Namibia and Norway to bolster political ties

11 Apr 2019 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 11 APR (NAMPA) – Namibia and Norway are set to elevate their political relationship after having enjoyed a great friendship for the better part of the last 50 years.
This is according to Marianne Hagen, Norway’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Hagen made these comments in an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, shortly after her meeting with President Hage Geingob.
“Norway and Namibia have a longstanding relationship. We are very good friends. Now is the time for stepping up the political relations. This is why I am here,” she said.
Asked to explain what she meant regarding the bolstering of the two countries’ political relationship, Hagen pointed to Namibia’s political independence, which according to her calls for a change in their relationship.
She said the time has come for them to become equal partners, as opposed to Namibia being seen as a country that relies on Norway for aid.
“I see an urgent need for more political contact, not only aid. The political contact (means) being together as equal partners to work and solve those global challenges we see,” Hagen said.
The Norwegian minister noted that they also discussed how the two countries can better their trade relations.
The two countries also discussed ways to build partnership in areas of common interest like business, employment creation and sustainable development.
“Private sector growth, jobs for young people (and) economic prosperity are very important for Africa, for Namibia as it is for other countries. So, we discussed that,” she noted.
Norway, she said, would explore possible areas of cooperation with Namibia, especially in solar energy.
Hagen said Norway was negotiating with Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member states for possible trade agreements, which Namibia is likely to benefit from.
“We have a free trade agreement, we are modernising it. Hopefully during the summer, we will finish the negotiation to the benefit of all,” she said.