An Open Letter to H.E. President Dr. Hage Geingob – Namibia: Road Map to Recovery, Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Economic Liberation

AN OPEN LETTER TO H.E. PRESIDENT DR. HAGE GEINGOB

December 21, 2015

His Excellency
Dr. Hage Geingob, President
Republic of Namibia

NAMIBIA: ROAD MAP TO RECOVERY, POVERTY ERADICATION AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC LIBERATION:

Your Excellency,

Preamble – The travail: The travails of Africa and her people, their struggles against the burden of deprivation, shackles of poverty, the onslaught of sickness and diseases, the pangs of hunger, the continued systematic stripping and pitiless plundering of her human and natural resources dates back to the times before the dark days of slave trade. Foreign policies on Economic Cooperation and Sustainable Developments of the Governments of Advanced Nations have continued to deliberately (as it were), raise the bars beyond the reach of Africa, given her peculiar situation of poverty, lack of development, Economic instability etc, whereas the Advanced world has never ceased to depend on Africa’s natural and human resources responsible for the significant strides that these Nations have made in their overall Economic Developments.

Africa is thus caught in this irony of starvation in the midst of super abundance. Our situation as a people is comparable to a fish dying of thirst in its natural environment.

On a larger part, the world depends on Africa for proper development, but where is Africa in the place of the gains? Statistically, the figures are heart rending.

The wealth of Africa’s natural endowments includes such resources that are classified under Rare Earth Elements (REEs) category and Namibia is not left behind on this list of “these blessed few.” Further statistics reveal Africa holding large reserves of Oil and Gas and other resources in the following order:

Gold – Africa contributes 21% of world output
Diamonds – about 46% of global production comes from Africa Botswana alone staking 22%, DRC following with 20% and the remaining 4% scattered among other producing nations on the Continent.
Copper – Africa holds 6% of world output
Africa produces 75% of the world’s platinum led by South Africa and closely followed by Zimbabwe.
For Aluminum, 5% of the world’s total output comes out of Africa. South Africa takes the Regional lead followed by Zimbabwe and Egypt.
Buxite – Africa supplies 8% of world output and that comes from Guinea whose iron ore is also acclaimed as among the world’s finest.

On the whole, the following define Africa’s standing: Uranium, Coal, Iron Ore, Tin, Phosphates, Gold, Molybdenum, Gypsum, Salt, Petroleum Phosphates, Manganese, Lead, Zinc, Fish, Titanium, Natural Gas, Hydropower, Tantalum, Graphite Diamonds, Copper, Silver, Lead, Lithium, Cadmium, Tungsten, Zinc, Salt, Cassiterite (Tin Ore), Wolframite (Tungsten Ore), Methane, Arable Land, Bauxite, Chromite, Gypsum, Nickel, Rare Earth Elements, Gem Diamonds, Vanadium, Asbestos, Coal, Clay, Forests, Quarry Stone, And Talc, Emeralds and a large unexploited reserves of different resources.

Unfortunately, under Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), the attention of Investors focuses more on these natural recourses while successive administrations of the host Nations channel all their energies more on the same repeated circle of exports driven economy with little or no attention given to or plans made towards large-scale, home grown manufacturing or Industrial development capable of abundant job creation for poverty alleviation and its final eradication.

The question is: with all that we have as a people, sincerely should we be economically in the present position that we have now found ourselves today? No, definitely not. That we are here only confirms that something is seriously wrong and to correct the imbalance, we must clearly define what we truly want to achieve and follow through on the plan of action beyond mere words as has always been the practice as recorded in our historical accounts of past governments.

Namibia: Namibia boasts of such natural resources as diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish and according to “The World Fact Book” on Field listing of Natural resources, there are also “suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore” in Namibia.

The icing on the cake is this –Namibia has the highest reserves of Uranium, making this country #1 in Africa and 4th largest producer in the world, followed only by Niger as 2nd in Africa and 5th in the world. This standing does not suggest Namibia as a poor country, but the practical translation of this wealth or its reflection on the citizenry does not hold the reality. We should be doing better.

Vision of the Fathers: Your Excellency, our dear Nation, Namibia has suffered. It is no longer keenly needful to recount the woes and re-paint now again graphically, the gruesome picture of our mutilated fallen heroes and heroines who, propelled by their quest for Namibia’s true identity and the freedom of her sons and daughters, braved the odds and made major sacrifices in the battle for her soul.

Of these, the living minority are today, permanently “decorated” in brutal scars as their priceless trophies in the battle for the soul of our beloved country. Your good self are not unaware of those dark days when Namibia groaned under the yoke of bondage, shackled in poverty and plundered while her children famished like orphans. The vision of our fathers and the strength and courage they found to fight for Namibia’s release and the freedom of her children was fueled by the faith they had in this Nation’s tomorrow – a country of liberated people, freed from poverty to flourish in prosperity and sprawling Economic Development, capable of confronting and withstanding the modern global challenges. The tomorrow they saw that fueled their passion to fight, to suffer and to die is today.

Your Excellency, can you in all honesty say that Namibia’s present National Development and Economic Prosperity has in any way in the least justified the sacrifices of these noble men and women who gave their all for her liberty and prosperity of her sons and daughters? Is their sacrifice truly justified today?

