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Namibian president wants land expropriated to boost black ownership

Namibian President, Hage Geingob, has expressed the need to expropriate land and redistribute it to the majority black population.

The current proposal aims to “transfer 43 percent, or 15 million hectares (58,000 square miles) of its arable agricultural land, to previously disadvantaged blacks by 2020. At the end of 2015, 27 percent has been redistributed, according to the Namibia Agriculture Union”.

In a similar vein, South Africa, Namibia’s neighbour and regional economic powerhouse, is also in the process of amending land ownership laws.

In a statement president Geingob stated: 

“We need to revisit constitutional provisions which allow for the expropriation of land with just compensation, as opposed to fair compensation, and look at foreign ownership of land, especially absentee land owners”.

Reuters notes that “in South Africa, thousands of black Namibians were driven off their land in the 19th and 20th centuries, banished to barren and often crowded homelands known as Bantustans while being denied official ownership or tenure rights”.

President, Hage Geingob, further stated:

“It is in all our interest, particularly the “haves”, to ensure a drastic reduction in inequality, by supporting the redistributive model required to alter our skewed economic structure. We should all be cognizant of the fact that this is ultimately an investment in peace”.

In the second quarter of 2018 Namibia's GDP contracted for the ninth straight quarter, the longest such streak since at least 2008.