerce and Industries (WCCI) and launches a plea to Namibia’s private sector to accept the challenge of becoming involved in the development of the Walvis Bay Corridor to Namibia’s landlocked neighbours in the east and north. The transport scheme forms a wider integrated development chain consisting of the upgraded Port of Walvis Bay as a hub port for southern Africa with the shortest routes to Europe and the two Americas as well as the Trans Kalahari and Trans Caprivi transport links.
02./04.03. Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Mahathir Bin Mohamad, visits Namibia.
05.03. The Minister for Finance, Nangolo Mbumba, tables the Budget for the Financial Year 1997/98. The real growth is estimated with 1,4% in comparison with 2,5% for 1996/97. The mining and agricultural sectors go through an decrease in taxes, while the fishing, manufacturing and financing sectors experience an upswing. The main problem of the 1997/98 budget is still the over-proportional blown up civil service. The budget makes provision for an expenditure of N$ 5 750 million, an increase of 13% against 1996/97 which is again more than the inflation rate of 8,82% for the year. In spite of the calls by the Minister of Finance to reduce the civil service, the number of officials increased from 46 600 at independence to a total number of nearly 77 000 civil servants. The personnel costs represent N$ 2 600 million of the total operational budget of N$ 4 546 million (79% of the total budget). These costs stand for an increase of 14% against the previous financial year and constitute 45% of the total budget. The consequence is that an envisaged salary increase for middle and low income officials has to be postponed. The higher ranks, however, have received good increments through the recommendations of the Wage and Salary Commission (WASCOM). The two sectors education and health still receive the biggest share of the total expenditure. The expected deficit of N$ 555 million is estimated with 3,7% of the GDP. N$ 210 million have to be paid to cover debt interests (3,6% of the total budget). The capital budget of nearly N$ 1 000 million (17,4% of the total budget) is again not sufficient to stimulate the economy with state funded projects in the productive sectors of the country.
11.03. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, announces the development plan for the road system which has been budgeted for in the current budget. The highest amount (30%) of the N$ 716 million allocation is earmarked for road rehabilitation and the application of labour-based methods. The major share goes to the four northern regions in the former Ovamboland. Five contractors have already been trained under the labour-based programme and about of 35 km of labour-intensive built roads completed, while another 35 km are currently under construction. About 300 additional jobs have been created and wages totalling more than N$ 1 million are being paid to workers in the project areas annually. Thirteen major road project in the north are presently under construction or are on the drawing tables. All these projects are realised under the ambitious November 1990 road building programme for the formerly neglected north.
18.03. Namibia’s aviation safety record needs a serious review according to Klaus Dierks. Although Namibia’s aviation safety is on a par with most countries in the world and the number of air accidents since Independence, which stood at eight, is far less than road accidents, authority will not sit back and accept civil aviation safety as adequate. Recently five lives were lost in a light aircraft crash in the Naukluft mountains. In order to improve Namibia’s safety records, an international civil aviation organisation has been invited to carry out a safety oversight assessment of the civil aviation sector. Dierks also makes the establishment of the fully fledged commercialised Namibia Airports Company for April 1998 known. Only eight major airports will be commercialised at this stage: Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport, Eros (Windhoek), Rooikop (Walvis Bay), Keetmanshoop, Lüderitz, Ondangwa, Rundu and Katima Mulilo. The other 56 smaller airports throughout the country would also be considered at a later stage. The air navigation services are not to be commercialised at this stage.
25.03. Sam Nujoma visits Togo.
The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, announces in his budget speech before the National Assembly detailed plans to downsize the Ministry from currently 7 500 employees to only a few hundred (MWTC2000 Project). The new system would make Namibia a frontrunner, even in developed countries. Under the MWTC2000 project non-core function would be transferred to more appropriate structures. In the Department of Works of the Ministry, this will relate to the restructuring and possible privatisation of the Government Garage. Airports and and the air navigation control will be reformed as will Namibia’s road system. The reform of the road sector would consist of a new organisational arrangement and a new approach to the financing of the road network. In terms of the new road user charging system, road users will have to pay for the use of roads. The revenue derived from these charges will be placed into a dedicated road fund account which can only be used for the road system. The provisional phase of the new road user charging system will be implemented on 01.04.1998. The Namibia Road Fund Administration (RFA) is the regulator of the system and will administer the Road Fund which is fed by the Road User Charges. The Roads Authority (RA) will be responsible for the management, planning and design of the national road network. The Namibia Roads Contractor Company (RCC) is run on private sector principles and will take over all road construction and maintenance units of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication.
