Although Namibia and South Africa have signed over 90 bilateral agreements, South Africa’s international relations minister Naledi Pandor explained only a few of them are successfully implemented.
Pandor was speaking during a media briefing on their diplomatic and political consultations with her Namibian counterpart Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday, where they discussed the way forward towards convening the long-overdue meeting of the heads of state of their countries.
She said that as a result, the two countries have now agreed to analyse the signed bilateral agreements and determined which ones are not implemented.
“The team will also be able to determine the bilateral agreements that require amendments for them to be implemented. But I can assure you that agreements such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to accelerate intra-African trade, and to boost Africa’s trading position in the global market, are a success,” she explained.
She further added that other bilateral agreements that are working perfectly are agreements on agriculture and science, and agreements on information-sharing.
Meanwhile, Pandor also added the two countries concerned are grappling with the latest deadly wave of the coronavirus.
“We are concerned with the impact – not only on our communities but also on our economies and, therefore, livelihoods of our people’s nationally and regionally. We must understand and support endeavours to address the economic impact of the pandemic,” she emphasised.
She further added the two countries have exhaustively discussed the impact of the pandemic and agree there needs to be accessibility to the vaccine for all peoples of the continent.
“We will continue advocating for this, and preference for selective vaccines should not be used as a mechanism to hamper the movement of people amongst nations,” she
Other matters that were discussed by the two countries, according to her, are regional issues and deliberate on issues of mutual concern that include cooperation to ensure the region is peaceful and safe.
“I wish to reiterate that a stable and safe region is the right of every citizen of the region. And in talking about ensuring security and safety for communities, I wish to highlight again our solidarity with the people of the Western Sahara and Palestine, which I know your government and people are also concerned about and committed to the plight of our brothers and sisters,” she stated.
Pandor also explained that the Eswatini has approached SADC to deploy the military for security and restoration of peace and stability.
“The president of Botswana has responded positively and a team is established to go engage the two parties and investigate the situation that will then determine the way forward,” she explained.
Speaking at the same briefing was international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who explained that Namibia looks forward to hosting the third session of the bi-national commission later in the year, which will be co-chaired by the respective heads of state.
“I am happy that our consultations agreed that senior officials would meet in August to discuss preparations and necessary arrangements to ensure a successful BNC,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.