Windhoek – Namibia’s President Hage Geingob, and outgoing British High Commissioner in Windhoek Ambassador Kate Airey, have emphasised the importance of trade relations between the two countries post-Brexit.
Britain is disengaging from the European Union and is keen to establish bilateral commercial ties with as many nations as feasible to safeguard its own economic position.
When Ambassador Airey went to bid farewell to President Geingob, Namibia’s leader underscored the importance of trade between Britain and the greater Southern African region
He said establishing mutually beneficial commercial links with the region would go a long way to accruing gains for both parties, more so in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area that becomes operational on January 1, 2021.
Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe have all sealed economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with Britain post-Brexit to guarantee market access for exports.
President Geingob also told Ambassador Airey that his government was preparing the Harambee Prosperity Plan II to boost economic recovery and fast-track development.
Ambassador Airey said, “Relations between Namibia and Britain continue to flourish and in the future we will continue to co-operate in the trade front. I am particularly happy that Namibia is one of the few countries that have already engaged in an EPA with the UK post-Brexit. Our relations should be fostered in creating jobs, especially for the youth in the future. Governments alone cannot do this but co-operation between private sectors of the countries is key.”
The outgoing British High Commissioner said the doubling of development assistance to Namibia from three to six million British pounds was a clear sign that the two countries had solid ties.
She added: “The UK government is assisting the Ministry of Finance (of Namibia) with working tools and models that are aimed at creating efficient work processes. On COVID-19, 300,000 British pounds will be availed to Namibian families that are struggling as a result of the global pandemic. The assistance in the form of food and medical aid will be delivered through the International Red Cross Society.
She lauded President Geingob’s exemplary leadership as seen by his promotion of media freedom in particular and democracy in general.