Namibian president visits South Africa

7 November 2012

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba kicked off a two-day state visit to South Africa on Tuesday, holding talks with President Jacob Zuma, witnessing the signing of three agreements between the two countries, and addressing the National Assembly in Cape Town.

The three agreements cover the establishment of a bi-national commission between the two countries, as well as cooperation on infrastructure and public works and meteorology.

Bi-national commission

Addressing the media following the signing of the agreements, Zuma said that Namibia and South Africa continued to enjoy close relations in various fields.

“In this regard, we have noted with great appreciation the noticeable progress that has been achieved in strengthening the political, economic and social co-operation between the two countries,” Zuma said.

The South Africa-Namibia bi-national commission commission will meet annually, alternating between Pretoria and Windhoek, and will include economic, defence and security, social and diplomatic sub-commissions.

Meeting with Zuma

Earlier, Pohamba and Zuma discussed issues of trade, infrastructure, education, energy, tourism, science and technology and security.

The two presidents also discussed political developments in the region and more widely, and agreed to consult on political issues on an ongoing basis.

Pohamba said he and Zuma had also talked about the urgent need to make international bodies such as the UN Security Council, World Bank and IMF more representative.

Address to National Assembly

On Tuesday afternoon, Pohamba received a rousing reception from MPs when he stood up to address South Africa’s National Assembly.

Saluting the strong bonds between his country and South Africa, Pohamba congratulated former Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on her recent election as AU Commission chairperson, and said Namibia would extend its full support to her.

Pohamba also commended South Africa for hosting the Pan-African Parliament, which he said was an important continental institution for African policymakers to promote and strengthen the ideals of Pan-Africanism and democratic governance.

Good progress, he said, had been made in co-operation between the South Africa and Namibia in trade, capacity building, energy, infrastructure development, environmental conservation and sustainable socio-economic development.

Pohamba said Namibia, like South Africa, backed the formation of a Free Trade Area bringing together the East African Community, Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

He urged Africans to further strengthen unity and work together to harness the vast human and natural resources on the continent for the benefit of all Africans.

“We recognise that the task of developing our countries, our region and our continent has not been easy. However, we must remain steadfast in our resolve that we can overcome the challenges ahead.”