Regional leaders heap praise on Namibia … ‘leading light of democracy in Africa’
SOUTH Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has heaped praise on Namibia, saying the country is a
leading light of democracy on the African continent.
In a speech, read on his behalf by international relations minister Naledi Pandor, to mark Independence Day celebrations on Saturday, Ramaphosa said Namibia is an intergral partner in advancing the African agenda. He also said they remain committed to working closely with President Hage Geingob, the
government and the people of Namibia in pursuit of greater regional integration through SADC as well as continental political and economic integration as articulated in the AU’s Agenda 2063.
“During its chairship of the AU, South Africa will continue to rely on the support of Namibia as it pursues the strategic goals that underpin its role as chair of the African Union,” he noted.
The South African leader, who is also the chair of the AU, maintained they remain confident that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be implemented seamlessly in the region, where everyone hopes to use neighbourliness to give effect to this landmark, African development, which,
along with other regional integration policies, will constitute a building block towards an Africa-wide integration, bolstering intra-Africa trade.
“As South Africa, we can attest that our relationship remains anchored on mutual respect, shared values, solidarity and understanding within the context of Pan- Africanism. It is also informed by the need
to defeat our common enemy, poverty and underdevelopment in both our countries and the continent as a whole.”
He said when Namibia attained its freedom in 1990, the people of Africa and the globe celebrated because this was a victory – not only of the people of Namibia but also a victory of all freedom-loving
people of the world. For South Africans, he added, Namibian independence communicated a clear message that the path to freedom for South Africa was assured and irreversible.
Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi said Namibia and Botswana share the longest borders, which makes the two countries siblings, given their colonial history. “When Namibia was invaded by the German soldiers in 1918, some Namibians fled to Botswana, find safety there and became Batswana. Some
Batswana people also came and settled here because they find comfort. So, who can stand up and say [they] are different?
To Namibians, Botswana is your home 24/7,” said Masisi. Angolan president, João Lourenço said Namibia and Angola share blood as both countries lost brave men and women during the liberation struggle of both countries.
Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was also present during Geingob’s inauguration on Saturday, said he considers Namibia a strategic partner. “Let me rather, therefore, reafirm our unequivocal commitment to consolidate and grow the political, socio-economic, scientific and cultural relations that exist
between our two countries. We stand eternally grateful for the principled stance of Namibia with regards the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe,” he said.
- Additional reporting by Nampa
2020-03-23 09:00:07 | 9 days ago