9 months ago

New Era Newspaper Friday September 29, 2017


12 EDITORIAL Friday, September 29 2017 | NEW ERA Housing is a distant dream for many The price of residential plots and subsequently houses has simply shot through the roof. This status quo has left hundreds of thousands condemned to shacks or to permanent backyard tenancy. The proliferation of shacks is so overwhelming that municipalities seem to have no capacity and appear to have no long-term plans to stem the mushrooming of corrugated-iron sheet shacks. Shacks are a haven for all manner of illicit and immoral practices. Shacks could also be a source of disease as a result of poor sanitation and mounds of uncollected and decaying rubbish. The lack of roads in these informal settlements and the shacks’ proximity to one another makes it settlements – particularly when one metal hut catches alight – and shack dwellers usually bear the brunt of these ruinous and devastat- There has been an increase in shacks because government cannot cope with the provision of cheaper, subsidised houses for the thousands of people migrating from rural to urban areas. This has resulted in sprawling ghettos bereft of the most basic of municipal services such as roads, running water, proper sanitation, refuse collection and the provision of electricity among others. As if that were not enough this problem is being compounded by restless communities engaging in overnight land grabs because they can no longer wait for cheaper serviced land promised by inept strategy to appease the landless is to make empty Havana, a sprawling sea of corrugated matchbox houses made from iron sheets that stretches as far as the mountains, and 7de Laan, have become an eyesore for the City of Windhoek that seems to have no immediate remedy on how to deal with the scourge of these mushrooming shacks. Sophia Shaningwa, the minister of urban and rural development, did not give any immediate solutions to this housing crisis in a speech read on her behalf at a regional meeting that ended yesterday. She lamented the high cost of houses. The price of housing has become exorbitant. In a full-page advert on Wednesday the City of Windhoek released a list of people who bought land in Otjomuise with prices ranging from N0,000 for a 342-square metre plot, while a 467-square metre plot went for N0,000, a 594-square metre plot went for N0,000 and a 658-square metre piece of land in Otjomuise went for N0,000. This is just for a plot and for that matter in a ‘low-income’ suburb. The mass housing project initiated by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba appears to have stagnated. This project has underperformed. In cases where houses have been completed the low and ultra-low income groups, for whom these houses were constructed, simply could not afford them. This project has also been characterised by poor and shoddy workmanship and contractors moaning about late payments because of the cash crunch. Housing has become a distant dream for the majority whose last solution is to live in shacks. Inspired about the future after my trip to Africa Steve Tzikakis, SAP President EMEA South We face an exciting - but uncertain - time ahead. The disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will echo across our time and change every facet of work and life over the coming decades. We will need to confront global challenges such as climate change, the rise of new diseases and super bugs, and the socio-economic effects of workplace automation. Improvements in medicine will extend the human lifespan, leading to ageing populations and swelling numbers of people. This will put strain on our natural resources and force us to develop innovative new ways to meet basic human needs such as food and shelter. New tech- intelligence, gene editing, and quantum computing will upend traditional industries and disrupt our lives in ways we can’t yet predict. This during a time when nearly half the world still lives on less than .50 a day. While the poverty rate in Africa may have fallen from 56 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2012, according to World Bank data the actual number of poor has increased, mainly thanks to rapid population growth. On my latest trip to the continent, I was struck by how citizens, businesses and governments are combining efforts to overcome the socio-economic challenges prevalent in many African countries. The disadvantage posed by a lack of infrastructure is being turned into a competitive edge solutions unburdened by legacy systems. African entrepreneurs are creating inspiring solutions to the problems in their local communities: from AI-augmented education initiatives to solar-powered irrigation for small-scale farmers, and new ways to pay for - and trade - goods using mobile phones, there is a wealth of new ideas emerging from Africa’s pioneers. Innovation is rife within the continent’s larger organisations also: Safaricom has leveraged its digital transformation to launch a highly successful local competitor to Uber in the Kenyan market, following unprecedented success with its M-Pesa payment service. Over the next decade, Africa will add 15-20 million people to the global workforce every year. While populations age and population growth stalls in much of the developed world, Africa is set to reach a working age population of 1 billion by 2050. These millennial workers will power the global economic engine in the second part of the century. But they need the digital skills to succeed. Some experts predict that today’s children will witness humanity’s greatest challenges in their lifetime. It is our duty as guardians of their future to equip them with the knowledge and tools to rise to these challenges. The best investment we can make right now is in education and training. To overcome the underdeveloped state of education systems in many African countries, governments, NGOs, and private sector companies are coming together to fast-track digital skills development across the continent. From a base of 89 year, our Africa Code Week initiative will this year aim to teach basic coding skills to half a million African youth, leveraging local networks and building on a platform of collaboration with our partners. The diversity of Africa’s young workforce also points to an encouraging future for innovation on the continent. The continent is home to as many as 3 000 ethnic groups speaking more than 2 000 different languages across 54 countries. Nowhere else in the world is there such a richness in human capital and divergent thought. We must celebrate and encourage diversity in our businesses and our lives. The future belongs to high-impact collaborative teams that can combine different perspectives and skills in creative ways to solve great problems. According to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest female entrepreneurship rates in the world: highest female entrepreneurship rates in the world: 25.9 percent of the female adult population is engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in some form. Six out of ten said they started a business because of opportunity, not need. Large global organisations have an important role to play here: by providing a technology platform delivered in the cloud, companies such as SAP can help equip these entrepreneurs with tools that could exponentially grow and expand their businesses. More than 80 percent of our customers are SMEs. Our solutions for SMEs, such as SAP Business One, are being adopted by local entrepreneurs at breakneck pace, helping them scale and reach new markets that were once the reserve of large multinationals. And with 95 percent of small businesses fail- have the opportunity to use our knowledge and resources to support and grow these businesses. In a hyper-connected global economy, we collectively share success, and failure. What I’ve seen on my trip to Africa left me with one key impression: we have all the ingenuity, innovation, energy, curiosity, and tools to rise to the great challenges of our time. This is good news not only for the continent, but for the world. And I love to tell a good news story. For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews. About SAP As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to ously, and grow sustainably.

