NAMIBIAN President Hage Gottfried Geingob will this year officially open the 58th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
Born on August 3, 1941, President Geingob is the third President of Namibia.
He has been in office since March 21, 2015. President Geingob was the first Prime Minister of Namibia from March 21, 1990 to August 28, 2002.
He served as Prime Minister again from December 4, 2012 to March 21, 2015. Between 2008 and 2012, Geingob served as Minister of Trade and Industry.
He was Vice President of the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) between 2007 and 2015 and became President in 2015 when his predecessor, Hifikepunye Pohamba completed his term of office.
In November 2014, Geingob was elected President of Namibia by an overwhelming margin.
Geingob was born in the Grootfontein District of Namibia. He received his early education at Otavi in Namibia under the hated Bantu Education System.
He joined the Augustineum Training College in 1958 where most of today’s prominent political leaders of Namibia were educated.
In 1960, he was expelled from Augustineum for having participated in a march to protest the poor quality of education. He was, however, re-admitted and was able to finish the teacher-training course in 1961. Subsequently, he took up a teaching position at the Tsumeb Primary School in Central Namibia but soon discovered that his thirst for knowledge was unlikely to be quenched in Namibia. As a teacher, he also hated being an unwilling instrument in perpetuating the Bantu Education System.
Therefore, at the end of the school year, he left his job to seek knowledge and instruction that could help him change the system. With three of his colleagues, he walked away and hitch-hiked to Botswana to escape the system.
From Botswana, he was scheduled to go to Dar es Salaam on a plane chartered by the African National Congress (ANC). However, this plane was blown up by the South Africans when it was still on the ground because the time bomb went off prematurely. Subsequently, the apartheid regime also tightened up the “underground railway.” As a result, Geingob stayed on in Botswana where he was appointed Assistant South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) Representative in Botswana.
Awards and Honours
In 1980, he was awarded the Palmes Academiques (Officer Class) by the French government in recognition of his valuable services in education.
In 1987, he was awarded the Omugulugwombashe Medal (SWAPO) for bravery and long service.
In 1994, he was awarded an LL.D (Doctorate of Laws) Honoris Causa by Columbia College, Chicago, USA.
In 1994, he was awarded the second highest order in Cuba, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes.
In 1994, he was awarded the Order of the Sun 1st Class by the Government of Namibia for providing outstanding political leadership.
In 1995, he was awarded an LL.D. (Doctorate of Laws) Honoris Causa by the University of Delhi, India.
In 1997, he was awarded an LL.D. (Doctorate of Laws) Honoris Causa by the University of Namibia.
In 1998, he was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) by The American University of Rome.
In 1998, he was elected Chairman of the 14th Meeting of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance
In 2004, he was appointed member of the International Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
In 2006, he was appointed member of the Trustco Group Holdings board of directors – the biggest Namibian conglomerate to date.
In 2015, he was conferred the Order of Welwitschia Mirabilis by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba upon his inauguration as Namibia’s Third democratically elected President on March 21, 2015.