Sounding the Empty Song: For Namibia, these woes and travails of the past are still far from over. Her freedom is only in the status of her personal identity as an entity, a sovereign Nation. Beyond this, the manacles of deprivation and hallmark of bondage are still evident upon her like an escaped convict who breaths the air of freedom while still enrobed in the prison garments.

The reflection of poverty and bondage still strongly gleams on our people thus, the efforts of all successive administrations, having done their very best to dress Namibia befittingly and present her to the world as a prosperous Nation have all fallen short, making all the promises they made prior to ascending to power seem like mere exercise of routinely sounding the empty Executive song.

In spite of their genuine efforts and good intentions, they left more promises behind than fulfilling them. These were good people who meant well for Namibia, but they all made the same mistake of looking in the wrong direction and going all alone on glory seeking quest, just to make a name in their effort to lift this Nation out of the ashes.

This great opportunity is now upon you, Cde. President, and your Administration to satisfy the yearnings of the Namibian people. We are here to support you and partner with you if you will accept our hand of partnership. We have what it takes and through a healthy collaboration, we can achieve all desired goals.

Objective: Your Excellency, the purpose of this letter is first of all to publicly declare to you my unreserved support for your developmental goal of Poverty eradication as I have also practically demonstrated in my efforts since returning to Namibia from America where I have lived for the past 26 years.

Secondly, this is my public call to the good people of Namibia to wholeheartedly join us in this war against poverty that you have declared, which is the only guaranteed economic liberation for our dear Nation.

I, Simon Kapenda, have no interest in politics; however, my entrepreneurial skills and your political position can blend into a formidable force against Poverty in Namibia.

The pains, the gains: I come from the background of knowing what pain and suffering means. I started my academic journey at Omunkete Combined School near Oshikuku in Northern Namibia. It was at the time when our dear Nation Namibia still groaned under the weight and pain of the infamous and dehumanizing apartheid regime of South Africa.

I saw the suffering of our people, I also feared greatly as the bullets of the KOEVOET zipped by over our head many times that I came close to extinction. I and my family escaped death many times during the apartheid era, but we were left with the permanent memory in our hearts and minds that became a constant yearning for freedom and liberation.

For me, it was not only liberation from the evil Regime of apartheid but from everything that wore the resemblance of enslavement – including poverty, deprivation, backwardness and every ills of life.

The pains and burdens of my heart gave me an even greater determination to race harder towards success, to be free and to achieve. When I proceeded to the United States of America in pursuit of higher Academic Excellence, I held at the core of all my endeavours the drive to master the skills and tactics of successful warfare against deprivation.

I graduated from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio USA in 2009 (BSc. Economics) with decent scores regardless of my personal hardship of working full-time as a small business owner while at the same I was studying full-time. I am currently pursuing my PhD program in Economics. My intern job at UBS Financial Services Inc in 2008 was a personal self-test run that I did as a field evaluation of my skills, training and personal development, which held out successfully when I made a mark as an Investment Analyst Intern at UBS Financial Services Inc in Columbus, Ohio the whole of twelve months of 2008. Impressed by my outstanding performance, UBS made me an offer of permanent employment as an Investment Analyst at its Wall Street offices with a mouthwatering salary plus bonuses of US$2.5 million per annum which I declined due to the idea I had to launch Groot Systems (formerly Groot Group) in the same year for the sole purpose of implementing Rapid Industrial and Economic Development of my beloved birth country Namibia, under our specially structured system which we call “Groot’s Advanced Industrial Ecosystem” (GAIE).

Our Industrial plan of action, GAEI, is based on careful research and conscious planning that takes into account the current global economic realities. On the ground here in Namibia and currently making appreciable progress are Groot’s six self-sustainable and interdependent mega projects with over 20 others in the pipeline awaiting their timely release to boost self-sustainability and complementary support to our running infrastructure.

Groot’s Advanced Industrial Ecosystem is a special infrastructural system of creating a holistic developmental framework that encourages multiple industrial units to grow as self-sustainable entities while at the same time fully interdependent, each serving as an integral part of the other and collectively unleashing a fast-paced massive economic ripple effect, resulting in a Large Scale job creation and Sustainable Economic Development.

Your Excellency, through God’s enablement and His Grace, my struggles to start and successfully develop and operate my small business in the USA since 1995 as well as pay my way through school paid off eventually and I had it all going for me in the United States where I still maintain my home in Beverly Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, California.

Nevertheless, compelled by my love for the fatherland and the vision and the costly sacrifices of the fathers of Namibia for her greater tomorrow, it became my turn to give up my comfort so, I returned to contribute my quota to help take Namibia to her rightful place among the community of Nations. This is what I have continued to do since my arrival back into the country. Since 2010, Groot has worked tenaciously towards actualization of this dream. It is on this note that Your Excellency’s declaration of an all out War against Poverty and its eventual eradication by 2020 came as a long awaited welcome development.

At Groot, our support for your laudable program of War Against Poverty is only natural as this Developmental goal seamlessly aligns with our Groot vision.

Therefore, our support for this agenda is beyond moral as we have readily plunged into the mainstream and this we have done wholeheartedly. Over the years, we have holistically spent about N$25 million in planning, traveling, consultations, infrastructure, equipment and building of systems and always focusing on the vision of Industrial Development and Economic prosperity for Namibia. We have made tremendous sacrifices all in the effort that our pains may translate to the overall gains of the good people of Namibia, for our country, our people, our pride. We are doing all these at our cost.