Friday, September 29 2017 | NEW ERA Thought Leaders 13 Disrespect for rules and institutions hurting Namibia (Part 2) Afrika generally and Na- done well in turning a colonial situation into a country West Africa People’s Organiza- because it was a big institution - ideals of a free and independent Big Promise of One Namibia gone up in smoke because we did not stick to its precepts. Come independence we all - it was easier for us to stand to- against an outside enemy, we turn to tribe, language, race and sources of safety and security. In predictable and equitable rules - - must be felt in people’s public nation suffers. can, as did nelson Mandela of gospel of nationalism after interests of one political party in post-independence Namibia. - independence, but a declaration of a personal readiness to oppression and domination of a licence to positions be it in by any means necessary. Now to - application to be considered for - ers. It is tempting to say: Beware and transparent rules, nations son Mandela came to represent ously torn apart and needed a Barack Obama did to remind of equality of all. leaders are more concerned - leaders are currently engaged in. - - of constitutions. For instance, - rican Rugby baron Louis Luyt dragged Mandela to court for Mandela went to court to account - and Zuma Administration is of reference to go back to and regroup as one nation. Respecting ground rules foundation of law and order and dos and don’ts is a failing leader- How will future generations - - - community world-wide would able to build strong institutions be remembered as a fateful year - peace and stability is now under - circumstances of today. Worse, no regard for its own rules and - - politics of succession. comforts in any political contestation process. But to go so low as to bribe, cajole, arm twist, intimidate, manipulate people to endorse a single candidate rules of democratic elections. of unprocedural endorsements - party politics is by and large asking: How does one endorse a candidate before one knows few most unfortunate aspects process is and will not be fair as is unable to defend its founda- - as One Namibia One Nation. By destroy rules and institutions are - and institutions st we destroy our own foundations, , waar die skelms regeer!

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167