You are on page 1of 8

Government Information

Bulletin
Government Information Bulletin Special Edition

Republic of Namibia Special Edition 2009

New State House inaugurated

FREE
1

President Hifikepunye Pohamba inaugurated the new State House in Auasblick, Windhoek, during Namibia’s
18th Independence anniversary on 21 March 2008

Inauguration More State House


In This Issue

Statement pictures Special Edition on


New State House by
popular demand
Page 2 Page 4-5
Government Information Bulletin Special Edition

ADDRESS BY H.E. HIFIKEPUNYE POHAMBA,


PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA, ON
THE OCCASION OF THE 18TH INDEPENDENCE
ANNIVERSARY AND INAUGRATION
OF THE NEW STATE HOUSE
21 MARCH 2008, WINDHOEK
At the very outset, I would like to kindly apartheid tyranny are today contributing free from war, victimisation, intimidation,
request you to rise, so that we can all meaningfully in shaping a brighter future racial discrimination and oppression.
observe a minute of silence in honour of for the Land of the Brave. These blossoming youth represent a
the late Comrade John Alfons Pandeni who new generation, the torch-bearers of our
passed away in a tragic vehicle accident Our hopes for a better future are reinforced democratic traditions and our country’s
on 14 March 2008. (I thank you, you may when we look at the flourishing youth, future. As we sing that our democracy is
be seated). a new generation of the “born-frees”, maturing, the “born-frees” will, as from this
Namibians who were born into a society year for the first time be able to exercise
Today, we celebrate the 18th Anniversary their democratic right of participating in
of the attainment of our nationhood.
As we gather here today, we recall the
Our hopes for a elections at different levels.

heartening events of that historic day, better future are The peace and political stability that our
when we hoisted our flag of freedom country has enjoyed over the years is one
and sovereignty for the first time. We reinforced when of the major achievements of our country
recall how we celebrated the lowering of and fitting tribute to the fallen heroes and
the apartheid flag of oppression, in the we look at the heroines of our revolution whose blood
knowledge that it would never again fly waters our freedom.
as a symbol of authority over our country.
flourishing youth,
2
The events of that historic day are still
vivid in our memories.
a new generation In this climate of stability and peace, we
have been able to implement policies and
of the “born-frees”, programmes aimed at improving the living
We can look back with pride at the many conditions of our people. In the face
successes that were achieved after Namibians who of numerous challenges and backlogs,
independence in many areas of social and progress has been made in many areas
economic development. We are proud, were born into a of social and economic development to
and rightly so, of the peace and stability expand service delivery and access to
that our country has enjoyed since that
society free from public amenities.
joyful day of 21 March 1990.
war, victimisation,
Freedom and independence has in many Access to education has been expanded
ways unleashed the potential of our intimidation, racial in all parts of the country. Literacy and
people who have taken advantage of their numeracy levels have increased. More
liberty to make tangible contributions to discrimination and Namibians have access to health care as
the development of our country. Many of the number of clinics, hospitals and health
those who were denied opportunities by oppression. centres have grown. Housing projects
Government Information Bulletin Special Edition

have been implemented in our urban foundation that has already been laid with regard to valuable experiences
centres as well as rural settlements. The under your leadership. and skills that Namibian workers gained
national electricity grid has been extended during the construction of a project of this
to cater for the growth of our towns and We will work tirelessly for the economic and magnitude.
cities. Rural electrification has changed social well-being of all Namibians. To many
the face of many rural communities across Namibians, you will go down in the history I would like to take this opportunity to
Namibia. of our country as one of the great sons commend all the people who have been
of Namibia who contributed immensely to involved in the completion of this project
Moreover, physical and communication the liberation of our Motherland. For this, for their hard-work, dedication, sharp
infrastructures have reached even the we say, once again, thank you very much skills and professionalism.
remote parts of the country. New roads for what you have done for the Namibian
have been built to facilitate economic people. May God continue to bless you. Your hard work has gone a long way in
activities and trade as well as to ensure enhancing our sovereignty and nationhood.
safer movement of people and goods. Few years ago, a decision was taken to I know that a conscious decision was made
Our railway network has been expanded construct a new seat for the Namibian that as far as possible, local construction
by more than 300 kilometers. The Presidency. The construction site was materials and decorations should be used
rehabilitation of roads and railways has handed over to the Mansudae Overseas to give the building a truly Namibian
enjoyed ongoing attention of our SWAPO Project Group from the Democratic character. As a result, local materials such
PARTY Government. People’s Republic of Korea in 2002. This as wood, granite and steel have been used
marked the beginning of the construction extensively.
Telephone connectivity has grown with both of the complex. During the construction
fixed lines and cellular communications. period, about forty (40) local companies Our guests will, therefore, be pleased to
Increasing numbers of Namibians are were engaged as sub-constructors. see how these local materials have been
joining the digital age through the use of blended together to create an aesthetically
the internet and related technologies. I The sub-contractors were assigned work pleasing atmosphere, incorporating many
can, therefore, proudly say that, despite such as electrical installations and air- representations of our country’s wide
the challenges, Namibians have many conditioning among others. Plant and natural and cultural diversity.
reasons to be proud on this occasion of equipment were also hired from local
the 18th Anniversary of our country’s suppliers and hundreds of jobs were There have been some concerns raised
freedom and independence. created. Thus, local companies and about the timing or even the need for this
workers have benefited greatly, not only project. In this regard, I wish to say that
This year, our Independence Anniversary in terms of financial earnings, but also this is a national asset which belong to no
celebration is coinciding with the
inauguration of the new State House,
a symbol of our nationhood and
sovereignty.