Our Open Score Card: This is what our efforts have yielded so far since we started out.

Tses Glass: In 2012, we launched Tses Glass – a US$700 million mega Glass Infrastructure project development in Tses and the first of its kind in Africa. The immediate positive result as can be seen today in Tses is the instant transformation as Tses Village is poised to become a commercial nerve center in //Karas Region. According to Mr. Vries, then CEO of Tses Village Council, “Tses is now just full of people, it feels like an Industrial City.”

Tses Glass is structured out in two mega factories. Our Container Glass factory is dedicated to the manufacture of glass bottles, exotic wine glasses, berets, conical flasks measuring cylinders, scientific equipment of glass nature and every form of glassware designed to hold or contain.

The second Factory, our Float Glass Factory will manufacture glass for industrial needs like windows for housing, vehicles, optical glass for medical and other uses, photovoltaic (PV) for solar panels, ultra-thin glass for special purposes including but not limited to displays, computer or TV screens, cell phones, tablets, various mobile communication and hi-tech devices.

Under our Mandatory Strategic Orientation (MSO), 670 general construction workers for Tses Glass Factories are billed to complete their training and commence work fully on the Construction of Tses Glass Factories starting in early 2016. Beside the construction workers, a 300 member executive management team will lead the workforce into successful implementation of the Groot dream of Tses Glass in Tses.

All our workers and employees are paid the minimum wage of N$35 per hour, fed one meal per day and are entitled to medical facilities and other generous fringe benefits. We do this to aptly define poverty eradication in this practical introduction to improved lifestyle. In addition, we plan to provide 800 units of Prefab Houses for accommodation of our construction workers in Tses at the cost of more than N$154 million. All of this is done at our cost as our active contribution to the Nation building efforts of Government.

Tses Glass aims at driving the local economy and for the export market. When fully operational, Tses Glass will create 7,000 direct, better paying jobs and about 47,000 indirect jobs in Tses and throughout Namibia as our contribution to ending the unnecessary suffering of our people for a better Namibia.

Tses Wi-Fi: Many developmental ideas complementary to Tses Glass and the Transformation of Tses Village include a 30 kilometer radius coverage of high speed broad band free Internet access via Wi-Fi platform which will give free internet connectivity to anyone within 30km of Tses Village, delivered right on their Internet enabled mobile devices of any description. Relevant agreements have already been signed for the provision of this service. The provision of the free Internet services in Tses and Construction of 400 housing units by Groot Construction, which shall be donated to Tses Village, is our way of practically changing lives and giving back to society.

Tses Solar: Designed to be implemented under the Power Division of Groot Systems (Groot Power), the deployment of our 60MW Solar (PV) Power Plant in Tses will give a new lease of life and stable assurance of business operations in Tses. Manned by Groot Systems and partners, the N$500million mega 60MW Solar (PV) Power Plant in Tses will supply clean, safe and renewable electricity to Tses Glass factories and the Tses municipality.

Groot Construction: We envision Groot Construction (Pty) Ltd, the construction arm of Groot Systems to become a leading Namibian Civil Engineering and Construction Contractor known for its professionalism and high quality work throughout Namibia and beyond. Groot Construction is teaming up with a Philippines-based civil engineering company, to work under the Ukrainian general contractors and civil engineering companies for the construction of the Tses Glass factories. All our recruited 670 construction workers in Tses fall under Groot Construction as the local based company and its Ukrainian and The Philippines engineering partners. Groot Construction provides critical engineering and construction for infrastructure projects on a turnkey basis.

Groot Steel – Omutwewonime: In our continued quest to create value opportunities which guarantee food for our people, a roof over their heads and general improved living conditions, we focus on what holds greater advantages for us and our economy. Groot Steel is poised to employ over 800 construction workers, to start construction work on our Groot Steel 750 thousand Metric Tons Per Annum (750kMTPA) Minimill. Groot steel will produce semi-finished products like metal bars and rods which have a variety of Industrial uses including construction, automobile manufacturing, and in the production of appliances and other consumer products. Finished steel products produced from Groot’s mini mill will include rebar, wire rod, structural shapes, steel plate and steel sheets. This project holds the capacity for creating more than 2,600 direct, better paying jobs upon its commissioning. Groot Steel Minimill is sited in Omutwewonime (to become known as Onime Village).

Groot Silica in Ongwediva area: Groot Silica Sand factory is being set up for the sole purpose of producing large commercial quantities of silica sand for use in the glass, oil and gas industry and a wide range of industrial applications. Groot Silica is poised to become one of the world’s largest suppliers of silica sand with an annual production capacity of 1.5 million tons for the exclusive purpose of supplying silica sand to the Tses Glass factories and for export of the surplus production output to the world’s markets.

Presently, 950 permanent workers are undergoing the Mandatory Strategic Orientation (MSO) as a part of the 1, 500 permanent employees at the commissioning. In line with our tradition, we provide excellent working conditions for all our workers at Groot Silica with attractive minimum wage of N$35.00 per hour, full medical aid and lucrative fringe benefits which include transport and housing allowance. For more than 15 years from inception, Groot Silica contracted to supply Tses Glass with High quality Silica Sand as raw material for the manufacturing of Glass, Ceramic tiles, etc. This singular order is worth well over N$2.6 billion. There is a huge growing market and demand for Silica sand which puts Groot Silica in the center of the Economic Highway for lucrative profits.

