Minister Calle Schlettwein Photo: New Era
New York — Calle Schlettwein served in a succession of government ministries as permanent secretary – the top civil servant post – since Namibia became independent in 1990. For most of the previous decade, he was an anti-apartheid activist and member of the independence movement Swapo , which has won by overwhelming margins in each of the elections in the succeeding 24 years. In 2010, Schlettwein was appointed to Parliament by President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba, who made him deputy finance minister and, in 2012, named him Minister of Trade and Industry . In an interview during a visit to New York, Schlettwein explained the growth policies being pursued by his government as it steers a country with a population of 2.3 million and an economy dwarfed by South Africa next door. Excerpts:
To start with a bit of background, you joined Swapo at a young age – not a particularly popular move in your German community, I assume – and you trained as a scientist.
Yes, I joined SWAPO in the early 1980s as a very young person. Things were still very much under apartheid. The war was raging. My siding with […]