I wish, at this juncture, to thank His


Excellency Comrade Sam Nujoma, Father 3
of the Namibian Nation, for his vision and
conceptualisation of this project. This is
one of the projects that were initiated
during your tenure of office as President
of the Republic of Namibia.

Your devotion to nation building and


infrastructure development is admired
by all patriotic Namibians. It serves as
an inspiration to all peace-loving and
patriotic citizens of our Republic. I want
to assure you that the present leadership
of our SWAPO PARTY Government A scene at the inauguration of the New State House on
will continue to build on the strong 21 March 2008
Continues on page 6
State House

Above left a view of the A fountain w


Cabinet Chambers with a national sym
painting of the Namibian
flag on the wall.
On the right the impressive
chandelier in the dome of the
Cabinet Chamber. On the left the
President’s chair in the Cabinet
Chamber underneath the
Coat of Arms Touch-sensitive escalators leading to the
Cabinet Chambers

The banquet hall with a massive painting of a Welwitschia Mirabilis. On the opposite
side is a stage from where cultural groups and other artists can entertain guests
An outside view of the g
Left the media briefing premises
room, right the room
where the president
receives credentials,
below right the
conference room for
meetings with foreign
delegations. Below left
Mr. Abisai Shaningwa in
the new resource centre

Above and right-the


water fountain next t
the restaurant comes
life to the tunes of typ
Namibian music

Photos by Joseph Nekaya, Immanuel Thomas and Wilma Deetlefs


e in pictures

with elements from Namibia’s A painting of some of the members of Namibia’s Constituency Assembly,
mbols in front of State House under the chairpersonship of Dr. Hage Geingob can be seen in the
entrance hall to the State House

Oryx at the fountain at the


main entrance to State House

guest house on the State House

A painting of Namibia’s liberation struggle


The statues on
the right adorn
different corners in
State House while
the painting of the
Ruacana Falls greets
one on entering the
VIP section of the
A mural depicting Namibian
building. Below a
women dancing
homestead scene
to
s to
pical
Government Information Bulletin Special Edition

INAUGRATION OF THE NEW STATE HOUSE Continues from page 3

one else but the people of Namibia. It is a tarred road of more than 300 kilometres. of many people have been destroyed.
a project that had to be completed as part This road will enable safer movement Our Government is monitoring the flood
of our institution building strategy for our of people and goods in that part of situation closely and continuously. We
country. our country. It will promote trade and have already started to implement rescue
commerce, thereby enabling our people operations to take the affected people
For those who are not aware, the office who engage in income generating projects to safety and to provide them with food,
space in the existing State House, from to reach markets. medicines and water purification tablets.
where Namibian Presidents have operated
since independence, is very inadequate. Director of Ceremonies, The impact of the flood is going to be
As a result, officials are crammed into devasting for our country, especially in
small offices, while others are forced to As we celebrate this joyful occasion of terms of the destruction of infrastructures
share these small spaces. Surely, such our 18th Independence Anniversary, our such as houses, schools, clinics, businesses
a situation is not conducive for effective thoughts are with the thousands of our and roads. A few weeks ago, I declared
execution of important duties that these the flood situation in our country a national
officials are charged with. disaster. We are going to work tirelessly
There have been to ameliorate the impact of the floods.
I wish to stress that as a Government, we
are fully aware of what our priorities are. some concerns raised It is important that we work with resolve
It is for this reason that this project was
started many years after Cabinet declared
about the timing or and dedication so that our people can
rebuild their lives after the floods. At
top four priorities of our Government, even the need for this juncture, I would like to express
namely, education, health, agriculture and sincere thanks to the Namibian business
housing. This is borne out by the forward- this project. In this community, NGOs, individual citizen and
looking policies and budgetary allocations our development cooperation partners for
we have consistently made to these priority regard, I wish to say the financial and material assistance that
areas in order to improve service delivery, they have rendered to this flood victims.
expand access so that all Namibians can
that this is a national
enjoy the fruits of independence.
asset which belong to Director of Ceremonies,