Groot Chemicals in Odibo: At the end of January 2016, the recruitment of our 3,000 general construction workers for the construction of the Groot Chemicals factory to manufacture Urea, Ammonia, and NPK fertilizers in Odibo will commence. When completed, the Groot Chemicals factory would deliver high quality fertilizers to Namibia farmers and the SADC region. This is aimed at helping Namibia to boost agricultural production output and to enhance food security for the country. Groot Chemicals will create about 11,000 full-time manufacturing jobs to manufacture Urea, Ammonia, and NPK fertilizers in Odibo.

Groot Foods in Oikokola: Also tied to the of end of January 2016 timeline, at Oikokola, the Foods and Beverages division of Groot Systems – project owners of Groot Foods will recruit 1,500 general construction workers for the construction of the Groot Foods factory in Oikokola in Omusati Region. When commissioned, the Factory will develop, produce, package, and distribute different agricultural produce to the teeming consumers. The production and packaging of chilled and frozen food products will add value to the retail and wholesale market in Namibia, throughout Africa and beyond. The full operation of Groot Foods will generally ensure food security in Namibia and eradicate the negative trend of food insecurity and high cost of food stuff which is occasioned by continued importation of food supplies. When completed, Groot Foods factory will employ about 3,000 full-time production workers directly in Oikokola.

Groot Solar: The full deployment of Groot Silica and Tses Glass will usher in the needed time for the setting up of Groot Solar – a mega infrastructure designed to produce High Quality Solar Panels, solar Chargers, controllers, Solar Power systems for full deployment of clean, safe and renewable energy sources for local and export market. This will effectively and efficiently address the power challenges in Africa and boost small and medium scale power-driven businesses – from local hair dressers, barber shops, restaurants etc to medium size enterprises. Easy access to safe and renewable energy for domestic and industrial uses will definitely improve the quality of life. Groot solar will effectively create 3,000 direct, better paying jobs.

Grootrain: Grootrain makes its grand entry as Groot’s signature project – the flagship of all of Groot’s Industrial Developments and Grand premier deployment of the Transport Division of Groot Systems. Grootrain is a High Speed Passenger Rail Transport Service that is being developed to inter-connect Sub-Sahara and North East Africa and further link up South Africa through in-between connected Nations of South West, Central and Eastern Economic Blocs. Grootrain is coming as the long awaited realistic solution to the nagging question of efficient transportation in Africa.

While Grootrain poised to offer the convenience of easy access to fast, safe, efficient and affordable transport, Grootrain not only encourages freedom of movement for business, education and pleasure, but we also contribute a significant quota towards improved lifestyle, family stability, healthier living by drastically reducing unemployment through the creation of well over 50,000 direct and better paying jobs by 2020 in Namibia alone and more than 5 million direct jobs and not less than 20 million indirect fully functional jobs at full deployment all over Africa.

Groot Systems observes a zero discrimination policy in all our employment exercises.

Westerville: Our latest addition to Groot’s Strategic approach in Advanced Industrial Ecosystem and Rapid Economic development came by our latest acquisition of a private farm land near Windhoek for the creation of a modern upscale town designed for over 3,500 residential homes and light industries just 20km West of Windhoek.

Westerville Residential: Residential options at Westerville will cater for all life stages from young professionals to families and retirees:

• Approximately 2000 resort style apartments including 500 townhouses and 500 City Centre style apartments ranging from bachelor, one bedroom, two bedroom and penthouses.
• 1000 cluster homes
• 1000 freehold houses situated on 800m² to 1400m² stands and 120 retirement village units
• Upon full development, Westerville’s show village will comprise of 200 Resort-Style-Living apartments, 10 cluster homes and 10 freehold show houses.

Westerville City Center:
• Westerville’s City Business Center will include 5000m2 of retail space including convenience shops.
• A residential component consisting of approximately 500 apartments featuring eleven different configurations of one to three bedroom units and penthouses.
• A super basement housing more than 1 000 parking bays will be hidden beneath the city center.
• The City Center will center on a large park/piazza with other green areas located next to each apartment complex.

By lowest figures, the draft summary of our current realistic direct job creation/employment scale by 2020 shows:

Tses Glass – 7,000
Groot Steel – 2,500
Groot Silica – 1,600
Groot Solar – 3,000
Groot Foods – 1,500
Groot Chemicals – 11,000
Grootrain – above 50,000

A total of almost 80,000 direct better paying jobs and well over 200,000 indirect jobs created just for a start!

Your Excellency, the current global economic realities show a downward trend in industrial growth and full-scale sustainability worldwide with poor Nations taking the worst hit. Companies are fast downsizing with the resultant effect of more and more breadwinners of families being thrown back on the job market with a bleak future for a stable means of livelihood. However, in the middle of all of these, Groot Systems amazingly enjoys a level of Grace upon her efforts so that we are thriving impressively in spite of the present challenges.

