Service culture in Namibia must still go a long way

If any stakeholders in the Hosea Kutako International Airport at Windhoek were present at the official opening of Peugeot-Opel Assembly Namibia (POAN) in Walvis Bay on Wednesday, they would have been feeling uncomfortable. Namibia’s Head-of-State President Hage Geingob described the airport’s as “ugly”, but added had proper procedures been followed in the tender process, for the upgrade of the Airport, it would have been a different scenario all together.

“I am the culprit”, Dr Geingob said of Government’s cancelling of the multi-billion Namibia Dollar airport upgrade project of which the tender originally went to a Chinese construction consortium.
“We stopped it, because procedures (tender procedures) were not followed”, explained Dr Geingob, questioning for instance how an original tender of value could balloon to more than N$200 million.
President Geingob made it clear in no uncertain terms that he values the 3rd wave leadership values where processes, systems and institutions form the core. “Go through the system… Don’t come to me with your investment problems”, explained Dr Geingob.

President Geingob’s remarks were part of a bigger scenario in which he said the service culture in Namibia, in contrast with other Afri-can nations, still has a long way to go. Both in the public- and private spheres.
President Geingob described how in other African nations one is greeted with a smile. People are happy to help you.
Without pointing the finger to anyone specific, the President said Namibians should up their game in the service culture. That is specifically important if the country wants to attract more foreign direct investment and tourists.
The President did take immigration officials as an example though where he said immigration officials are the first line of contact with people coming to Namibia. Friendliness and helpfulness are critical in this instance, however these traits should not only be confined to first line of contact officials and staff but everyone in any state department or private sector organisation should adopt these qualities to make Namibia more competitive to attract foreigners to our shores for investment and tourism.

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