09.04. Sam Nujoma takes part in the Conference of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)(established end of 1993 in Kampala, Uganda), the successor organisation of the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA) in Lusaka.
11.04. Sam Nujoma tries to assist in the peacemaking process in the ongoing civil war in Angola. For this purpose he visits Luanda. This peace effort is followed by a further visit to Angola’s capital on 15./17.05. and 23.07.
12.04. Mozambique’s Prime Minister, Pascoal Mocumbi, visits Namibia.
21.04. President Nujoma participates at the summit of heads of state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Harare.
23.04. Daniel Tjongarero, Chief Executive Officer of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), dies in Windhoek. He is succeeded by Ben Mulongeni.
04./05.05. Sam Nujoma visits Kasane in Botswana. The Kasikili Island problem remains a point of conflict between Namibia and Botswana, although the case has been transferred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague for a final solution. A further conflict arises around the Situndu Island situated between Linyanti (New Linyanti) and Sangwali, near the village Batubaya.
08.05. The current rate of unemployment is frightening and a solution needs to be found to avoid a state of affairs which could degenerate into civil war warns the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks. Addressing a workshop preparing a draft white paper on labour-based projects he maintains that such projects would generate more jobs than all Export Processing Zones (EPZ) combined. Plans are already in motion to recruit many jobless, so that their labour can be used in numerous labour-based road projects in the north as well on the envisaged Northern Extension Railway Line from Tsumeb to Oshikango at the Angola border. At present there are 160 small contractors operating on labour-based works countrywide who even outbid bigger equipment-based contractors during the tendering process. Dierks further observes that there are few initiatives that could claim to address the four national development goals, which are to revive and sustain economic growth, create employment, reduce inequalities between Namibians and eradicate poverty. A well-formulated and rationally implemented national policy on labour-based works could target all these goals.
12.05. The Namibian business personality, Werner List, presents Sam Nujoma with five farms (between Outjo and Otavi) for land re-distribution purposes. This is done at the occasion of Nujoma’s 68th birthday.
18.05. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, announces that the USA Government (US Trade Development Agency (TDA)) has agreed in principle to finance a planning study for the proposed Northern Extension Railway Line from Tsumeb to Oshikango (N$ 1,5 million). The idea is to link this railway line with the Angolan railway network at Cassinga (Mossamedes Railway Line). The railway link was agreed during President Nujoma’s state visit to Angola from 15.05. to 17.05. Dierks was part of the negotiations with Angolan President Dos Santos.
20.05. President Sam Nujoma receives a honourable doctoral degree from Rutgers University in New York.
28.05./01.06 The second SWAPO Congress after independence takes place in Windhoek. The main topic is a further term for President Sam Nujoma. Such a further term in office would require an amendment to the Namibian Constitution which is accomplishable due to SWAPO’s majority of 72% in the National Assembly. It can be argued that Nujoma’s first term was not in agreement with Namibia’s Constitution, because this term was the consequence of the UNO-supervised Elections for the Constituent Assembly, 1989. The Party Congress refers a decision on this controversial topic to an Extraordinary Party Congress which is planned for 1998. In his opening speech President Nujoma demands a higher participation of women in party organs. This is met with little response by the Congress participants. A new Central Committee (70 members) is elected with 58 new members, but only seven members are female. The new SWAPO Central Committee could face credibility problems following claims that the voting procedure and the execution of the election is a mess during the early night hours of Sunday, 01.06. The election of the Vice President of SWAPO is accompanied by strong lobbying between different party factions. Hage Gottfried Geingob who challenges the existing Vice President, Hendrik Witbooi, is beaten. With 198 out of 337 votes (58%) Witbooi is the clear victor in the race. The vacant position of Secretary-General is filled by the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Lucas Hifikepunye Pohamba.
