By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – Namibia and Jamaica have taken big steps toward solidifying bilateral cooperation.
The two countries on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish political discussions following high level talks between the two governments at State House in Windhoek.
President Hage Geingob hosted Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness at State House. The latter who arrived in Namibia on Sunday for a three-day official visit is the first leader of the Caribbean island nation to visit Namibia.
President Geingob said the MoU will allow Namibia to strengthen partnership with Jamaica and “to expand partnership and open new areas of cooperation to fully optimise the immense untapped potential with Jamaica”.
He said the two countries can cooperate in areas of energy, agriculture, infrastructure development, tourism and mining.
President Geingob said the two nations needed to forge a strong partnership that will help them develop industries including value addition to resources, market access and infrastructure development.
Prime Minister Holness on his part noted that the agreement with the southern African country ‘will enable an exchange of ideas and commitment of cooperation’.
He said smaller countries like Jamaica and Namibia need to work together to promote and defend their own interests.
Namibia and Jamaica established diplomatic relations in August 1990, which was followed by with the signing of the Cooperation Framework Agreement in 1995.
But Holness said the agreements were not exploited not fully exploited, but hope that the new Memorandum of Understanding provides an opportunity for the two countries to work together.
Holness and his delegation of 11 senior officials that include that includes minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport and officials from bilateral relations and trade also held talks with various government ministries.
They attended business luncheons with local business community organized in their honour by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development. They also attended the renaming of Babs Street in the Klien Windhoek suburb to Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican national hero and the revered father of Black Nationalism.
On Tuesday, the Jamaican delegation travelled to the coastal area for a 30km scenic drive from the harbour town of Walvis Bay to the popular resort of town Swakopmund.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Holness travel to Johannesburg, South Africa to join other leaders for the 10th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit.