Namibia, Zimbabwe enhance co-operation

HARARE – Zimbabwe and Namibia this week took their cordial relations to a whole new level with a three-day state visit by President Hage Geingob on Wednesday.

Upon his arrival, President Geingob visited the country’s National Heroes Acre before proceeding to tour the South Bank Hydro Project in Kariba where his government is the guarantor.

China’s Sinohydro is carrying out the three year expansion project, which is due for completion in December.

President Geingob will wrap up his visit by officially opening the country’s premier annual trade showcase – the Zimbabwe International Trade in Bulawayo on Friday.

The visit by the Namibian Head of State was preceded by the holding of the 8th Session of the Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation in Harare where officials from the two countries deliberated on a number of issues to enhance bilateral cooperation.

The meeting which began on Monday 24 April ended on Wednesday 26 with the adoption of the draft Agreed Minutes of the Commission.

Deliberations focused on the political, economic, social, cultural, legal and diplomatic spheres.

In his opening remarks, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Joey Bimha who is also the co-chair of the session urged delegates to take note of the last 7th commission session that took place in Namibia where targets were set in trade, agriculture, rural development, mining, energy, transport, civil aviation, human capital development, ICT, environment, tourism, education, sports, culture, health, youth, gender, legal matters, immigration and diplomacy.

“This wide and encompassing range of areas reflects the closeness of our ties and the commonality of our interest. Nevertheless, as we review the implementation of our projects and programmes.

“It will be necessary to make adjustments to our areas of cooperation taking into account, as well as those areas where there is little interest or movement,” Bimha said.

Although Bimha expressed displeasure in the implementation in some areas, he was generally pleased with the outcomes of the Joint Trade and Economic Committee held in Harare last year where trade opportunities between the two countries were identified.

He cited progress in the implementation of the Power Purchase Agreement signed in 2015, human capital development through the sending of professional staff to Namibia in engineering and legal fields including the training of Namibian diplomats.

Bimha said as sisterly countries which share common values and aspirations, it is prudent that the two countries regularly consult and exchange views on issues that affect them.

Head of the Namibian delegation and co-chair of the session, Deputy Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation Lineekela Mboti urged the two countries to accelerate progress in achieving set targets.

“Namibia and Zimbabwe have signed several cooperation agreements.

These instruments are catalysts for improved economic cooperation and political relations between the countries,” Mboti said.

The 8th session of the Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation was attended by Namibia’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Balbina Daes Penaar and Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Namibia Rofina Chikava among other officials. – Herald Reporter/TST Writer.

May 2017
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