Windhoek - Namibian Founding President Sam Nujoma has applauded continued cooperation between his country and India, calling for strengthening of trade and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Giving a public lecture on the commemoration of 150 years of India’s Prime Minister Mahatma Ghandi, Namibia's Founding Father and former President Sam Nujoma, said the promotion of non-violence among states of the world pursued by Ghandi is still applicable to all nations of the world in fostering peace.
Ghandi led India to independence from Britain through promoting the use of non-violence in demanding freedom from the former coloniser.
Dr Nujoma said India has contributed significantly to the economic and political well-being of Namibia since independence in 1990 and before when the country was fighting for its freedom.
“Against this background, the Government of India made a generous grant of about US$12.5 million towards the construction of the Departments of Mining and Computer Engineering facility, as well as training workshops and an Information Resource Centre at the University of Namibia in Ongwediva,” said Nujoma.
“Over the past decades, India and other developing countries have been campaigning for dialogue between rich and poor nations, to remove the present imbalances in the world economic order through the promotion of South-South Cooperation. In this regard, India and Namibia have signed landmark agreements on cooperation in wide-ranging sectors, including mining and nuclear energy.”
Nujoma said the late Indian leader remains the world’s symbol of peace and diplomacy.
"Ghandi remains one of the key pillars and advocates of peace engagements among member nations in the world. The Indian leader changed and touched the world through promoting peace and the world has a lot to learn from his engagements. The relationship between Namibia and India are deep rooted in history of the non-aligned movement and will continue to prosper,” Nujoma said.
He added that India and Namibia have supported each other and will continue to support each other on issues of mutual consent.
Nujoma said India played a significant role in assisting Namibia to attain its independence against the former settler colonial apartheid regime of South Africa.
"When we attained our freedom, India continued to support us towards the construction of our infrastructure," Nujoma said.
He added that India continues to push for dialogue between rich and poor nations improving, South-South cooperation.
Nujoma also added that the relationship between India and Namibia dates back to the time of its bitter struggle for independence and have been deeply rooted in the Non-Aligned Movement.
“In this regard, on 18 April 1985, on the eve of the New Delhi Non-Aligned Movement Summit, the apartheid regime of South Africa wanted to introduce an ‘Interim Government’ in Namibia, in violation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions. Our support by the Non-Aligned Movement, especially by the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (son to Mahatma), was as solid as ever as India decided to accord full diplomatic status to SWAPO in New Delhi and we opened our embassy on the 24th of May 1986 in India. Such status was also accompanied by all round material assistance,” he said.