Namibia: Eulogy Delivered by Speaker Katjavivi at the Official Memorial Service for President Geingob

Namibian mourners at the Official Memorial Service for the late president, Hage Geingob, at Independence Stadium in Windhoek.

Windhoek — Abridged biography of H. E. Hage G. Geingob by Honourable Prof. Peter h. Katjavivi, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly, on the occasion of the official memorial service of Hage G. Geingob

Following the sixth national democratic elections in 2014, H.E. Dr. Hage G. Geingob was sworn in Office on the 21st of March 2015 as the third President of the Republic of Namibia. In 2019, during the 7th National Assembly and presidential elections, President Geingob was re-elected to a second term in Office.

Dr. Geingob was also the third President of the ruling SWAPO Party of Namibia following his election at the 6th SWAPO Party Ordinary Congress in November 2017. At the 7th ordinary congress of the SWAPO Party in 2022, President Geingob was re-elected by acclamation as President of the SWAPO Party.

As President of the Republic of Namibia from 2015-2024, Dr. Geingob led Namibia during a difficult period, providing steady leadership hroughout an economic downturn occasioned by the global commodity crisis of 2014; severe droughts between 2014-2019, recorded to have been the worst in the history of Namibia, including the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected many sectors of the economy from 2020 to 2022.

Born on the 3rd of August 1941 in the district of Grootfontein, Dr. Geingob began his schooling in Otavi in the year 1948. In 1958 he attended the Augustineum College where the first seeds of political consciousness were planted. As a student at Augustineum College, Hage actively engaged in student activism, this led to his involvement in the strike against the unfair treatment of students.

In 1961 he completed his teachers training, after which he started teaching at Tsumeb. It was in Tsumeb where he started partaking in SWAPO activities and officially joined SWAPO in 1962.

On the 3rd of April 1962, Dr. Geingob left Namibia (then South West Africa) into exile, transiting through Botswana joining other freedom fighters in pursuit of the independence of Namibia. Dr. Geingob left Botswana for Léopoldville (now, Kinshasa) in the DRC Congo and was eventually offered a scholarship to go to the United States of America, where he enrolled at Temple University, in Philadelphia. While in the United States, Dr. Geingob was appointed as SWAPO Representative to the Americas and the United Nations. Combining his duties as a freedom fighter and petitioner to

the United Nations, Dr. Geingob obtained a BA in Political Science from Fordham University, New York in 1970 and later read for a Masters in International Relations at The New School for Social Research in 1974. In 1997, the University of Namibia had the honor to award him a (Doctorate of Laws) Honoris Causa. He obtained a Doctor of Philosophy from Leeds University in the United Kingdom in 2004, with his thesis titled, State Formation in Namibia: Promoting Democracy and Good Governance. In 2015, Dr. Geingob received from his alma mater, Fordham University an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. A recipient of many international awards in recognition of his exceptional leadership in different areas of human endeavor, President Geingob is also the recipient of the Order of José Martí award for his exceptional leadership from the Government of the Republic of Cuba.

Following the termination of the South African mandate over Namibia in 1966, the United Nations assumed direct responsibility and subsequently established a Nationhood Program for Namibia that included the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) in Lusaka, Zambia. Dr. Geingob was assigned by SWAPO to be a member of the UN Namibian team as political affairs officer. Dr. Geingob was appointed Director at UNIN from 1975-1989, an institution he established whose core function was sectoral policy research and to train cadres for the future civil service of an independent Namibia. In 1989, he was chosen by the SWAPO leadership to lead a cohort of senior SWAPO leaders and Namibians in exile to Namibia under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 435. Following the successful United Nations supervised elections in 1989, where he held the position of Director of Elections of SWAPO.

Dr. Geingob was elected Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, the body that was responsible for drafting the Constitution of an Independent Namibia.

At Independence, on the 21st of March 1990, Dr. Geingob was appointed as the first Prime Minister, where he dismantled the Apartheid administrative system in favour of an inclusive public service geared towards serving the interests of all Namibians. Dr. Geingob served for twelve years in the position of Prime Minister, before taking a brief break from the political scene. In 2005, Dr. Geingob returned to active politics and served as Chief Whip of the SWAPO Party in the National Assembly and Chaired the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration.

Following his election in 2007 as Vice President of SWAPO, Dr. Geingob was appointed in 2008 as the Minister of Trade and Industry. As Minister, Dr. Geingob spearheaded the assistance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) through the Equipment Aid Scheme, the Industrial Policy and the creation of the SME Bank.

Dr. Geingob was elected as the Vice President of SWAPO Party during the November 2007 SWAPO Party Congress. In 2012, Dr. Geingob was re-elected as the Vice President of the SWAPO Party, following which he was again reappointed as Prime Minister in 2012 until his election as President of Namibia in November 2014.

Dr. Hage Geingob along with his colleagues was a major player in various regional, continental and international forums. He presence and contribution was highly appreciated and left a indelible mark in international affairs. On the regional stage, Dr. Geingob served as Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. He was also a actively involved in the work of the African Union, contributing to ensuring Peace and Stability across the continent. On the front of the United Nations, President Geingob shared a deep understanding for its work in development, peace and security and indeed he was a passionate Member of The African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government on the United Nations Security Council Reforms. As President of Namibia, he played a crucial role in our engagement with the Commonwealth of Nations.

A fervent defender of the unity of the Namibian people, his themes are: "Inclusivity spells harmony, exclusivity spells conflict; "One Namibia, One Nation" and that "No one should feel left out in the Namibian House". A proponent of partnership in government and enhanced transparency and accountability in the public service. President Geingob led the creation of the Anti-Corruption Commission as Prime Minister in the 1990s.

Concerned with the acceleration of development and prosperity for the Namibian people, President Geingob initiated the Harambee Prosperity Plan I and II, with the stated objective of strengthening the Effective Governance Architecture, the Social Progression of the vulnerable, Economic and Infrastructure Advancement for Namibia, as well as the enhancement of Namibia's standing in the International arena. Dr. Geingob championed the creation of Namibia's Sovereign Wealth Fund to ensure sustainable development for generations to come.

His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob is survived by his dear wife Madame Monica Geingos, eight (8) children and three (3) grandchildren, two (2) siblings and many nieces and nephews.

Go well my friend, the son of Namibia. We will forever miss you and ALWAYS remember you. Rest in Eternal Peace.

AllAfrica publishes around 400 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.