June The Ministry for Labour and Human Resources Development releases the newest unemployment statistics. There it is established that the number of job seekers from 1991 to 1994 has risen to 64 000 while only 24 000 new job opportunities were created in the same period. The Deputy Minister of Labour, John Shaetonhodi, expressed the view, that these figures represent a ticking time bomb. This time bomb is aggravated by renewed demonstrations of Ex-PLAN soldiers who demonstrate for jobs, but not for land, at various places in Windhoek (06.05.; 23.06.; 23.10.) and Oshakati (31.10.). The Government reacts with the creation of additional jobs in various ministries, the Namibian Police and Defence Force.
02./04.06. Sam Nujoma takes part at the OAU summit at Harare.
17.06. Cabinet’s approval of a memorandum: "Political Office Bearers Privileges and Benefits" results in a storm of protest of a number of Namibian organisations like the NUNW and the CCN. The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ben Amathila, condemns the leaking of this secret document as an act of theft (13.08.). Further results are that the purchase of a new presidential aeroplane by the Ministry for Works, Transport and Communication is halted on 12.09. On 15.09. President Sam Nujoma announces that most of the privileges for Political Office Bearers will be cancelled due to the fact that he was not present during this controversial cabinet meeting. Ministers have to pay back the already received benefits and are even losing the tax part of the payments.
02./05.07. President Nujoma visits Ndola in Zambia, followed by a visit to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC)(20.07.).
07./08.07. Shortly after his coupe d’etat, the new President of the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), Laurent Desire Kabila, visits Namibia. This state visit results in a close friendship between the two countries.
24.07. Sam Nujoma takes part at the African-American Summit Conference in Harare.
27.07. The Namibian National Soccer Team, Brave Warriors, reaches with a draw against Gabon the African Nations Cup. This success story is only surpassed by the successes of Namibia’s "run miracle", Frankie Fredericks.
30.07. The Central Intelligence Service Bill is promulgated.
26.07./05.08. President Sam Nujoma visits Indonesia and Malaysia.
15.08. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, opens a new labour-based road project between Oshakati and Ompundja. This is one of four labour intensive projects which is financed by the German Government (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)) and creates 800 additional job opportunities from the local community.
22.08. Margaret Thatcher pays Namibia a visit.
13.09. A German military plane (Tupolev TU-154M) has a head on head collision west of the northern Namibian Atlantic coast (flight: Abidjan to Pretoria) with a US military transport plane (Lockheed C141 "Starlifter)(flight: Windhoek to USA). There are no survivors on both planes, altogether 33 die. The German Minister of Defence, Volker Rühe, accuses immediately the Namibian air navigation services of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication to be responsible for the tragedy. This is rejected by the Deputy Minister, Klaus Dierks, because it is quickly established that the navigational preparations on the German side were deficient, and the German pilot used the wrong flight level. This is later acknowledged by the German Government. Later Dierks has to draw the attention of the military experts of the German investigation team that the Republic of Namibia is a sovereign state and that they have no right to give any orders to Namibian officials.
19.09. The Minister for Labour, Moses Makue 5Garoëb, dies after a long sickbed. He is honoured by the first state funeral of the Republic of Namibia on 27.09.
30.09. The Minister for Land, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Pendukeni Iivula Ithana, tables the White Book on the Land Issue in the National Assembly. The White Book supports a land distribution in favour of the historically disadvantaged, landless Namibians. Any redistribution has to happen in accordance with the legal principles of the Namibian Constitution. Foreigners may only have title deeds on farm land with the approval of the Ministry for Land, Resettlement and Rehabilitation.
02./05.10. Malawi’s President, Bakile Muluzi, pays a visit to President Nujoma.
04.10. Ombara (tradtional title) Christiaan Eerike Zeraua is sworn in as traditional leader of the Zeraua Traditional Authority in Omatjette.
