Kenya and Namibia sign agreements to widen scope of cooperation

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NAIROBI, Kenya
Kenya and Namibia today signed three key agreements to bolster their cooperation on tourism, youth and political consultations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and visiting Namibia President Hage Geingob witnessed the signing of the agreements at State House, Nairobi, where they led their delegations in bilateral talks.

Addressing the press after the bilateral talks, President Kenyatta said the signing of the agreements present new opportunities and partnerships as well as gives traction to bilateral relations between the two countries.

“Our two countries share similar aspirations and challenges, and we can draw from each other’s experience to complement the expertise and the comparative advantage of each country to further our respective national development agenda,” President Kenyatta said.

In this regard, President Kenyatta urged Namibia to explore the possibility of engagement in new areas including cooperation in marine and fisheries development, mining, expansion of bilateral trade and  investment, and in sports  and culture.

President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that foreign ministers of Kenya and Namibia have remained engaged in the last three months, leading to inauguration of the Joint Commission for Cooperation which remained dormant although it was signed more than 20 years ago.

He cited education, particularly in the areas of basic, vocational and University training, including teacher exchange programs especially in the fields of Maths, English, and Sciences as one of the important areas of cooperation that should be cultivated.

“We further look forward to strengthening cooperation in the health sector with enhanced transfer exchange of health workers particularly in specialized areas of health services,” President Kenyatta said.

He added: “Kenya is also keen to enhance cooperation in the area of agriculture and livestock management. We welcome collaboration in the field of quality seed production, especially for drought resistant crops, through our Agricultural Research Institute.”

The Kenyan leader also commended President Geingob’s transformational and visionary economic agenda under the Harambee Prosperity Plan, saying it resonates well with Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda.

Recalling his visited to Namibia in 2015 during the swearing-in occasion of President Geingob where he also attended the celebration of Namibia’s Independence Day, President Kenyatta said Kenya feels honoured by the visit of the Namibian leader at a time when it remembers its national heroes. President Geingob will tomorrow join President Kenyatta and other Kenyans in marking this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

On his part President Geingob appreciated Kenya’s contribution to Namibia’s liberation struggle and stability.

“It is befitting for us to recognize the sacrifices Kenya made as a country by contributing outstanding soldiers to help in safeguarding our stability,” President Geingob said.

“On behalf of the people of Namibia, we have decided to award General (Rtd) Daniel Opande with the second highest honour in Namibia and we invite him to come to Namibia to receive it on behalf of all Kenyas, ” the Namibian Head of State added.

The Namibian leader also paid tribute to Kenya’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, for spearheading the Pan-African Movement that led to the liberation of many African countries including Namibia.

He assured Kenya of Namibia’s support in its bid to capture a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the period 2021 to 2022.

“I assure you that Namibia fully supports Kenya’s candidature for the non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the period 2021 to 2022,” President Geingob said.

Present during the press briefing was Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma, Henry Rotich, Sicily Kariuki and Margaret Kobia among other senior Government officials.

Earlier, President Geingob, who arrived in the country yesterday at the start of his first State Visit to Kenya, was formally received at State House and accorded an elaborate State reception complete with a 21 gun salute by his host President Kenyatta.

The firing of 21 cannons at the ceremony traditionally reserved for Heads of State and Government was preceded by the national anthems of Namibia and Kenya played by theKenya Air Force band.

Thereafter, President Geingob inspected a colourful guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Air Force before joining his host President Kenyatta for a tête-à-tête that was followed by bilateral talks.

The visiting President, accompanied by Namibia First Lady Monica Geingos, arrived at State House shortly before 11.00am where their hosts President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta were at hand to receive them.