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.

Recently Announced Namibia’s Unemployment Rate at 27% is Flaw, the Real Unemployment Rate is 54%

I’m an Economist, specialized in Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Predictive Analysis, and Economic Development. I obtained my BSc in Economics from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio USA, and I’m currently studying for my PhD in Economics.

The Namibian Statistics Agency recently announced that the unemployment rate in Namibia now stands at 27.4%, which is a whopping drop from the 2008’s estimate unemployment rate of 51%.

First of all, this is impractical for an unemployment rate of any economy anywhere in the world to drop by 23.6% within about 4 years without an economy experiencing a major rapid shock (boost or drop), especially since Namibia’s economic growth has been linear over the years with an average steady growth of about 4%.

In short, unless the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has included those Namibian workers who earn less than N$800 a month, who cannot be and should never be counted as employed since their wages cannot meet their daily living cost, and unless the NSA has included those who have given up looking for work due to the fact that they may have perhaps setup their own shebeens, street-corner makeshift tents to sell candies, and Kapana, who cannot and should never be included as employed due to the fact that their earnings cannot even afford them to pay for their living costs.

Hence, the unemployment rate recently released by NSA is wrong, flaw, and very inaccurate. The real unemployment rate in Namibia is more than 54%.

While else remains constant, numbers cannot lie!

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

Bank of Namibia’s Lowering the Repo Rate – What Does It Mean for You?

The Bank of Namibia, the central bank of Namibia, last week announced that it has reduced the repo rate to 5.5%, which is now at the lowest level since independence in 1990 while the prime lending rate is now at its lowest level since May 1974 when interest rates stood at 9%. (Economist.com.na).

But will this help you? The repo rate is the rate of interest that commercial banks such as Standard Bank, FNB, Nedbank, and Bank Windhoek charge each other; for example; if Standard Bank is possibly temporarily short of cash, it may apply for a loan from FNB or perhaps from BoN at that repo rate which it must pay it back at most within 24 hours.

Now, since the repo rate is lower, that means these commercial banks should charge lower interest rates on your new loan application. This is done basically that BoN is trying to encourage loan lending in the economy; to help increase cash flow and hence spending in the economy, and this could help increase or boost economic activities, hence economic growth on the macro level.

But does this work in Namibia? Perhaps not; with the unemployment rate in Namibia I’ve estimated it to currently be at 54%, that means more than half of the Namibian people are unable to apply and be qualified for personal loans. And those who are currently employed still may not be able to apply and get qualified for personal bank loans as desired due to; either that their salary and wages are lower or simply that most Namibians’ personal credit history reports have accumulated to an high adverse ratings that for most to apply and get qualified for personal loans at the four mentioned commercial banks in Namibia may not be possible.

So how does the lowering of the repo rate help the economy? Well, may be not much, but it’s better than nothing.

And just because the repo rate is lower, this may not mean that these four commercial banks will actually lower their interest rates on your personal loan need; as their ultimate goal is profit making and not charity, and due to a possible lower demand (persons applying and get qualified for personal loans) vs the limited supply of commercial banks available in Namibia, these banks may not even succumb to lowering the current interest rate on your next personal loan application.

In short; the current lowering of the BoN’s repo rate may simply mean peanuts to most of the Namibian people.

What are the Socio-and-Macroeconomic Impact by Otavi Steel and Tses Glass?

The development of the Tses Glass Manufacturing Plant in Tses, Southern Namibia and the Otavi Steel Mill in Otavi, Northcentral Namibia, are estimated to have an exponential positive impact on the Namibian macro economy, as they will each cause to affect nearly every sector; from energy, water, roads, railway, shipping, mining, human capital, medical clinics, agriculture, education, and more.

These two industrial projects alone, are economic ecosystems by themselves, as more downstream developers and investors are expected to flock to the Tses and Otavi area to setup new interlinked businesses in order to offer diverse products and services for the Tses Glass and Otavi Steel workers.

Tses Glass and Otavi Steel have an estimated combined development and construction budget of US$9 billion (N$73.8 billion). The total estimated employment creation to be effected by their implementation is 58,000 direct jobs and 290,000 indirect sustainable job opportunities throughout Namibia.

Namibia currently has a population of about 2.2 million with an estimated workforce of about 33% or 729,000 of the population. The total current unemployment rate in Namibia is estimated at about 54%, which is about 393,700 of the Namibian workforce. With the development and upon the implementation of Otavi Steel and Tses Glass, these two industrial projects alone are projected to overall reduce Namibia’s unemployment from nearly 393,700 to 103,700, which is about 14% of the estimated 54% unemployment rate.

Now take the total value of the final products by these two projects alone per their planned annual gross production capacity, which the value is easy to determine as these products; the steel and glass, are traded openly on the market, hence the market price for each industry (glass and steel) is readily available, then they will add about US$37 billion (N$300 billion) value to Namibia’s GDP.

And this is a very good thing for Namibia.

The soonest we can all work together in our different capacity, the sooner we can help make this happen for Namibia and the Namibian people.

The US Postal Service Should Privatize and Do an IPO on NYSE

The U.S. Postal Service is the largest company in terms of being a government-owned agency, but in recent years, it has been drowning in the red. Today’s the WSJ reports that the it has a $5.2 billion quarterly loss.

The fact is; nothing else better can be done to save and rescue it other than privatizing it and taking it public on NYSE. By doing this, it’s the only viable option to keep it from eventually filing for bankruptcy and completely shut down. Because UPS, DHL, FedEx, and other rapid and express service providers will eventually drive it completely out of business.

So Mr. US Postal Service, do the privatization and list on NYSE!

Stagflation? Bank of Namibia, Do Something, Please!

In February 2012, I wrote a short status update on my Facebook profile, that the Taxi Fare in Namibia would go up by may be as little as 5% within a few weeks. But today, Die Republikein Newspaper states that at end of April, it will go up by N$1, from N$8 to N$9, which is an increase of about 11%. That’s nearly a double increase from what I thought it would be.

Now, here is the issue in Namibia; inflation (price) has been rising fast over the years, while the unemployment rate is also rising at the same time; hence stagflation.

This should have been in reverse; that if the consumer price is rising then there should be lots of employment creation opportunities or better salaries and wages. But the price of consumer goods (taxi fare, bread, flour, cooking oil, etc) is rising while everything else remains neutral or even going downward spiral.

Okay, we assume that this is all due to the rising price in the global energy consumption, but should we still blame China and India for their massive consumption of electricity or is it due to the cut down in oil import from Iran due to the US sanctions and trade embargoes on Iran?.

So what’s the Bank of Namibia doing to help curb down all of these, so far nothing. Could BoN step up to perhaps cut down on the interest rates to help boost consumer and banking lending? Oh, sorry I forgot; most Namibians are unemployed, hence they may not be able to apply and get qualified for bank loans, also Namibia’s Monetary Policy is tied directly to the South African Central Bank, so unless the SA Central Bank acts on its interest rates, we may not see too much happening at BoN.

What can BoN do to help boost economic growth? How’s monetary and fiscal policy playing on at BoN?