Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

NEWLY sworn-in Namibian president Hage Geingob on Saturday says he will focus on poverty eradication, social inequalities, the economy and improved service delivery.

"People have high expectations. They want food, shelter and clothing. They want a leader to act quickly, thus the challenges must be met," Geingob said delivering his first address as the country’s third president.

"People cannot eat a constitution or democracy and our first priority is to declare war on poverty and inequality.

"We will have a brand new ministry. The ministry of poverty eradication," Mr Geingob said.

On economic reforms, he said his government would set up a ministry of state enterprises and would diversify the economy to encourage increased local value addition in order to create more jobs.

"We want to strengthen the government architecture and develop new parameters and must all work together to review from time to time the architecture of the Namibian House and build this House. No Namibian will be left out," said Mr Geingob.

At the inauguration ceremony, which coincided with Namibia’s 25th independence jubilee, the country’s first-ever Vice-President Nuckey Iyambo was sworn in, as well as the new Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and her deputy Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also foreign minister.

Namibia’s 25 years of independence was marked with a colourful military parade in a sports stadium.

"Today 25 years ago a new and liberated nation was born after a long struggle for freedom, for which our heroes and heroines paid a high price and moulded a new nation," outgoing President Hifikepunye Pohamba told a packed stadium.

"Namibia obtained its freedom through the help of many friendly nations like Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Cuba," Mr Pohamba said.

He handed Mr Geingob the symbols of power — the national seal, the national flag and a specially bound copy of the Constitution. Mr Geingob then took the oath of office. He was sworn in by Namibia’s Chief Justice Peter Shivute.

As head of state, Geingob is now also commander-in-chief of the Namibia Defence Force.

Several heads of state, among them Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, King Mswati of Swaziland, South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Thabo Mbeki and African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma attended the ceremony.

Sapa