Geingob wants closer ties with UK

11 Oct 2017 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 11 OCT (NAMPA) - President Hage Geingob has said the prospective withdrawal of Britain from the European Union (EU) should be viewed as a positive step for Namibia and Africa in general.
In a statement issued by the Office of the President Tuesday, Geingob said Brexit should be taken as an opportunity for the proliferation of enhanced and mutually beneficial partnerships between the United Kingdom (UK) and African states.
The President made these remarks on Tuesday when he addressed the Burj Chief Executive Officer Business Summit in the House of Lords in London in the United Kingdom.
The House of Lords is the Upper Chamber of Great Britain’s bicameral legislature.
Addressing the House on invitation as a special guest, Geingob said with the rise of the EU, the Commonwealth seemed to be relegated to the rear-view mirror, noting that Namibia remains hopeful that Brexit can result in the strengthening of the Commonwealth.
“We have entered into Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU, but Brexit offers an opportunity for us to engage in bilateral negotiations with the UK regarding trade opportunities,” the President remarked.
Geingob said Africa is “on the march” as it is no longer characterised by coups and one-party states, but instead there has been a rise and spread of multi-party electoral democracy.
“We have taken matters of peace, security and the rule of law into our own hands. Those who come into power through unlawful means are ostracised,” he said.
The President noted that African countries have put in place robust governance architectures and macro-economic fundamentals.
Besides being a natural and mineral resource rich continent, Africa is also a human capital rich continent, having the fastest growing youth population in the world, he said.
Turning to Namibia, the Head of State said Namibia has been a shining beacon of democracy since gaining independence in 1990.
Geingob said the holding of regular, free and fair elections have become the norm rather than the exception in Namibia, as the country has conducted six such elections in less than 26 years.
'Brexit' is the popular term for the prospective withdrawal of the UK from the EU. British people voted on Brexit on 23 June 2016 and motivated by many factors of regional integration but can be summarised into two - border control and trade.