Foreign policy should extend domestic policy: Geingob

26 Jul 2016 07:40am
WINDHOEK, 26 JUL (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has called for the Foreign Policy to be an extension to the domestic policy that serves Namibia’s interests at home.
Geingob said this while officiating at the opening of the five-day Foreign Policy Review conference in the capital on Monday.
The President referred to the Foreign Policy as the International Relations and Cooperation Policy that will update the current Foreign Policy in extension of the domestic policy, by taking into consideration other documents such as the National Development Plans (NDP) and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
The International Relations and Cooperation Policy whitepaper aims to analyse the impact of global changes on domestic policies; reflect on new and emerging issues; and identify strategic priorities of international relations and cooperation.
Geingob said his first year in office has produced documents important to the country’s future over the next four years.
“We have, furthermore, devoted the first year in office to formulating a home grown developmental agenda, HPP, which elucidates the Namibian narrative and our developmental priorities over the next four years.”
As the country is in the process of formulating the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) and with HPP in place, the Head of State noted that it is time to undertake a review of the International Relations and Cooperation Policy since domestic and foreign policies should speak to one another.
“We would like to Harambee not only in Namibia but we would like the World to Harambee with us.”
Harambee is kiSwahili for 'let's pull together'.
The HPP has a strong emphasis on the eradication of poverty and adding value to Namibia’s natural resources in efforts to redistribute wealth; something that requires a concerted effort from all spheres, including foreign investors.
Geingob said the policy review should pay attention to the promotion of foreign investment through win-win partnerships.
He stressed that economic diplomacy needs to be employed in order to connect investment opportunities with investors, with an aim to finance Namibia’s developmental objectives.
“It is crucial that we emphasise and support the capacity building of our Foreign Service personnel and our diplomatic missions in order to become effective economic ambassadors.”
He then called on all Namibian diplomats to be transparent and serve the country's interests at all levels of economic emancipation, adding it is about a lot more than just a paper or policy.
“Just like our people do not eat good policies, our people also do not eat good diplomacy. So how can we ensure that diplomacy speaks to our aspiration of attaining prosperity?”
Geingob noted that the social deficit and inequalities present the greatest threat to democracy in Namibia and globally.
This is the reason why the Namibian Government has decided to declare all out war against poverty, corruption and inequality.
The Head of State stressed that Government alone cannot resolve these deficits and called for the full participation of the private sector and all stakeholders.
The conference brings together over 600 participants including Namibian diplomats, government ministers and the general public.
The conference ends on Friday.