WINDHOEK. – Namibia and Kenya have signed three cooperation agreements in political and diplomatic consultations, tourism and youth affairs.State House press secretary, Alfredo Hengari in a press statement on Sunday said the two countries already have existing agreements in agriculture, aviation, health and education.
According to Hengari, president Hage Geingob, who was on a three-day visit to Kenya, also emphasised that more needs to be done to deepen the cooperation between the two countries in these sectors as well as in comprehensive areas of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
In the statement, President Geingob further stated that Namibia had “a lot to learn from Kenya in the area of ICT development”, and that collaboration in the sector will be sought and strengthened.
Meanwhile, in another statement released on Sunday, President Geingob also praised the Kenyan military forces deployed in Namibia in 1989 for the role they played in shaping the country’s independence.
A large military contingent from Kenyan was part of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (Untag) that was to monitor peace during the run up to Namibia’s first democratic elections from 1989 to 1990.
Geingob delivered his praises at the commemoration of that country’s heroes’ day on Saturday in Nairobi.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Geingob, who was invited by president Uhuru Kenyatta for the country’s heroes’ day commemoration, ‘Mashujaa Day’, said Namibia’s freedom was attained due to the pan-African bond Namibians share with the Kenyan people.
“We are children of pan-African and international solidarity. When Namibians were victims of apartheid aggression, the people of Kenya stretched out the hand of solidarity,” said President Geingob.
In 1989, Untag was deployed to monitor the peace process and elections in Namibia. He said even after Namibia’s independence, Kenyan troops remained to render assistance until the country was on its feet.
President Geingob said when the rest of Untag’s forces departed, founding president Sam Nujoma made a brotherly appeal to then Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi for the Kenyan blue helmet contingent under the leadership of lieutenant general (Rtd) Daniel Ishmael Opande, to remain for three months to help maintain the country’s stability at the Kenyan government’s cost.
“For this reason, the Namibian government has decided to award this brave son of Kenya with the second-highest honour, which he will receive at an appropriate time,” said Geingob.
He further said Namibia will always be indebted to the people of Kenya for their unwavering solidarity.
“When Namibians faced the oppression at the hands of South African apartheid regime, Kenya and its people opened their doors for Namibians. The narrative of the Namibian struggle for national liberation will not be complete without invoking the role played by Kenya and its people,” the president added.
The head of state also showed his appreciation and admiration to African leaders whom he said were ready to die for freedom, and helped turn the dream of a free Africa into a reality.
President Geingob further said the heroic feat of these extraordinary personalities inspired leaders in the settler colonies of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia to follow suit, and pursue their own desire for independence.
“Thereby, the founding fathers of pan-Africanism helped mould the likes of Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela and Sam Nujoma,” he stated.
He added that Namibia will be honouring lieutenant general Opande – Untag deputy force commander from 1989 to 1990, with the second highest honour of the republic, the Brilliant Order of the Sun First Class.
Hengari said President Geingob left Kenya on Sunday and will be attending the United Nations conference on Trade and Development and the World Investment summit in Geneva, Switzerland. He is expected back home tomorrow. – Nampa/The Namibian