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:
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: