HWPL holds ‘Tribalism and Namibia' webinar
Around 200 people attended the event, which was themed "Building the Namibia We Want: The Road to Ending Tribalism".
Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) hosted a webinar titled "Tribalism and Namibia" on July 28, 2022, in collaboration with the International Women Peace Group (IWPG) and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG).
Around 200 people attended the event, which was themed "Building the Namibia We Want: The Road to Ending Tribalism" and included government officials, religious leaders, civil society organizations, and women and youth leaders.
In his opening remarks, former mayor of Henties Bay and Namibian war veteran Hermann Hosabe /Honebg mentioned Namibia's political, cultural, and economic history.
There are 11 tribes and ethnic groups in Namibia. Tribalism has the potential to significantly shape a country, creating both visible and invisible borders that can influence decision-making.
Minority tribes have struggled for land, authority, and natural resources as tribalism and regionalism have persisted.
The lack of representation has also created a schism in the social and political spheres, impeding the country's long-term national development.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Levy Nyirenda of the Regional Focal Point for East and Southern Africa for the UN Group for Children and Youth shared that “We have seen brutal killings, disruption of projects, and hindrances in development due to tribalism. What we need to spread is heavenly culture to achieve a society that is not tribal. As young people, we need to think of the future world we would like to live in and take ownership of our societies.”
He went on to say that Namibians must change their minds about the existence of tribalism by launching awareness campaigns to change the imaginations of our children and youth.
Youth guest speaker, Mr. Robert Maseka, founder and managing director of the Rob Youth Foundation, said, “To curb tribalism, we need a strong majority from all tribes to advocate for equality, to achieve the One Namibian Dream. We should develop a sense of unity from our past by creating structures that support the Namibian dream. We should save the land of the brave before tribal wars erupt.”
Mr. Obyster Muleke from the Ministry of Gender presented ''Tribalism continues to affect resource distribution in Namibia'' and “Tribalism has become political in nature, individuals' capacities to lead are determined by what tribe they come from''.
He stated that we should address tribalism as soon as possible in order to avoid a larger crisis.
In keeping with the theme, Namibian HWPL co-ordinator Ms. Aina Shiimi presented a case study on the impact of Culture for Peace achieved by HWPL in Mindanao, a Philippine island.
She compared the Mindanao conflict with the troubles of tribalism in Namibia saying that ''the long-standing entanglement of troubles has led to a lack of national harmony and co-prosperity. In the Mindanao conflict, there was mediation by a third party in addition to the efforts of the parties to the conflict."
HWPL is a non-governmental organization whose main goal is to establish long-term peace by ending armed conflict and promoting a culture of peace through various initiatives such as establishing international law for peace based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW), HWPL Peace Education, and Dialogues for Religious Harmony.