The NCB programme „1on1“ is dedicated to introducing newsmakers, movers and shakers to the public – and therefore invited Harald Hecht, chairperson of the newly established ‚Forum of German-speaking Namibians‘, to explain the objectives and motives of this new association.
Watch the original by the NBC (but with a faulty aspect ratio)
The Forum was founded barely six months ago. What is the essence of this Forum, what exactly is its purpose? It turns out, there had already been talks since August 2019 within the German-speaking community in Swakopmund as well as in Windhoek regarding the need of a common platform for the German-speaking community of Namibia, in order to gauge and jointly express its prevailing opinion on current affairs. This would then also serve to ultimately engage in constructive dialogue with other stakeholders in Namibia.
All along, there had been calls from prominent politicians for more engagement by the German-speaking community, foremost from none other than former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who, with a humorous undertone, described the German-Namibians as a Namibian tribe – but one without a chief.
Current President Hage Geingob has repeatedly called on all Namibians to become members of and take up their rightful positions in the ‚Namibian house‘.
Historically speaking, there had previously existed such representative body of German-speakers in pre-independent Namibia, the Interessengemeinschaft Deutschsprachiger Südwester (IG). But after its primary purpose, which was to help bring about peaceful transition to democracy and the end of Apartheid in Namibia, was achieved some thirty years ago, that organization had been dissolved.
Therefore, German-Namibians, as a common entity, basically left a void in the socio-political arena ever since, and have essentially been voiceless for the past three decades.
This is in stark contrast to, and not at all commensurate with, the economic clout the German-speaking community is wielding in Namibia, considering its leading role in the private sector, commerce and professional services.
Is the FORUM now going to put its weight behind keeping peace and stability in Namibia? Watch Harald Hecht explain that the essence of the new FORUM is, on the one hand, to be seen and to be heard, but, on the other, to see and hear everybody else, and thus to tackle the sensitive issues Namibia is facing, such as the question of genocide and reparations, the alleviation of economic imbalances in the country, and the fight for a prosperous future for all Namibians.