President Hage Geingob says outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been ruling that country since 2005, will be remembered with fondness for her tenacity, strength and passion.
“In a political world dominated by powerful men, you leave a legacy of standing firm in your beliefs, convictions and being a role model, who, through your astute leadership, inspired thousands of women,” Geingob said in a farewell letter to Merkel last week.
“As you embark on the next chapter in your life, I wish your excellency good health and strength. May you continue to find success in your future endeavours,” he added.
Merkel will leave office after 16 years in power once a new coalition can be formed after the outcome of last month’s election in which her coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD), came out on top.
The SPD and its candidate Olaf Scholz narrowly won last month’s vote with 25.7%, with Merkel’s CDU-CSU alliance plunging to an all-time low of 24.1% under the beleaguered leadership of Armin Laschet.
The two parties began talks recently with the Greens and liberal FDP to strike an agreement to grab the top job for themselves.
Germany’s centre-left SPD won the biggest share of the vote in a national election last month, narrowly beating outgoing Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), in a closely-fought race that will determine who succeeds the long-time leader at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy.
Namibia and Germany started negotiating in 2015 on the former coloniser’s acceptance, apology and reparations for a genocide it committed in the early 1900s in which tens of thousands of Namibians have died. An agreement reached earlier this year is being discussed in Parliament after it drew heavy criticism from affected communities and opposition parties.