23./29.10. President Sam Nujoma visits the United Kingdom.
03.11. The third definitive stamp series with Namibian natural heritages (flowers and animals)(no watermark) is issued.
05.11. The Minister for Finance, Nangolo Mbumba, tables an Additional Budget for the Financial Year 1997/98. This Additional Budget of N$ 403 million is mainly caused by additional expenditures for salaries for civil servants according to the proposals of the Wage and Salary Commission (WASCOM) and measures to cope unemployment among Ex-PLAN soldiers as well as due to the weakening Namibia Dollar against hard currencies and increased interests to cover the debts. With the revised budget the expected deficit is increasing from 3,7% to 4,4% of the GDP. New loans of N$ 333 million have to be covered on the domestic capital market. The budget deficit is also increased by unauthorised overdrafts of 12 ministerial votes out of a total of 27.
The German Ambassador to Namibia, Hanns Schumacher, leaves the country.
07.11. Sam Nujoma represents Namibia at the Africa/Caribbean/Pacific (ACP)-European Union (EU) Summit in Gabon.
18.11. Indonesia’s President, Suharto, visits Namibia. Simultaneously Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg stays in the country.
19.11. The second elections for the Regional Councils and Local Authorities which were scheduled for the beginning of December are postponed to February 1998, due to some formal omissions by the Election Commission.
26.11. President Sam Nujoma visits Cape Town.
27.11. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, acknowledges during the eight Regional African and Middle East Meeting of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controller’s Association (IFACTDA) that the existing aviation infrastructure and manpower can no longer cope with the phenomenal growth in air traffic over the African continent and in the country. Air traffic over Namibia has increased by 23% since independence and by 300% over the African continent since sanctions against South Africa were lifted some four years ago. The Namibian aviation authorities have therefore embarked on a programme to upgrade and replace the existing infrastructure, and to optimise the training of aviation personnel. Although Namibia is not among the African countries listed as deficient, any problematic situation affects Namibia, and it can only be as strong as its weakest link.
28.11. Dierks signs with the representative of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Per Person, an cooperation-agreement between Sweden and Namibia in the transport and communication sectors.
09.12. Speaking on Air Namibia’s strategic planning seminar, Dierks warns that after the world-wide trend of "open skies policy" many of the bigger airlines formed amalgamated air carriers, degrading smaller airlines like Air Namibia to "feeder airlines". In order to cope with the new situation, Air Namibia has to form partnerships with strong, efficient and reliable airlines in order to survive. Against this background Air Namibia should be subsidised as a form of protectionism. These subsidies should, however, not be forthcoming from the government or the airline’s holding company, TransNamib, but from those sectors of Namibia’s economy which benefit the most from the international flights, mainly the tourism industry. Air Namibia has run into big losses during the current financial year and in the past. These losses are even much higher if when the overhead costs of the TransNamib are included. The losses by Air Namibia, especially on the inter-continental routes, are absorbed by cross-subsidisation. This leads to resources of other sectors within TransNamib, such as the railways, being depleted.
10.12. The completion of the Trans Kalahari Highway in Namibia and Botswana shortens by more than 400 km the distance between Walvis Bay and the Gauteng Province in South Africa which will lessen transport costs and which will bring Namibia closer to the most dominant business and industrial sector in southern Africa.
11.12. President Nujoma announces his third cabinet re-shuffle during his second term. The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Lucas Hifikepunye Pohamba, is established as Minister without Portefolio. The present Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Abraham Iyambo, becomes his successor. Alpheus !Naruseb is appointed as Deputy Minister of Fisheries. The Minister for Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism, Gerd Hanekom, is relocated to State House as Economic Advisor to the President. The Minister for Defence, Phillemon Malima, follows Hanekom. Erikki Nghimtina becomes Minister for Defence. The vacant position of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs is filled by Tuliameni Kalomoh. The Chairman of the SWAPO Elders Council, Kanana Hishoono, becomes Political Advisor to the President.
WB00823_.GIF (134 bytes)

[Return to Table of Contents]

forward.GIF (132 bytes)