Namibia, South Africa commit to strengthen relations

03 Mar 2018 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 03 MAR (NAMPA) – Namibian President Hage Geingob and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have vowed to revive relations between their countries in the areas of trade, security, development, economy and cultural connections.
Speaking at State House in the capital on Friday night when welcoming Ramaphosa, Geingob said the spirit of comradeship is key in realising shared prosperity.
“It is why our bilateral relations and cooperation with South Africa is integral to achieving the desired levels of economic development and social progression,” said Geingob.
With South Africa being the largest exporter to Namibia (about 70 per cent), Geingob reminded Ramaphosa that “no country can prosper on its own”.
In 2017, total trade between South Africa and Namibia stood at N.dollars 64.1 billion.
“However, trade between our two countries, remains heavily skewed in favour of South Africa, with Namibia importing goods worth N.dollars 49.1 billion from South Africa, while exporting goods worth N.dollars 15 billion to South Africa,” Geingob bemoaned, reminding South Africa how important a trading partner Namibia is.
“Let us hold hands as neighbours, as brothers and sisters, to work with more determination towards the economic emancipation of our people,” Geingob continued.
In his statement, Ramaphosa said his visit was anchored on friendship renewal.
“We have been comrades in arms and comrades in struggle. We move forward now as comrades in developing our countries and you are correct in saying, you can choose your friend but you cannot choose your neighbours,” said Ramaphosa.
He said he looked forward to serious engagements at bi-national level with Namibia.
“We will be back here and engage on serious matters of the economy, on trade, our cultural connections, political relations and deal with issues that are obviously aimed at developing our two countries, growing our economies and taking our countries forward.”
Ramaphosa was accompanied by ministers Lindiwe Sisulu of International Relations and Cooperation and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula of Defence and Military Veterans. The two met with their counterparts Netumbo Nandi-Ndiatwah and Penda Ya Ndakolo for a closed-door session.
Geingob’s entourage on the evening included Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and safety minister Charles Namoloh.