Bernhardt Esau

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Bernhardt Esau
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
In office
Preceded by Wilfried Emvula
Succeeded by Tjekero Tweya
Personal details
Born (1957-12-09) 9 December 1957 (age 60)
South West Africa
Nationality Namibia Namibian
Political party Flag of South West Africa People's Organisation.svg SWAPO
Residence Windhoek
Occupation Trade unionist, politician

Bernhardt Esau (born 9 December 1957) is a Namibian politician who is Minister of Fisheries in the Cabinet of Namibia. A member of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), Esau has been a member of the National Assembly since being chosen by President Sam Nujoma in 1995. He also served as Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry from 1999 to 2010.


Esau was born in Swakopmund, Erongo Region on 9 December 1957. He earned his matric at St. Josephs Training College in Dobra in 1977 and graduated from the University of Fort Hare in 1984. Esau rose through the Mineworkers Union of Namibia to become secretary general of the umbrella National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) in 1991. In 1992, during a time of debate concerning the role of Namibia's trade unions, Esau favored maintaining an alliance with SWAPO. However, Esau later in 1994 suggested that the trade unions could form their own political party if workers' rights continued to be ignored by the SWAPO government. In the same year, the Swakopmund native was placed on the National Assembly list for SWAPO and was voted into the National Assembly in elections the next year. Esau was a member of the politburo of SWAPO from 1991 to 1997 and the Central Committee of the party since 1991. As Deputy Minister, Esau had to support liberal economic policies, including the setting up of export processing zones in Namibia where labour laws do not apply.[1]

Esau later served as Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources. In President Hage Geingob's Cabinet, appointed in March 2015, Esau was retained in his post as Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources.[2]


  1. ^ Bernhardt Esau Archived June 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. at Namibia Institute for Democracy
  2. ^ "Geingob announces Cabinet", The Namibian, 20 March 2015.
Preceded by
Wilfried Emvula
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
Succeeded by