The Swapo party congress officially started in Windhoek this morning under the theme 'Unity, inclusivity and prosperity'.
Among the delegates at this morning's opening session were a handful of observers from ruling parties from the southern African region, Europe and China.
President Hage Geingob, who is challenging for the party's presidency, said the congress must redefine the party's principles and legacy, and continue to promote unity and democracy.
Geingob said the leadership contests set to play out over the next few days were an indication of strong democracy in the party, which he said must continue.
Eleven senior leaders are contesting for the top four position of the party.
Geingob is up against former prime minister Nahas Angula and youth minister Jerry Ekandjo for the presidency.
The Swapo sixth elective congress runs until Sunday, and will also elect new members to the party's central committee, which is the highest decision making body between congresses.