NAMIBIA: Bishop Kameeta calls for an official study of the Basic Income Grant

Bishop Zephania Kameeta of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and of the BIG Coalition of Namibia called for President Pohamba to establish a consultative forum on the national introduction of a Basic Income Grant. He wants the forum to spend three months to study the BIG pilot project that recently concluded in Otjivero, Namibia. The forum could then make recommendations on whether BIG should be introduced nationally. Kameeta has been responding to a government that has been unwilling to take the results of the pilot project seriously. The New Era newspaper quoted President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s saying, “money cannot be dished out for free to people who do nothing”.

Kameeta replied, “It is an insult to the young men and women who go out without food and come every morning until noon to stand at traffic lights looking for jobs. They are not lazy, they are hunting for jobs but don’t find them because there are no job opportunities,”

Results of the project have been impressive. Living conditions of people at Otjivero significantly improved. New Era reports that unemployment dropped from 60 percent to 40 percent, food poverty from 72 percent to 16 percent. Self-employment increased by 300 percent. School dropout rates fell from almost 40 percent to zero percent, and child malnutrition dropped from 42 percent to 10 percent.

A story on the issue by Irene !Hoaes is online at:
http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=10923

The BIG Coalition’s press release including its call for study of BIG and other information about the pilot project can be found at the coalition’s website:
http://www.bignam.org/

Karl Widerquist

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 875 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University. He specializes in political philosophy. His research is mostly in the area of distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. He holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). Before coming to Georgetown he was lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Reading (UK) and a Murphy Fellow at Tulane University in New Orleans (LA). He has written or edited six books. He is the author of "Independence, propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No" (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He is coauthor of "Economics for Social Workers" (Columbia University Press 2002). He is coeditor of "Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research" (Wiley-Blackwell 2013), "Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its Suitability as a Model" (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), "Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform around the World" (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), and "the Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee" (Ashgate 2005). He is currently under contract to author or coauthor two more books: "Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy" (Edinburgh University Press 2014) and Justice as the Pursuit of Accord (Palgrave Macmillan 2015). He was a founding editor of the journal Basic Income Studies. He edited the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and the BIEN NewsFlash for five years. He is one of the founding editors of Basic Income News on the basicincome.org website. He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. His articles have appeared in journals such as Political Studies; the Eastern Economic Journal; Politics and Society; and Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.

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