WINDHOEK – International Relations and Cooperation Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says it is important to develop complementary investment strategies to enable Namibia and Zimbabwe to create synergies in industrial capacity.
She said this holds potential in the area of hospitality and tourism, extractive industries, fisheries and aquaculture, infrastructure development, transport, finance, and telecommunications.
Nandi-Ndaitwah spoke yesterday during the 9th Session of the Namibia-Zimbabwe Joint Commission of Cooperation in Windhoek. According to her, the meeting is taking place at an important juncture in both countries’ bilateral and regional relations.
“As we take stock of the progress we have made in the implementation of the decisions of the 8th session of our joint commission, we need to work very hard and use this opportunity to explore new areas to enhance our bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, education and culture, transport, agriculture, health, human resources development and other important fields,” she urged.
In this context, she said both countries should use the 9th session to exchange ideas on how best they can jointly promote trade, investment and a joint venture between Namibia and Zimbabwe for the benefit of their people.
These efforts, she believes, would lead to the realisation of the potential for increased bilateral trade between the two countries.
On the economic front, she mentioned the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which was launched on July 7 in Niger as an instrument that is aimed at facilitating trade between African countries, with no hindrances. She says it is therefore important that within the bilateral cooperation the two countries must be ready to play a role in the operationalisation of AfCFTA as that is the way Africa’s Agenda 2063 can be realised.
In pursuing both nations’ common objectives, she is confident that Namibia and Zimbabwe will continue to work together in facing the daunting challenges posed by HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases which negatively affect the economic and social conditions of people.
As Southern African Development Community (Sadc) member states, she noted the two countries adhere to Sadc ideals that both nations and peoples can grow stronger and indeed prosper when citizens join in a common cause to address common challenges and to take advantage of shared opportunities.
Hence, she said regional integration is therefore crucial in the process of economic and social development of the two countries, and should, therefore, be pursued with vigour and determination for the benefit of all.
She mentioned the two countries have been engaged in efforts of addressing the political and security challenges in the region, notably, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar and Lesotho.
“The situation in Madagascar has improved significantly, but we still have challenges in the DRC and Lesotho, as well as new challenges,” she said.
She vowed that despite creating momentum with the successful hosting of the Sadc Solidarity Conference with Western Sahara earlier in March this year, “we should leave no stone unturned in our campaign for the plight of the Saharawi people, and our Palestinian comrades, in their quest for self-determination and statehood.”