STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY CHARLES B JOSOB, HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA TO THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA,ON THE OCCASION OF THE 27TH  ANNIVERSARY OF NAMIBIA’S INDEPENDENCE

ACCRA, GHANA                       

21 MARCH 2017

Director of Ceremonies,

Honourable Dr.  Matthew Prempeh,Minister of Education, our Chief Guest,

Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

 

Distinguished Invited Guests,

 

Members of the Media,

 

Friends of Namibia,

It is a great honour for me, on behalf of the Government and the people of Namibia, and indeed on my own behalf, to sincerely welcome you all to this joyous occasion, of celebrating the 27th Independence Day of the Republic of Namibia.

I am particularly delighted, that despite your busy schedules, you have accepted my invitation to celebrate this historic milestone for our beloved Namibia.

First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere congratulations to His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo for winning the December 7th elections and having been sworn in as the 5th President of the 4th Republic of this great nation. Equally, my congratulations to you, Honourable Minister for your appointment as Minister of Education.

I also wish to congratulate the people of Ghana for the manner in which they conducted the General and Presidential elections. Ghana, has once again demonstrated maturity in keeping democratic values on the continent. It has shown the importance of transparency and the value of peace. I am particularly happy as a representative of a SADC, Commonwealth, AU and UN member state to have seen the engagement of these bodies to make sure that credibility of the process was upheld to the end. I wish the people well for the next four years and beyond in their quest for development and progress.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The excellent bilateral relations between Namibia and Ghana have always been characterized by a common vision and a desire to strengthen our cooperation.  We continue to share a mutual vision and purpose in the struggle towards the consolidation of peace, economic emancipation and poverty eradication in our countries.

The bilateral relations that so happily exist between our two sister countries are excellent and ever growing. Exchanges through the Namibia/Ghana Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation cover a wide range of areas, thereby building on the foundations of a better cooperation between the two countries.

I am pleased to recall the Joint Commission we had from 9-11 November 2016 here in Accra. I am

looking forward to the implementation of the Agreed Minutes and the next JPCC at Technical Level in November 2017.I am equally happy about the High-level visits, which took place since the establishment of the resident Mission. These visit present us with excellent platforms and opportunities to discuss and review issues of mutual concern.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we are marking the second Anniversary of our Mission’s existence in this beautiful city of Accra with a sense of pride and satisfaction. Since its inception, the Mission has been streamlining its operations and vigorously pushing its agenda with a view to strengthen the already excellent bilateral relations between our two sister countries.

Since the establishment of our Mission in Accra, leaders and officials from Namibia have visited Ghana to identify more areas of cooperation such as in the fields of health and education. Namibia intends to send students to study in Ghana. It also has a keen interest in the Ghanaian Judicial system as well as the operations of the Ghanaian Student Loan Trust Fund. We intend to take these areas of cooperation to their logical conclusion, whilst looking at other equally important areas.

We are equally looking at and engaging in new areas of cooperation with a focus on tourism, aquaculture, mining, as well as in the service sectors. I believe that cooperation in these areas will enable our two countries to address common challenges such as unemployment and poverty that many of our people still face. We must engage in these areas in our efforts to make sure that nobody is left behind in line with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Honourable Minister, Distinguished Captains of Industry,

The trade between Namibia and Ghana is still at a very low level. Namibia is looking forward to import goods from Ghana such as gold, coffee, nuts, timber etc just to mention a few. Namibia is in the process of searching for alternative markets for Namibian fish, beef and other meat products. We are confident that the Ghanaian and Namibian businesses can give meaning to this commitment. We are more than ready to facilitate all efforts at that.

Namibia’s quest to become a gateway to SADC and SADC’s gateway to Europe and the Americas as well as West Africa is gaining momentum. The port of Walvis Bay is being expanded in order to cater for commodity exports and imports from and to landlocked countries within SADC. The expansion of Walvis Bay harbour will result in the development of several ‘super hubs’ in key locations in Namibia and along the main corridors linking Namibia to its SADC neighbours. This will link up with Ghana’s own development of Tema and Takoradi Ports as hubs for West Africa. The logical conclusion is that the two hubs (Ghanaian and Namibian) must talk to each other and facilitate trade towards greater intra Africa trade.

Honourable Minister,

We are working towards establishing a Ghana-Namibia Friendship Association and a Ghana-Namibia Chamber of Commerce to facilitate people-to-people and business-to-business linkages between our two countries. We will equally link up entities such as TOUGHA, the Tour Operations Union of Ghana and our own Associations dealing with Tourism to achieve maximum benefits from what this industry offer both our nations and Regions.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our continent and indeed the world, continues to face multiple challenges, such as political instability and natural disasters. These challenges are not insurmountable. We are seeing a number of initiatives to deal with some of them. We, however need to work together as nations and as economic blocks to seek solutions to our problems. Our continent must continue to stand together on issues that affect our countries and peoples. I am glad that the African Union is assuming a more proactive role and indeed taking the lead in other instances to deal with developments that affect many member states.

 

Honourable Minister, Your Excellencies,

Namibia is a product of international solidarity. It is in this context that we remain thankful for the contribution of the United Nations family to our independence.

We cannot do other than to be concerned about the lack of progress towards the realization of the inalienable rights of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence. Namibia, therefore continues to insist on and call for the immediate and unconditional implementation of the UN Settlement Plan, which calls for a referendum in Western Sahara.

Namibia is also concerned about the impasse in the peace process between Palestine and Israel. Namibia calls on the international community to ensure the implementation of relevant UN Resolutions calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, existing side by side with the State of Israel.

Your Excellencies,

Namibia remains committed to multilateral diplomacy. Thus, reaffirms the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN system, especially the Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and democratic. Namibia’s position remains fully consistent with the African Common Position as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration respectively. Namibia will continue to work with Ghana and all our friends to make this ideal a reality.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I once again, welcome you and wish you a pleasant stay and joyful celebration of our independence.

It is now my pleasure to invite you, to raise your glasses and join me in proposing a toast to the continued good health of His Excellency President Nana Akufo Addo; and H.E. President Hage Geingob; and to the lasting bonds of friendship between the peoples of Ghana and Namibia and indeed between the peoples of Namibia and all the nations represented here tonight.

I thank you.

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