Windhoek - Namibia and Zimbabwe this week signed seven Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation between the two countries as well as to promote economic growth and sustainable development.
The MOUs which prioritise sectors such as trade, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), energy, information communication technologies (ICT), legal and diplomatic consultations, and media and broadcasting, were signed by relevant ministers and senior government officials in the presence of Namibian President Hage Geingob and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa at the Namibian State House.
Out of the seven agreements, six were signed at the national level namely and these are the operationalisation of the joint trade and economic committee (JTEC); the promotion of SMEs; revised MOU on cooperation in the field of information, media and broadcasting; cooperation in the field of information, media and broadcasting; MOU in the fields of science and technology development; MOU between Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and the Namibia Customs on mutual administrative assistance, and MOU between Zimra and the Namibian Customs on the practical implementation of the bilateral trade agreement between Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The seventh MOU was signed at regional level between Kavango East Region of Namibia and Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the event, President Geingob said he was satisfied with the bilateral relations between Namibia and Zimbabwe, adding that the signing of the MOUs would further strengthen them.
“I wish to state that I have no doubt that we can look at the bilateral interaction between our countries over the years with considerable satisfaction. I am pleased to note that our ensuing deliberations will be rewarded by the signing of seven agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, a clear testimony of our commitment to further consolidate the strong and warm relations that so exist between our countries,” said Geingob
He said the state visit by President Mnangagwa to Namibia was a further affirmation of the determination of the two governments to continue strengthening the strong bonds of friendship between the people of Namibia and Zimbabwe, adding that their people anchored in a shared history based on principles of mutual respect and African solidarity.
Geingob said Namibia had benefited immensely from the development assistance rendered by Zimbabwe in a variety of fields and disciplines.
“The government and fraternal people of Zimbabwe, despite the many difficult challenges you are facing, continues to enrich the human resources capacity of Namibia, thereby supplementing our development efforts. For this, Your Excellency President Mnangagwa, we remain grateful,” said Geingob.
He acknowledged the close cooperation between Namibia and Zimbabwe in the establishment of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, which holds great potential for the advancement of regional tourism, sustainable management of shared resources and community empowerment.
The two countries further cooperate in the field of information dissemination.
Geingob added, “We have jointly established a newspaper, The Southern Times, with the objective of providing alternative print media with balanced news reports from an African perspective. We look forward to realising a regional paper to tell our good story from our perspective.”
President Mnangagwa said the signing of the MOUs was a confirmation of a new level of cooperation for the benefit of the economic sectors of the two countries.
“The signing of the MOUs in the various fields is a reflection of a new resolve to intensify economic cooperation between our two countries,” said Mnangagwa.
He acknowledged the brilliant bilateral relations between Namibia and Zimbabwe saying that it dates back from the days of liberation struggle against colonial occupation and apartheid.
“I would like to commend and acknowledge the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries which dates back to the days of our liberation struggle. I further recognise that these relations have been further strengthened and deepened by the regular exchange visits in support of each other’s causes. Zimbabwe stands ready to concertedly work towards improving our cooperation, especially in the economic sphere,” said Mnangagwa.
He said the fore fathers of the two countries worked tirelessly to ensure that Southern Africa attained its liberty, adding that the remaining task was to ensure that the two countries prospered and improved the livelihoods of the people.
The Zimbabwean President also expressed his gratitude to the Namibian government for offering land to lease in Walvis Bay where Zimbabwe has constructed a dry port. He said the dry port, which he was expected to inaugurate on Friday 25 July, 2019, was a clear evidence of the strong relations between Namibia and Zimbabwe.