8 November 2010
South African President Jacob Zuma and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba agreed on a package of enhanced co-operation during Zuma’s latest visit to the country, while urging completion of the Trans-Kalahari Rail Initiative.
Zuma, accompanied by a delegation of five ministers and two deputy ministers, concluded a successful working visit to Namibia on Friday.
According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Zuma and Pohamba agreed on a package of enhanced co-operation on issues including marine and coastal management, transport and communication, agriculture, energy, science and technology, trade, and regional integration.
The two presidents also checked on progress made in the implementation of the Trans-Kalahari Rail Initiative, which forms part of the Trans-Kunene Corridor.
“The two presidents highlighted the importance of this project and expressed the view that its completion would contribute to the intra-regional trade through the movement of goods, services and people,” said department spokesman Saul Molobi.
Recognising the increase in cooperation in various sectors, Zuma and Pohamba also agreed the South Africa-Namibia Bi-National Commission should be held annually, focusing not only on economic issues, as is currently the case, but also on social and security issues.
Speaking ahead of his visit last week, Zuma said the cooperation between Windhoek and Pretoria offered real prospects for mutual development and growth, while at the same time expanding economic opportunities and investment between the two countries.
He said Namibia and South Africa should establish a symbiotic link between broader continental efforts, as well as those of the region, for infrastructure development.
“In this regard, we should spare no efforts in increasing the momentum of integration between the South African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC)”, Zuma said. “This tripartite economic project holds real prospects for contributing to continental efforts aimed at increasing intra-Africa trade.”
Namibia imports more than 80 percent of its goods from South Africa, while almost all Namibian exports end up in South Africa or go via it.
Both countries also belong to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).