The ministry of international relations and the Finland embassy in Namibia has signed an agreement of gainful occupation of dependents and employees on diplomatic missions.
Minister of international relations Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who co-signed the agreement with Finland’s ambassador to Namibia Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstila, said the agreement is important for both countries as it might present a stabilising factor for diplomats and their families.
“The world has come a long way since the first diplomats were exchanged between nations, and in a modern world, it is increasingly rare that spouses of diplomats no longer have professions,” she said.
Quite often, she said, such accompanying spouses have to give up promising careers and are stunted in their own professional growth, and often have to sacrifice a certain level of esteem and recognition that society accords one as a professional and accomplished person.
“One could even argue that because most have their work and career locked firmly into their identity, when uprooted to accompany a spouse on diplomatic mission, one can feel lost and this may be destabilising for spouses and their families,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
She said the finalisation of the agreement will increase the chances of accompanying spouses to continue their own careers even when they are away from home. This means, she said, that Namibia’s respective diplomatic services stay in step with the changes in societies. She said relations between Finland and Namibia are friendly, extensive and diverse. Interaction is lively, especially in the areas of education, culture, science, as well as amongst churches and municipalities.
“Over the years, we put emphasis, especially on enhanced economic and trade relations. Namibia is eager to learn from Finland’s vast experience in industrial development and support for small and medium enterprises,” she said.
“We believe that such efforts will complement our aim at creating jobs, expanding value addition and fostering economic growth. In turn, this will lead to improvements in the social and economic well-being of our people.”