Germany Supports Land Policy

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By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK German Ambassador to Namibia Wolfgang Massing on Wednesday said his country supports Namibia’s land reform policy because it is in the interest of the country’s social and political stability. Following the expropriation of the first farm in Namibia, Ongombo West Farm, on November 15, 2005, the Namibian Government has been widely criticised in the German media. “With the expropriation of Ongombo West farm, some reports in the media created the impression that this was not justified. This was not accurate reporting in the German press and last year, they reported that Namibia wants to radicalise the Land Reform,” Massing stated during an exclusive interview with New Era. The ambassador also highlighted the success of the state visit of President Hifikepunye Pohamba to Germany recently. “The German side fully supports the land reform policy, it is for social and political stability in the country and we are going to continue to support this,” he pointed out. Massing said Pohamba’s visit to Germany gave a fresh impetus to the two countries’ bilateral relations. “There was a very good understanding between our President Horst Koehler and Pohamba. President Koehler is deeply committed to Africa and Germany has recognised the role Namibia plays in this part of the world for stability and democracy and the prominent role it has taken in the African Union (AU) and SADC.” “The German side is also impressed with the way Pohamba has taken up office and his initiatives to fight corruption, maintain stability,” he said. He said despite Namibia’s refusal to sign an agreement for funds for projects in areas adversely affected by German colonial brutalities, a draft that was prepared by both countries, Germany still respects the Namibian decision. “We are now waiting for the Namibian side to tell us which way to go. Surely we will find a way forward. This is an issue that does not affect our good bilateral relations,” he stressed. About the meeting that Pohamba had with Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Massing said Germany was going to increase its bilateral funds “step by step” and not double it from 12 million euro (N$96 million) to 24 million euro as reported by the media. The two countries were to hold annual bilateral government negotiations on the development cooperation this week, but this was postponed to the first half of next year. “This proposal was accepted by both countries as both sides feel the need to further discuss on various cooperation projects to be committed in 2006. But we still continue with our commitment and increased our commitment to 13.5 million euro (N$108 million) for this year. For the next year we will discuss some proposals made by Namibia, ” he said. Some of the proposals made by Namibia are in the fields of tourism and vocational training.

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