|Iyambo, Nickey - Swapo|
|Nickey Iyambo is a medical doctor by training who ran health services at Kwanza Sul, a major Swapo settlement in Angola, prior to independence.
In 1990 he was given the Health portfolio, ahead of Swapo’s other top doctor, Libertina Amathila. She would take over from him six years later.
At Health he was responsible for getting Namibia’s AIDS awareness campaign off the ground and setting up the national primary health care system. He had chaired Swapo’s AIDS committee in exile from 1986 to 1989.
He swapped places with Amathila in September 1996, as part of President Nujoma’s rotation system. At Local Government he oversaw the development of the government’s decentralisation policy, but was moved to Mines and Energy in 2002 before it could have much impact on the ground.
Soft-spoken and accommodating, he describes himself as “down to earth and very approachable” (questionnaire, 2004). He is a popular figure in the party, coming near the top in Central Committee elections at congresses since independence. In 2002 he was finally elected to serve on the party’s Politburo.
In 2005 he became the second oldest member of Hifikepunye Pohamba’s first Cabinet (after the President himself) when he was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
Iyambo travelled into exile in 1964 and was part of the small group of Namibians based in Tanzania who developed Swapo into a dynamic international force in the 1960s. He spent much of the 1970s in Finland studying medicine, before taking up Swapo posts in Angola in the 1980s.
Before he left for exile he was Namibia’s first black post master.
|Born on May 20 1936 at Onayena in the Oshikoto region. Lives in Windhoek.|
|Medical degree, Helsinki University (1980). BA (Medicine), Helsinki University, (1974). MA, Political Science, Helsinki University (1970). MSc, Social Science, Helsinki University (1969).|
|Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry since 2005. Minister of Mines and Energy (2002-2005). Minister of Regional and Local Government and Housing (1996-2002). Minister of Health and Social Services (1990-96). Member of National Assembly since 1990. Member of Constituent Assembly (1989-90). Head of Swapo-UN Liaison Office (1989). Head of Swapo Medical Services, Kwanza Sul (1985-1989). Head of Swapo’s military health service (1981-85). Swapo Secretary for Education and Culture (1970-1972). Swapo Chief Representative to the Nordic countries (1967-72). Broadcaster for external services, Radio Tanzania (1964). Clerk for Etosha Petroleum company (1963-64). Swapo Branch Secretary in Katutura (1962-64). Namibia’s first black postmaster (1962-63).|
|All laws relating to mines and energy, including those dealing with economic and social matters.|
|Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Private Bag 13184, Windhoek; tel: (061) 208 7111.|