The completion of this project adds to the no one else but the Namibia is honoured to receive and
list of other capital projects that have been host His Excellency Comrade Kim Yong
successfully implemented by our SWAPO people of Namibia. It Nam, President of the Presidium of
PARTY Government. the Supreme People’s Assembly of the
is a project that had Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,

6
These include the construction of new
roads in different parts of our country, the
to be completed as during this auspicious occasion of our
18th Independence Anniversary and the
rehabilitation of roads and railway lines, the
part of our institution Inauguration of the New State House.
completion of Phase One of the Northern
Railway Extension Project, the building of building strategy for Your presence here, Your Excellency,
Regional and Constituency Offices across is a re-affirmation of the strong bonds
Namibia, the expansion of water pipelines, our country. of friendship and co-operation that so
the building of new schools and clinics and happily exist between our two countries
many other projects. The list is endless. and peoples. These bonds have stood
compatriots who have been displaced by the test of time as they date back to the
We will continue to implement projects and the floods in the north and north east of years of Namibia’s struggle for national
programmes to facilitate economic growth our country. The floods have devasted liberation and independence under the
and improve the living conditions of our many communities and destroyed valuable leadership of SWAPO.
people. This year, the construction of the properties and assets.
Rundu-Elundu Road, via Nkurenkuru will Your country provided the Namibian people
start. This will lead to the construction of The livelihoods and sources of income with valuable political and material support
Government Information Bulletin Special Edition

Traditional dancers performing at the inauguration of the New State House


that enabled us to wage a successful the new building in the coming weeks and will live up to that noble expectation. I
struggle and to dislodge the apartheid months. I wish to take this opportunity call upon all Namibian citizens to continue
colonial machinery from our country. to commend all the people who were to maintain and promote peace, security
involved in this project for a job well-done. and stability. We should cherish and
Co-operation between our two countries The High Level Technical Committee, continue to promote the policy of National
has been growing over the years and one architects, the engineers, the artisans, Reconciliation.
aspect of this has been the participation the contractors, the sub-contractors and
of Korean citizens in the construction of others who have worked here for the past We should continue to promote national
this building. few years. We thank you wholeheartedly unity and shun the vices of tribalism,
for your toil and your sweat. regionalism, ethnicity, racial discrimination,
I feel it is fitting and we are honoured sexism and corruption. We should
indeed that you could join us on this You have built the people’s house that continue to pay tribute to our fallen heroes
occasion. stands as a symbol of the tenacity of the and heroines whose blood waters our
people of Namibia. freedom. Let us keep Namibia a winning 7
I am happy and proud that, this new nation among the community of nations.
State House, the people’s house, has Civil servants who will work within these
been completed. It will provide the staff walls should, at all times, serve the interest On this occasion of our 18th Independence
members of the Office of the President of the Namibian people. They should Anniversary and in the presence of all those
with improved working facilities. This pursue national development agenda in all who have come to witness this historic
will enable the Office of the President their official actions. This State House was occasion, it is my distinct honour and
to carry out its work and its mandate built to facilitate and enable the Office of privilege to declare, the peoples’ house,
more effectively in line with our national the President to accomplish its mandate. the new State House of the Republic of
development plans and Vision 2030. Namibia, officially open, and to wish all
The people of Namibia expect the Office our citizens a Happy 18th Independence
The new facilities will indeed provide an of the President, the highest office in Anniversary.
appropriate environment as the Office the land, to lead by example, to be the
strives for excellence in service delivery and epitome of efficiency and effectiveness Long Live the Republic of Namibia!
effectiveness. This inauguration paves the in-service delivery. I trust that with this
way for the relocation of staff members to new facility, the Office of the President I Thank You
Government Information Bulletin Special Edition

