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NAMIBIA: President unleashes new plan for Basic Income Grant

After months of meetings, studies and reports on Basic Income, Namibia takes another step forward towards adopting a basic income policy. President Hage Geingob has announced new plans that will aim to eradicate poverty by 2025. At the heart of this radical strategy is the introduction of basic income grants.

The “Harambe towards prosperity” Masterplan sets out a variety of new policy ideas to kick-start the Namibian economy. These ideas are aimed at building a stronger infrastructure, and introducing major economic and social developments. Alongside basic income grants the plan also commits to major infrastructure projects such as: improved commuter trains, housing for government employees, and improved energy and water provision.

The central goal of the plan is to eradicate poverty by 2025, and the government believes that basic income grants will be the primary mechanism by which this happens. The government hopes to introduce cash payments to each citizen regardless of age or income.

However, unlike a pure form of basic income, Namibia’s may come with some conditions. “The basic income grant will be revised and linked to the activities of the food bank. Other conditions may be attached to the BIG, thereby making it a conditional basic income grant,” stated President Geingob.

These ambitious plans don’t come without their challenges, however. Namibia has major problems with housing, water supply and very high levels of unemployment. These issues along with recently criticized infrastructure projects may prove to be major challenges to President Geingob’s plans and thereby the introduction of any basic income grants. Nonetheless, basic income has been on the political agenda in Namibia for some time and this is another step in introducing it into mainstream politics and decision-making.

For more information, see the following source:

Shinovene Immanuel, “Geingob makes more promises” , The Namibian, December 15, 2015


About Joe Timothy

Joe Timothy has written 12 articles.

Joe is currently preparing to study for his PhD in 2016. He is looking into the feasiblity of introducing a Universal Basic Income in the UK. He is a keen blogger about social issues, politics, inequality, education and learning.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • I am surprised a developing country is suggesting a basic income when its economy has not matured to the level of automation, and I believe this situation is fundamental for its success.
    My view is Basic Income is the result of a degree of development Namibia may not have fulfilled.
    In a way it’s as it happened with China, Korea, Cuba and Russia when Communism was forced unto its societies when it wasn’t ready for it as Karl Marx had described in its Manifesto.

    It looks like the Chinese elites with Deng Xiao Ping decided to repair the error by taking China back to follow the correct path going back to follow the logical economic path doing capitalism, when jumping from Feudalism to Communism didn’t work.

    So I’m afraid Namibia will fall flat on its face trying to bring in a change it’s not ready for, and it’s just an intellectual preference of its leader, more in accordance with his ego than the needs of its population.

    Skipping the capitalist step is what prevented the vertically imposed intellectual idea of Communism to fail.
    It seems China is being successful in the capitalist application and the Communist party’s elite will have a better chance of implementing it once society matures into this phase of development.
    Karl Marx had envisioned Britain as the best candidate to become Communist, not feudaly backward Russia or China. Whatever happened there was a failed experiment because the individuals had not mature enough to produce a society ready for it.

    • Andre Coelho

      Basic income test pilot in Namibia worked out fine. The poorest of people, uneducated, struggling to survive people were very prepared for basic income. They invested in food, in health, in transportation, in housing. They know what they need. Automation is just on reason why basic income may be important to implement; there are many other reasons. Namibia is doing a great job at spearheading the basic income front. Humankind will definitely benefit from it.



    • Das Kapital is an epic Blueprint for Capitalism. How it works, what it is. That is why China went turbo capitalist. Marx & Engels (both living off Engel’s factory-capitalism) wrote a huge critique of capitalism, but it didn’t offer any realistic solution, it amounts to a sour-grape critique. Machiavelli is who you should read.

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