Therefore, the earlier your administration takes this advantage and openly accepts our hand of partnership for the good of Namibia, the better and easier will it be for us to speedily implement our marshalled out plans towards our country’s development and faster actualization of Groot’s vision which resonates with your administration’s agenda of poverty eradication by 2020.

The easiest way forward: The doors of Economic Development and sustainable growth swing on the hinges of Public Private Partnership (PPP) where the government plays its role of ensuring open door policies and a friendly regulatory framework that encourages easy access to Government’s support and official Governmental backing for ease of Economic development and timely implementation of initiatives that help Government’s developmental Agenda.

Thus, such healthy collaborations not only lighten the burden of the Government in the cause of execution of its planned goals but also ensures the timely delivery on the promises tagged on it’s democratic mandate. An old African proverb says “to go fast, you go alone but to go far, we go together.”

Your Excellency, the band of African leaders from time has been the wrong choice of going all alone. Unfortunately, no one of them ever goes far in terms of accomplishments, delivery on their promises to the people and the democratic mandate of improved living conditions. Other than the length of years that they cling to the seat of power, there is hardly any outstanding deed that triggers a remembrance of their Administrations among their people.

Cde. President, every truly selfless, fore-sighted and visionary leader who takes a people-oriented posture and is both passionate for good governance and who decisively embraces the consciousness of the people’s collective mandate, would doubtless accept the hand of friendship and partnership of any notable personality or group in the private sector, who has proven his/it’s worth as a truly dependable ally in the pursuit of Democratic dividends with no further delays.

On the contrary, it proves an unhealthy situation and a resultant negative impact on Government’s laudable programs, obscuration of her good intentions/efforts and diminution of their tangible impact eventually on the citizenry, when the willing private sector is denied the needed support from government to deliver on these collective interests.

The challenges of attracting foreign participation in developmental concepts in Africa are numerous. These range from internal conflicts, security issues lack of transparency and accountability etc, but the biggest challenge is always that of distrust. However, some enterprising industrialists and visionary players are always ready to take on the investment opportunities in Africa where this distrust is removed. Where interest of Governments in such developmental efforts is evident, the confidence of investors and partners is restored and development and investments are encouraged.

Your Excellency, this is where you come in directly. We can cut back drastically on the timelines when you show proof that you are behind our developmental plans for Namibia.

Your Excellency, remember that we have done our best to keep you informed officially from our offices, of the progress made on the projects we are doing in the country. We submitted documents to your office in August 2015 as our foreign technical partners needed the assurance that the Government of Namibia is in support of our developmental plans. This, assurance is the only guarantee they can bank on that Government policies will not broker the loss of their investments in Namibia, but we are yet to hear from you His Excellency.

Cde. President, we have given a good account of our selves over these years. We have proven our good intentions for the development of Namibia and the future of generations ahead of us. We are not asking the Government of Namibia to give us money to do what we have planned to do; we will raise the money we need ourselves. We know what to do, but our partners who have the needed technology and know-how for the change we want to bring to Namibia – they need this assurance that their efforts will not be wasted or terminated half-way by Government policies.

His Excellency, all we need for you to do is simply give us your official blessing, so that we can cut back on the timelines, then all our foreign partners and others will gladly and readily come in without doubts or trembling hearts.

Our goals are not against your goals, rather they support 100% your desire to end poverty in Namibia so, why would it be difficult for you to publicly say “Yes, what Groot is doing is good for Namibia”? This is all we need, this is the only assurance that our partners want to have – no additional costs. Help us to help you realize your vision to eradicate poverty in Namibia by 2020.

The people of Namibia need good paying jobs that we know how to create and we have proven this by what we are doing so far. Take our hand of partnership and together, we can birth the Namibia that our visionary fathers saw years ago.

Cde. President, give posterity the chance to remember that it was during the vibrant Administrative leadership of His Excellency President Dr. Hage Geingob that Namibia came out of the economic woods. Let the future generations read from recorded accounts that Namibia also joined the class of the First World when President Geingob was in Power. Give the children of the next generations the surprise of reading and knowing that a President Hage Geingob caused the Nation of Namibia the loss of memory of her pains and blinded Namibia from seeing the scars inflicted by the oppressive regime of poverty she endured.

Your official blessing – this, Your Excellency, is all we ask of you. This is for our people, this is for our future. This is for Namibia.

This is what will happen with your official blessing – an open endorsement of what we are doing – POSITIVE: It will build confidence in our partners and many interested Foreign Investors to come in to Namibia to boost her Economic Development.

Industrial Boom – Several industries will run at the same time, create multiple jobs, shorten your goal of eradicating poverty by 2020 timeline. It will be easy for us to bring in developers and investors in Namibia’s untapped resources.

Here is what will happen when you refuse our hand of partnership – the disadvantages – NEGATIVE: At Groot, we will do what we are doing to help develop Namibia and we will succeed, but it will take longer. The Namibian people will wait longer without jobs, under yoke of unemployment, burden of poverty and more children failing out of school.

Foreign Investors will continue to shy away from coming in from lack of confidence due to fear of uncertainties. Vision 2030 and your goal of 2020 may not happen timely. Namibians will wait longer for needed basics/social amenities, quality education, health care services etc, etc.

His Excellency, this is sincerely thanking you in advance for your kind consideration and prompt action on these ultimate necessities.

