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:
https://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:
https://www.bignam.org/

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 997 articles.

Karl Widerquist is a Professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University-Qatar. He specializes in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and a member of the BIEN EC for 14 years. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News. He is a cofounder of the journal "Basic Income Studies." Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Most of Karl Widerquist's academic writing is available at his research website (Widerquist.com). For more information about him, see his BIEN profile (https://basicincome.org/news/2016/12/bien-profiles-karl-widerquist-co-chair/).