President Hage Geingob on Friday hosted a delegation from the United States of America at State House. A delegation of businesspeople, accompanied by lawmakers from several states, was in Namibia to look out for opportunities, particularly in the renewable energy industry.
Before the closed-door meeting, Geingob said Namibia is a peaceful country that has gone through peaceful transitions of power.He informed the delegation that Namibia has in recent years experienced a serious economic downturn, as well as a severe prolonged drought, which was further exacerbated by Covid-19.
Congresswoman Karen Bass said it was important for them to visit State House because in the USA, when you hear about an African country, it is mostly when there is a problem or a crisis. She commended Namibia for being a peaceful nation and for having gone through peaceful transitions of power – to which she had the honour to witness. Brenda Lawrence, a congresswoman for Michigan, explained that they are in Namibia to promote trade and business in Namibia.
“We are interested in green hydrogen opportunities, and promoting US trade and scout for investment opportunities in Namibia,” she explained. She further explained that Covid-19 is a global pandemic that left all businesses struggling; hence, they decided to come to Namibia to familiarise themselves with business opportunities.
She also encouraged Namibians to do whatever they can to ensure they are vaccinated to fight the covid-19 pandemic.
Namibia’s industrialisation and trade minister Lucia Iipumbu explained the government representatives who met with the delegation made a presentation on the National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) utilisation strategy and action plan for Namibia.
She emphasised that Namibia used an opportunity to sell the strategy of export grapes, dates and minerals for the medium terms as well as to export leather, hand crafts and other products in the cosmetics industry.
She added the producers have not been keen on the US market due to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues, which requires 10 days of cold treatment before being shipped to the US. “This increases the total time for grapes to reach the US market to about four weeks, whereas it takes 23 days to Europe from Cape Town,” she explained.
President Geingob thanked the delegation for choosing to visit Namibia, especially during this difficult time of a global pandemic.