State House: General Information


The State House administrative block, which The main contractor on the site was a travelled the country to photograph nature
was inaugurated at the 18th anniversary of foreigner and the Koreans initially worked scene and to then capture these scenes on
Namibia’s independence on 21 March 2008, for 18 hours per day and seven days per canvas. Besides the paintings that depict
is a picture of splendor and good taste week to ensure the completion and timely the majestic Fish River Canyon, the Ruacana
and all Namibians should be proud of this delivery of the building to the Namibian Falls, the Spitzkoppe, the big five, culture
symbol that is to become one of the national Government. Towards the end, the builders scenes and the liberation struggle, several
heritage sites of independent Namibia. started working six days per week, taking wood carvings, murals and statues depicting
Sundays off to rest. the variety of cultures in Namibia adorn the
The State House administration block covers walls and corners of the new State House.
a massive 18 000 square metres of built-up Contrary to beliefs that only Koreans worked
area and with its solid construction, the new on the site, Mr. Fani said that more than From the ceilings of the different halls,
State House in Auasblick, Windhoek can 40 local contractors were involved in the including the Cabinet Chamber hang
easily outlive the next few generations if construction of the new State House. They chandeliers that were imported from different
properly maintained in years to come. were involved in providing wood and other countries around the world. In the different
material. However, due to the size of State conference rooms, lights that remind one of
Built and furnished at a cost of just under House, Namibian contractors were not always Moroccan lights immediately attract attention
N$400 million, the marble-clad pillars, able to deliver the required quantities, which when you enter the rooms. The floors are
granite and wooden floors, touch-sensitive forced the main contractor to source marble, covered with beautiful loose Persian rugs,
escalators, limestone tiles and a water limestone, granite and other items from leaving large areas of granite, marble or
fountain that performs to the tune of different countries abroad. wood to compete with the splendor of the
Namibian music, is awe-inspiring. carpets.
According to Mr. Fani, the contractors
No wonder that project manager Masoud sourced quality material, but always kept Conference rooms – both big and small – are
Fani proudly says that the new State House the price factor in mind. For instance, solid furnished with heavy wooden tables around
is unique in Africa, especially with reference wooden doors with copper handles are used which numerous comfortable leather chairs
to its size, the quality of the work, furnishings throughout the administrative block. Each are arranged. The rest of the halls and
and wealth of artwork that represents the set of doors weigh 190 kg. waiting areas also boast leather furniture –
different cultures, animal life and paintings some in black, others in brown and in the
of typical Namibian scenes and natural Mr. Fani speaks highly of the officials from waiting room adjacent to the conference
wonders known to draw tourists to the Land the Department of Works in the Ministry of room where the Head of State engages
of the Brave. Works and Transport with whom he worked in official talks with his counterparts, the
on this project. The team work was excellent stunning white leather furniture take your
According to Mr. Fani, the many negative and the two parties supported each other breath away.
rumours that were going around about the throughout the construction of State House.
new State House don’t hold water. Namibia The banquet hall in State House has Namibia’s
never had a State House. Now there is With the new State House magnificently national plant, the Welwitschia Mirabilis
one that is ready to take its place among overlooking the Namibian capital, Windhoek, painted on a whole wall and opposite the
the national heritage sites in the country. the challenges faced during the construction painted wall is a stage from where cultural
The construction of the new State House period have somewhat faded. Yes, agreed groups, choirs and musicians will entertain
was not a waste of taxpayers’ money, he Mr. Fani, they had challenges - with the guests during official events.
insisted. Construction costs are continuously construction, with different government
escalating and if the government had institutions, with the Windhoek Municipality While President Hifikepunye Pohamba and
postponed the construction of a state house and with finances. And the exceptionally his personnel will start working from the new
8 indefinitely, the cost would have gone well good rainy season of 2006 brought its own State House soon after its inauguration on
beyond the current amount that was spent. problems. 21 March 2008, the President will have to
wait a few more months before his official
The foundation of the new State House was Financial constraints resulted in only one residence will be habitable.
laid in September 2002 and the building was guest house being built, while the household
completed in five and a half years. Mr. Fani quarters also had to be scaled down to ensure Construction on the 3 500 square metre
is convinced that any other contractor would that expenses stay within the budget. residence started on 19 November 2007. The
have taken between seven to nine years to residence is being built with a grant made
complete the new State House and the cost State House boasts with a collection of available by the Chinese government. It is
would have been considerably more than paintings done by Namibian artists, as well expected that President Pohamba would be
the almost N$400 million spent. as paintings done by Korean artists who had able to move into the State House residence
in the not too distant future.

“Built and furnished at a cost of just under N$400 million, the


marble-clad pillars, granite and wooden floors, touch-sensitive
escalators, limestone tiles and a water fountain that performs to
the tune of Namibian music, is awe-inspiring.”