PRESIDENT Hage Geingob officially welcomed President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House at the start of an official three day state visit by the Zimbabwean head of state.
During a meeting held between the two heads of state, responsible government representatives from both countries signed seven agreements and memoranda of understanding that would further consolidate the strong relations that already exist between Namibia and Zimbabwe.
In this regard a Terms of Reference for the Operationalisation of the Joint Trade and Economic Committee (JTEC), a Memorandum of Understanding on the Promotion of SMEs, a revised Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Information Media and Broadcasting, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology Development, a twinning Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Kavango East Region and Mashonaland West Province, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Namibia Customs and Excise on Mutual Administrative Assistance and a Memorandum of Understanding between the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Namibia Customs and Excise on the Practical Implementation of the Bilateral Trade Agreement between the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of Zimbabwe were signed.
In his welcoming address President Geingob said although good progress with regards to cooperation has already been made the two countries should place emphasis on their joint efforts to promote economic growth and sustainable development.
“It is imperative to ensure that agreements between our countries are timeously implemented.”
President Geingob’s full address reads as follows:
It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Namibia, to welcome Your Excellency and your delegation to Namibia. Your visit is a further affirmation of the determination of our governments to continue strengthening the strong bonds of friendship between our people, which are anchored in a shared history, and based on principles of mutual respect and African solidarity.
Since Namibia’s independence in 1990, our governments ventured on avenues aimed at identifying areas of mutual cooperation, with a view to strengthening and consolidating bilateral ties. To this end, we established the Namibia- Zimbabwe Joint Commission of Cooperation in 1992. This important Commission has met regularly and laid the basis for our cooperation.
Our Senior Officials and Ministers met earlier this week at the 9th Session of our Joint Commission of Cooperation which concluded yesterday. While noting the good progress made, we should place emphasis on our joint efforts to promote economic growth and sustainable development. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that agreements between our countries are timeously implemented.
Namibia has benefited immensely from the development assistance rendered by the Government of Zimbabwe, in a variety of fields and disciplines. The government and fraternal people of Zimbabwe, despite the many difficult challenges you are facing, continues to enrich the human resources capacity of Namibia, thereby supplementing our development efforts. For this, Your Excellency, we remain grateful.
We have also been closely cooperating in the establishment of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, which holds great potential for the advancement of regional tourism, sustainable management of shared resources, and community empowerment.
Our countries further cooperate in the field of information dissemination. We have jointly established a newspaper, The Southern Times, with the objective of providing alternative print media with balanced news reports from an African perspective. We look forward to realizing a regional paper to tell our good story from our perspective.
In pursuing our common objectives, I am confident that
Namibia and Zimbabwe will continue to work together, in facing the daunting challenges posed by HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, poverty and underdevelopment, which negatively affect the economic and social conditions of our people.
The SADC region will be faced with a power crisis if we do not re-double and harmonize joint efforts aimed at averting this ominous situation. It is therefore gratifying to note that our power utilities are engaged in negotiations to extend the additional power supply.
We duly recognise that the private sector is the engine of economic growth and it is for this reason that we felt the need to speedily adjust the Preferential Trade Agreement between our countries. In the same vein, we are delighted that our countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises, a move that will positively boost trade and commerce between our people.
In the context of international relations, I am happy to state that Namibia and Zimbabwe remain active members of theAfrican Union, the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and other international organizations. Both our countries hold a common position on the need to reform the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, in order to ensure equity and fairness.
As members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibia and Zimbabwe are committed to the process of regional economic integration, which is crucial in our common efforts towards sustainable economic and social development.
Before I conclude, I wish to state that I have no doubt that we can look at the bilateral interaction between our countries over the years with considerable satisfaction. I am pleased to note that our ensuing deliberations will be rewarded by the signing of seven Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, a clear testimony of our commitment to further consolidate the strong and warm relations that so exist between our countries.