Accept my kindest Regards,

Simon Kapenda, Founder and CEO
Groot Management Systems (Pty) Ltd
Windhoek, Namibia

Mobile: +264-81-250-9027
Email: simon@grootgroup.com
Web: grootgroup.com
Facebook: facebook.com/grootsystems
Twitter: twitter.com/grootsystems
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Groot Systems is a global leading infrastructure company focusing on developing self-sustained advanced industrial ecosystems for the slow growing economies.

Namibia-based News Media Hate the Country and Its People?

I wished that Namibian news media write more news articles that promote Namibia in a good and positive way. There’s so much, many great things, that happen each day in Namibia, and the beauty of the country is so inviting… and if the Namibian news media would write more about these good things, then you’d see a more great impact in the country’s economy.

In the US, my home in Beverly Hills, California is just about 10 kilometers away from Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in Hollywood. And even Hollywood itself, it’s not that as extravaganza as the US based news media promote it. It’s really a dirty, old looking place but those outside Hollywood would never know until you visit Hollywood to your own surprise how the US media hype up Hollywood.

If the Namibian news media could do more, write and publish more about the good things that happen in Namibia and the beauty of Namibia, then this could really help make a change. Namibia is even to be said the “Garden of Eden”, the birthplace of modern humanity, according to some of the world’s leading research Universities including Oxford University, Stanford University, etc., (just google this) and the Namibia-based news media don’t grab on this to write and exploit to promote Namibia in this sense, as the cradle of life, the birthplace of modern humanity, and this could exploit people from all over the world to come and visit Namibia.

When foreign people come from wherever to visit Namibia, they would spend their money, lots of money, in Namibia, and that’s just great for the Namibian economy.

Namibian news media, please write more stories to promote the country and its people’s efforts, right now you focus more on stories that depress the readers and demote the country, which simply deters more prospect visitors to Namibia.

MIT Provosts Stealing Our Groot Industrial Ecosystems Idea?

MIT provost Martin Schmidt and a group of MIT faculty members may be got hold of our documents through our Scientist, Robbie Jena, Co-founder and Chief Strategist of Groot Group, and now they are using our documents at MIT stating how America can rebuild and re-industrialize its economy for better employment creation and sustainability, but they are not giving us credit for it.

It was around June 2009, right after I graduated from The Ohio State University, I was invited by Liberia’s former finance minister, Mr. Braim, at his house in Columbus, Ohio to brainstorm with him on how to help develop and grow Liberia’s economy after many years of civil unrest.

After listening to him and his son, Samuel Braima, my then classmate at The Ohio State University, I informed the ex-finance minister that the better way to help rapidly develop Liberia’s economy, was to setup and develop an economic ecosystem on a certain island, off of the coast of Liberia.

We discussed further how we could go about doing it, and his next step was to go meet with Liberia’s President in order to get her blessing and start with the project, a rapid industrial ecosystem.

In August 2009, I met up with Robert Grier in Columbus, Ohio over a cup of coffee, and we brainstormed on the idea. At that time after we discussed about the idea, Robert informed me about his partner Robbie Jena, a former NASA Scientist, who’s specialized in industrial ecosystems development based on his past China’s success. Then one day Robert and I went to the ex-finance minister’s house in Columbus, Ohio for our continued talk on the idea.

After a month of waiting for the appointment with the Liberian Government Officials for us to brief them on the idea and get started with its planning, development and implementation, there was a silence of waiting, and for us as entrepreneurs, we couldn’t wait, hence we proceeded with our idea’s planning and development, and it has since become, the Groot Rapid Industrial Ecosystem, which is composed of our industrial projects development in Namibia which some that are online now are; Tses Glass, Groot Steel (Otavi Steel), and Sitentu Power Plant.

You can see our Groot Corporate Brochure about our Industrial Ecosystems, look at the date when it was uploaded on SlideShare, March 2011.

It’s an honor to have MIT engineers, scientists, economists and policy specialists, including one Nobel Prize recipient, as well as Policy Makers at the White House looking and modeling on our Industrial Ecosystems development in Namibia, but it would have been better if they (MIT and the White House) had acknowledged us and given us some credit, instead of just using our idea for their own perhaps personification.

The only issue is this; there’s a difference between someone copying or stealing someone’s else idea, and the actual person who actually came up with idea, because in this case, it’s us at Groot Group (Simon Kapenda, Robbie Jena, and Robert Grier), and the one who copies or steals the idea is never capable and delivering the real realization of the idea successfully and efficiently, than the one who actually came up with it, especially us that are already doing it in Namibia.

MIT provost Martin Schmidt, please contact me at simon@grootgroup.com, to get the real practical knowledge on how to implement an industrial ecosystem. See our Groot site at http://www.grootgroup.com/leasing regarding our Groot Industrial Ecosystem

Read more about the White House blog at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/13/plan-revitalize-american-manufacturing and the MIT statement at http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2013/02/22/nation-must-rebuild-industrial-ecosystem-spur-manufacturing-says-mit/6sKvKhCsSNwPilbrg5GdqO/story.html

Namibia, Together We Can Do It; Rapid Industrial Development

We now have Danieli and SMS Siemag powering Otavi Steel, and GE, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, and Siemens to power Sitentu Power Plant.

