THE United States Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mathew Harrington applauded Namibia’s success in bringing the HIV epidemic from crisis to control, thanks to the partnership between the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services at a recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit.
Harrington paid a visit to Namibia during the week of 17-21 June, with engagements covering the broad U.S.-Namibia partnership.
Harrington delivered an address at the Ministers’ of Health Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Meeting on a Sustainable HIV Response for Epidemic Control and in his remarks, applauded Namibia’s success in bringing the HIV epidemic from crisis to control, thanks to the partnership between the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services. Harrington also explained that PEPFAR has invested more than US$75 billion in sub-Saharan Africa, which has helped save more than 17 million lives and prevented millions more HIV infections.
At the Katutura Health Centre, Harrington saw an example of Namibia’s success in combatting HIV/AIDS in person, where Namibia is expanding its global leadership in fighting HIV by implementing index partner testing and recency testing. This approach will allow Namibia to prevent the spread of HIV by strategically focusing on recent HIV infections and people who are most at-risk of new infection.
During his visit Harrington also met with the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and Social Services and, the Minister of Environment and Tourism. He also had an opportunity to visit the Walvis Bay port expansion project to better understand Namibia’s strategy to become a logistics hub for the sub region.
Harrington also had the opportunity to explain the U.S. model of partnership that offers sustainable, debt-free avenues for African growth, prosperity, and human capital development. He emphasized that U.S. companies are attracted to countries known for their ease of doing business and their consistent policy and regulatory environments. He expressed enthusiasm about the opportunities for further growth in trade and investment between the United States and Namibia, especially through the Prosper Africa initiative launched at last week’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Maputo, Mozambique.
In other engagements, Harrington met with representatives of American businesses present in Namibia and had lunch with alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the Fulbright Scholarship, and the International Visitor Leadership Program.
He was also able to visit Swakopmund’s COSDEF Arts and Crafts Centre constructed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and also met with Peace Corps Volunteers who are dedicating two years of their lives to community development all around Namibia.