Namibia, Senegal strengthen ties

Windhoek ‑ Namibia and Senegal have strengthened their long-standing bilateral relationship with the recent signing of agreements in politics, economic, tourism and health.
The two African states signed four agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to deepen bilateral co-operation following Senegalese President Macky Sall’s six-day state visit to Namibia.
They signed agreements on the establishment of the Joint Commission of Co-operation; Agreement on Tourism and Hospitality Industry; MoU on Political and Diplomatic Consultations and MoU on Recruitment of Health Professionals and Medical Experts. Namibia and Senegal have an existing general agreement on economic, trade, cultural, scientific and technological co-operation signed in 2003, following a state visit to Senegal by former president Sam Nujoma.   President Hifikepunye Pohamba emphasised the importance of the agreements that were concluded at State House on August 30, saying that they will cement co-operation between Namibia and Senegal.
He pointed out mining, agriculture and fisheries as areas of focus. President Sall and his 24-member delegation were in the country at the invitation of his Namibian counterpart.
The 51-year-old Senegalese leader was also the guest of honour at the commemoration of Heroes Day at Omugulu gwoombashe on August 26.
During official talks held at the northern town of Oshakati, the two leaders discussed wide ranging issues on bilateral, regional and international matters of common interest.
They underscored the need for the two countries to operationalise the general agreement on economic, trade, cultural, scientific and technological co-operation.
They further reaffirmed their commitment to deepen these relations of co-operation for mutual benefit.
Senegal has a special relationship with Namibia, having played a pivotal role in the country’s struggle for self-rule during the 1970s.
In 1973, the West African country was part of the members of the United Nations Council for Namibia and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) that successfully sponsored a UN General Assembly Resolution declaring SWAPO as the sole and representative of the Namibian people. In 1976, Senegal was among OAU member states that backed another UN resolution that endorsed the legitimacy of the use of the armed struggle by the Namibian people.
Hence, President Pohamba expressed “deepest gratitude and appreciation” for the political, and diplomatic support rendered by Senegal during Namibia’s struggle for independence. And in recognition of Senegal’s Pan-African solidarity with the Namibian people during their trying times, the Senegalese President was conferred the country’s highest order – the Order of the Most Ancient Welwitschia Mirabilis.
The two African leaders also discussed political and economic situations prevailing on the continent. They expressed deep concerns about insecurity prevailing in some regions and hailed the on-going efforts by the African Union (AU) in addressing these challenges. President Pohamba and President Sall also emphasised the important role of the UN Security Council in maintaining peace and security in conformity with the UN Charter. In the same vein, they stressed the African common position on UN Security Council reform, which call for Africa to be accorded two permanent seats as well five non-permanent seats on the Security Council.

August 2013
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