Working with Namibian entrepreneurs and government agencies, we are bringing some of the world’s largest and best companies, technology, and investment to Namibia to develop Namibia’s economy. Yes, entrepreneurship and innovations are the engine growth for every economy in the world.

I’ve been trying to tell you that our Groot Group has the unique ability and capacity to make this happen; bringing and developing some of the largest projects in Namibia by some of the world’s largest companies and financial institutions, but some laughed at me saying it’s impossible, because they looked at my physical approach and denigrated me simply because may be I didn’t come to you walking on a cloud or simply because I turned out to be black (on the phone I may sound like a white man may be, but what if I was white?). Today, those “some” you are regretting for not working with us.

In Grootfontein, after they didn’t sign the MoU for us to do GTC there, we offered the Grootfontein Town Council for us to buy the land that we were signing the MoU for, we asked them how much they want for it, and the Grootfontein Town Council wrote to us, by snail mail, stating that they will not sell us the land. The CEO and their lawyer informed me on the phone that we go develop it elsewhere, and so we moved on and to a private land, for our GTC development. This could have brought a massive economic development to a dilapidated town of Grootfontein.

We have always been constantly linear on what we say that we can do and what we will do, it may not happen at the time we say will happen due to the scope outside our own control at times. However, now we have two different projects in Otavi (Otavi Steel) and Walvisbay (Sitentu Power Plant) with a combined development budget of more than N$37 billion (N$26 billion for Otavi Steel) and N$11 billion for Sitentu Power Plant).

These are some of the largest projects ever developed anywhere, and they are under way now, right here in Namibia. They are not impossible to develop them, because they have been developed elsewhere before.

These two projects have massive economic tentacles touching nearly every industry, every sector in Namibia, to offer economic development and good sustainable employment opportunities for the Namibian people.

We, as a country, Namibia, all of us, we can make this happen faster if we are working together regardless of our political, tribal, ethnic, and religious differences, we can make this happen for the greater good of Namibia; and our future generation.

It’s not about who or what, the focus should be about what each one of us are doing to help develop Namibia. Our Independence was not as a result from just one individual member but by the heroic efforts of all of us, the Namibians, united as SWAPO members and led by our Hero, Founding Father Nujoma, and we all together have overcome to defeat the mighty South African Apartheid government.

If we are united still, just as we were united then, then no one in Namibia will be going to bed hungry, no one will be with nothing; we can all live the Namibian dream, not just by the 3% Namibians, but all of us, everyone.

This can only happen once we start to believe in ourselves, in our capacity as humans, in our institutions, in our government, in our own people.

I am blessed to have lived my life around the world, but with the little that I have gained in terms of knowledge and experience, academic skills, business acumen, and my connection to the world’s largest companies, I am dedicated to sharing it with you for the greater good of Namibia. We as individuals at Groot Group and partners cannot do this alone, but with you, together, it is all possible.

And, instead of looking and focusing on my claimed past shortcomings, look at my present, because I too don’t look or judge at how you have lived your life, I look at what you can deliver. With me, it doesn’t matter if you only have Grade 5, if you can do something better, then I will work with you. It’s not about your  class, status, education, family background, color of skin, religious or whatever, it’s about what quality you can deliver as an individual.

We can do this together, or we can sit back and just watch life passes us by; always in great need, always in want, always in pain, always in distress, always begging for the world’s aid, just because we refuse to think outside the box and do things that other world’s economies are doing for their own well being.

Thank You for Helping to Make Groot Town Center a Huge Success

I thank God; I thank Jesus, I thank Him, because things are just going so good with the development of Groot Town Center ecosystem. It was initially hard, mostly dealing with the mentality of the Namibian people, but God has been the driving force for making this all possible. To Him be the Glory and Honor and Praise. And I feel so good about everything; I’m so happy…thank you Lord, it has not been easy.

If this project; Groot Town Center development ever serves to benefit you in any way; please don’t thank me, Robbie, Robert or our company, Groot Group. Please say a prayer and thank the Lord, Jesus Christ, for Him alone made this possible for us to do this project.

It has been a nerve wrecking work, and each day, we are fueled with a renewed spirit and great desire and passion to keep us going and make it happen. I and my house, want to praise God and thank Him for everything; if it was not for Him, then as for me, I would not have been able to be part of this great team to make this development happen.

Please, just say thank you to God; so many great things are happening which are poised to instantly benefit the whole country, for everyone in Namibia, such as the development of the 900 MWe Gas Power Plant, that for the first time in the history of Namibia, that Namibia will have its own factory to produce and generate our own electricity to power our whole country.

I thank you Lord, and I appreciate each and everyone who has ever supported us in making this project happen.

And even if you had criticized us, you actually didn’t criticize us, you simply pointed out some of the mistakes that we were doing. In a way, you greatly helped to shape us and correct our process of making this project a huge success.

So, thank you very much for everything. Thank you Lord, in you I trust always!

The Development of Groot Town Center Would Boost Population Growth for Namibia?

In the first 3 years of opening Groot Town Center, residential housing units at Groot would be more than 15,000 with additional of more than 5,000 apartment units.

And with an average of about 6.5 persons per 3-bedroom house and about 3.5 persons per 2-bedroom apartment, that’s about 97,500 persons per 15,000 homes, and 17,500 persons per 5,000 apartments, see Groot Living, for a gross total of about 115,000 residents of Groot, plus an estimated 55,000 daily visitors to GTC.

