While Namibia can be credited for doing many things right in terms of combating COVID-19, Team Namibia has also highlighted that this crisis provides further opportunity to reset and refocus, relying on the Namibian sense of Community to pull everyone through.
This was the sentiment expressed at a recent on-line Team Namibia board meeting whereby the impact of COVID-19 was discussed and solutions sought to promote Namibian products and services in support of Namibian lives.
“The current measures to curb COVID-19 are having a devastating impact on businesses that are already on their knees, and some Namibian products and services will be lost forever if we do not drastically ignite our economy, support our own, and stand together in support of each other” said Pieter van Niekerk, board chairperson. He emphasised that behind the manufacture of each Namibian product and the delivery of a service by a Namibian, is a family dependent on that income in order to secure their next meal, a roof over their head, and the clothing on their backs. “The current recession is being exacerbated by measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19, and we need to seriously assess whether the opportunity cost of these measures is justified by the livelihoods lost,” said van Niekerk.
“A proverbial snowball is in motion, and if we do not allow the sunlight to melt it, it is going to overrun our Nation. It is imperative that we remove the cloud that hangs over Namibia by directing our immediate focus on our people’s livelihoods that need the warmth of the Namibian sun, bearing in mind the reality of COVID-19. Namibians need hope, we need to be productive and earn a living, and we need to move forward, but we can only do this if we are not held captive by the fear created with COVID-19,” said van Niekerk.
Elaborating on current priorities, Team Namibia stressed the importance of ensuring the nation is kept healthy, well-nourished with local healthy food, stress free, and sleeping well as the worries of lockdown and unemployment, and poor nourishment do not bode well for a healthy nation. Van Niekerk: “We need to pull together to focus on the future and yes, while that does mean that we all need to be responsible in light of the pandemic, it also means that we need to activate our economy, ignite our sense of community, and become a productive nation because Namibian lives depend on it.”