Kenyatta to grace independence celebrations

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WINDHOEK- President Hage Geingob will host Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as a guest of honour at the 29th independence anniversary celebration next month.

In 2015, President Kenyatta also paid a state visit to Namibia, where he attended the inauguration ceremony of Geingob as the country’s third President. The inauguration of President Geingob coincided with the 25th anniversary of Namibia’s independence at the time. Kenya’s new High Commissioner to Namibia, Benjamin Langat confirmed Kenyatta’s state visit, when he presented his credentials to President Hage Geingob at State House on Wednesday. Langat also said during Kenyatta’s state visit next month, Namibia and Kenya are expected to finalise the business visa extensions.

“We just finalised the presentation of credentials with President Hage Geingob. We expect the President of the Republic of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta on the 20th [March] ahead of the 21st. 

We also expect many other things such as the business community who will accompany him to see what they can do with the business community of Namibia and build the friendship we already have between Namibia and Kenya,” Langat revealed.

He said the visit will serve an opportunity to explore business areas such as the flower industry where Kenyans can help and support Namibia to market flowers.

Last October, President Kenyatta hosted Geingob a day after Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and her Namibian counterpart Netumbo Nandi- Ndaitwah inaugurated a ministerial session for the recently launched Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC). Cooperation between Kenya and Namibia in the areas of trade, agriculture, and health were some of the central agenda when leaders of the two nations met.

Kenya and Namibia have a special relationship as Kenyan forces played a major role in the UN peacekeeping operations in the country.

At the time, Namibia and Kenya signed three cooperation agreements in political and diplomatic consultations, tourism and youth affairs.

State House Press Secretary, Alfredo Hengari in a press statement had said the two countries have existing agreements in agriculture, aviation, health and education.

According to Hengari, President Geingob, who was on a three-day visit to Kenya, also emphasised more need to be done to deepen the cooperation between the two countries in these sectors as well as in comprehensive areas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Geingob had further stated that Namibia had “a lot to learn from Kenya in the area of ICT development”, and that collaboration in the sector will be sought and strengthened.

Kenya has been a key partner to Namibia especially in the health sector with the expat Kenyan community in the nation located on the southwest of Africa projected at 500 in 2010.

Kenya helped Namibia meet a personnel deficit at her health centres in 2002.
Kenya-Namibia relations have been reinvigorated in the recent past, the two nations has been working closely on key regional and continental agendas including the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which has been signed by both nations.

Every 21 March is Independence Day in Namibia. This is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the country and is the great day of Namibian patriotism. The date marks the day in 1990 when independence from South Africa was officially recognised.