This will make Groot the fastest and busiest business and residential area in Namibia. And in 5 years, housing units could go up to 160,000 in the Groot area, and that would make half of the Namibian population to live within the Groot area.

The average income for the Groot residents would be about N$36,000 per month.

And, per NamWater executives, this is a very good business opportunity for NamWater and NamPower in Namibia.

Yes, since the majority of the people would want to go live in the Groot area, due to plenty of better paying job opportunities, then in other parts of Namibia, employers would upgrade their salaries and wages to better match the ones offered by employers at Groot. And because employers at Groot would experience a large influx of labor supply, then they will reduce their salaries and wages; making it more lucrative for the employees who are working in the areas outside Groot.

Thus, as employers outside the Groot area offer more better pay and fringe benefits, then the migration of people would flock back to other parts of Namibia in search of better paying jobs.

And because our Groot Town Center ecosystem is being planned for distribution and placement based on each regional comparative advantage, not all projects would be placed at Groot, then you’d have a well-balanced population distribution.

And as each region compete for the labor force, eventually salaries and wages in Namibia would reach a certain point, an equilibrium. And by that time, the aggregate well-being of the Namibians would be up, almost similar to those in developed countries. Actually, it will go up to about US$25,000.

And we all know that, when that happens, an inflationary pressure follows, but that’s the job for the Bank of Namibia.

Overall, Namibia would instantly experience poverty reduction, improved healthcare, better education, lower death ratio, increased fertility ratio, and hence an increased healthy population.

The side effect of all of this, is that there would also be a large influx of foreign nationals flocking to Namibia in search of better work. Most of them would be professionals with specialized skills. This would benefit Namibia in terms of skills-and-knowledge transfer, however, there could be an increased of certain diseases and or illness that some foreign nationals could bring them with them.

However, the Namibia’s Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Social Services should and must upgrade their systems of manpower and technology in order to help eliminate some of the possible risks as stated.

It must be clear that Namibia cannot close its border to some of the skilled foreign nationals due to the fact that nearly 80% of Namibia’s workforce is unskilled. Hence the first 5 years of implementing the Groot Town Center ecosystem could initially require the labor force by foreign nationals while Namibians upgrade their skills through various means of training.

But the good will weight out the bad and this is overall good for Namibia.

Research Finds Heartbreaking and Disturbing Stories from Those With No Voices

As a Neuroeconomist, working on our Rapid Industrial Ecosystem, Groot Town Center, in Namibia, I had to and continue to do a complete economic and market analysis and research for the entire Namibian economy, the labor market, operations of most of the companies, etc., in order to better develop our ecosystem. And some of the things I am discovering or finding out are somehow heart-breaking or perhaps disturbing.

Some examples are; some of the companies in Namibia, they recruit workers, and then they employ them for a certain period of time, and once the workers have gained more experience and become skilled in their areas of responsibility, as they start to demand more raises and fringe benefits such as medical insurance, etc., then the companies simply retrench them, they lay them off and then recruit new unskilled workers and pay them the same meager salaries and wages, often times with no benefits. And as they gain more experience and become skilled, when they demand salary increase and benefits, then they too get retrenched.

The process goes on like that for years. However, Namibia is one of the most pro-workers union in the world, but I fail to understand how some of the workers are left out to dry.

Some scary things I discovered through my research is that, and this could be rumor, that; some farmers in Namibia, they employ certain farm workers and some of them literary keep them for life, more like slaves, while paying them little or nothing at all. These are mostly the Damara/Nama farm workers, who mostly have no where else to go in terms of their own personal housing outside their working environments.

In some occasions, if the farm owner gets tired of them or for whatever reason, they may ask the farm worker to dig a hole and then when the hole is deeper, the farm owner may simply sneak behind the worker while busy digging and point-blank shoot him in the head, killing him and then fill up the hole with the sand. I am told that there have been human bones that were discovered at some farms, and they continue to discover more human skeletons buried at some farms.

I am not sure what happens to those farm owners or former farm owners where some of those bones were found. Rumor has it that most farms previously owned by the apartheid sympathizers may have human bones buried within their compounds, which may belong to farm workers. Yes, this is really sad and very disturbing.

Some things are just too scary; sometimes I just wish I didn’t hear these stories. If you really want to know what’s going on in the lives of most people in Namibia, especially those who live in common areas; rural areas or informal settlements, simply take off your tie and suit, dress normal like the people you want to talk to and go to them, talk to them, hear their heartbreaking stories.

My last weekend trip to the North was another eye opener of what’s really happening around our country. But if you are just sitting in your comfort, air-conditioned office and say you are working for the people, representing the people, and you are not going out there and talk to them, hear their stories, then you cannot really do something to help them.

A big problem such as the high rate of unemployment in Namibia needs a bigger solution, such as our Rapid Industrial Ecosystem Development, Groot Town Center. Even sometimes some may refer to it as “too ambitious, too big, too unrealistic”, or it’s just a dream”. Well, the current high rate of unemployment in Namibia is not a dream, it’s real, and it’s affecting thousands of Namibians around the country.

A bigger problem needs a bigger solution; thinking outside the box is the only solution.