The Tanzanian government has finally opened its embassy in Windhoek less than two years after its president, John Magufuli, instructed the joint permanent commission for Tanzania and Namibia to explore areas of cooperation between the two nations.
The embassy was officially opened on 20 February this year, while Tanzanian High Commissioner to Namibia Modestus Kipilimba has already presented his credentials to President Hage Geingob.
Tanzania was the only SADC country that had no physical presence in Namibia.
Before the opening of the embassy, Namibia and Tanzania diplomatic services were available through Pretoria.
During 2019, Magufuli pledged before his Namibian counterpart that Tanzania will open the embassy in Windhoek to facilitate diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries.
“It’s high time the JPC met to review and operationalise cooperation agreements Tanzania and Namibia signed in 1991,” he had stressed.
Magufuli was seemingly displeased to note that despite the historic brotherly relations, trade volume between Dar es Salaam and Windhoek stood at merely US$25 million (N$350 million) annually.
Records show that Tanzania and Namibia signed agreements on cooperation in various economic sectors in 1991 but the two countries have not reviewed or enhanced their bilateral ties since they established the joint permanent commission.
In an interview with New Era, Kipilimba said the plan to have an embassy started after the state visit by Magufuli in Namibia during 2019.
Kipilimba stated this will facilitate economic cooperation in terms of trades and investment between the two countries.
“It was agreed by the presidents to open a High Commission. The two presidents spoke of strengthening bilateral and Pan African relationship between the countries. They also spoke of promoting and cementing trade and investment between Tanzania and Namibia,” he said.
According to him, the new embassy means information will be available within Namibia and necessary services like consular facilities will be available within Namibia.
“The two countries have been close even before independence. Tanzania, being one of the frontline states, supported the freedom-fighting struggle. Now, it will be useful to stand together during economic struggle,” he alluded.