Indian High commissioner to Namibia Prashant Agrawal said a defining feature for Namibia and India is confronting and overcoming challenges that set precedents on the relations and cooperation between the two states.
He said this during a press briefing in the capital where he highlighted key issues, which have strengthened the working relations and commemorated the partnership of the two nations.
“One thing that Namibia and India have learnt is confronting and overcoming challenges which is a defining feature for both nations,” said Agrawal.
He said an example of the cooperation is the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic which has an impact on the world as well as the tension that exists between Russia and Ukraine.
Agrawal said India had to evacuate 22 500 of its citizens from Ukraine. On the Covid-19 front, India has within a year administered 1.8 billion vaccine doses.
Agrawal said the issue of Covid-19 and how it has changed the world gives room for further cooperation, especially now that Namibia celebrates 32 years of independence.
“Your independence is very special to us, hence the embassy has organised events which include the celebration of Namibia India development partnership in capacity building and skills development. Among other events, the embassy will be hosting an Indian Film Festival and a gala cultural programme in collaboration with the India Namibia Friendship Association as well as online meetings with Indian companies in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-based industries,” he highlighted.
“We have the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, where we have trained more than 1 200 Namibian officials addressing various academic needs.”
ITEC addresses needs in quality education for all, skills development, affirmative action and human resource development strategies, media and many more aspects.
Agrawal said they also offer several scholarships through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for Namibians to pursue their studies in India. The embassy also organises capacity building training on demand. “Among others, we have trained Namibian diplomats, and other individuals from Namibian institutions,” he added.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Namibia for the creation and operation of the India Namibia Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (INCEIT) for training in specialised areas of information technology. This is situated at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The Indian government initiated a proposal for the setting up of CEIT to have international outreach for imparting ICT education in Namibia.
INCEIT is equipped with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. It boasts two fully functional training labs with modern facilities, including desktop computers, laptops, printers, software, interactive whiteboard, video conferencing, TV, projection system and student feedback response to enhance the learning environment. Additionally, The INCEIT offers Council approved Certificate Programmes accredited at NQF Level 7, with the latest courseware for the training of teachers, students, government officials and working professionals.
The south Asian nation will also celebrate its 75th independence on 15 August 2022, hence the lineup of events to mark years of bilateral relations between the two nations. Diplomatic relations with independent Namibia were established from independence, with the Indian Observer Mission being upgraded to a full-fledged high commission on 21 March 1990. Namibia opened a full-fledged resident mission in New Delhi in March 1994.