Windhoek – Angola and Namibia have committed to continuously improving the movement of people and goods across their border.
Namibia also expressed readiness to reopen the border after coronavirus-induced restrictions on movement, and Angola said it would conduct a continuous assessment of its internal situation and decide accordingly on how best to proceed.
The two countries top diplomats met in the Second Session of the Namibia-Angola Diplomatic and Political Consultations, which took place virtually in Tsumeb this week. The session was co-chaired by Namibian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and Angolan Minister of External Relations Téte António.
A communiqué issued after the session indicated discussions mainly focused on enhancing bilateral ties in the areas of transport, energy, agriculture and water development, among others.
The parties exchanged views on regional trade issues, including SADC’s Industrialisation Strategy, and the African Continental Free-Trade Area, both of which emphasise beneficiation and value addition on services and goods.
“The ministers reiterated their desire to continue strengthening the strong bonds of friendship and solidarity and co-operation existing between the two countries. They also emphasised the importance of holding regular diplomatic consultations as an effective mechanism to track progress on the implementation of decisions taken by the Bi-National Commission, and other bilateral fora.”
They also said: “On the challenge posed to both countries by the outbreak of the African migratory locust, both sides agreed to work together, in setting up a common strategy of action that will allow common use of means and equipment, as well as border air spaces for effective fight against the African migratory locust.”
Turning to other issues, the communiqué welcomed establishment of a Joint Technical Committee to deal with the situation of Namibians at Olupale in Angola.
The meeting deliberated on regularisation of the status of Angolans living in Namibia.
“The ministers agreed to continue consultations on finding amicable solutions with regard to the ongoing humanitarian situation of Angolan nationals arriving in Namibia due to drought.”
They went on: “Both parties noted with satisfaction that the ongoing construction of monuments and shrines at Cassinga and Sheetekela in the Republic of Angola is progressing well. Both parties also committed to continue consultations on the possible environmental implications for Namibia with regard to the construction by the Government of Angola of dams, canals and boreholes in the Cunene Province to combat the effects of the recurrent drought in that Province.”
They also spoke of the need to eradicate foot-and-mouth disease along their border.
Angola and Namibia condemned the terror attacks in Mozambique, and expressed their solidarity with the government and people of that country.
The session noted with concern the lack of progress in implementation of UN resolutions on Western Sahara, and the peace process in Palestine. The countries called for the self-determination of the peoples of Saharawi and Palestine.