By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK A high level six-member delegation from Germany will be arriving in the country for talks with the National Planning Commission (NPC) on Development Cooperation. The visit on May 17 and 18 will foster the already good relations between the two governments. The latest visit is part of the usual governmental negotiations, held every two years, where the German development partners declare commitment to Namibia in three areas of cooperation. These areas include strengthening financial and technical cooperation in the transport sector, natural resources and rural development, land reform as well as promotion of the market economy. Confirming the planned visit on Wednesday and Thursday this week, Councillor for Development Aid and Cooperation at the German Embassy Stefan Sckell said officials from the Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation and four others from the German Development Agency are in the delegation. Although the issue of land will not be on the main agenda of the talks, it might possibly be discussed. However, Sckell said the topic was most likely not going to be discussed during the two-day visit. While an official press conference will be held on Wednesday morning, the signing of the protocol on agreed development cooperation will be signed on Thursday. Speaking to New Era during a brief telephonic interview, Acting Director of Development Cooperation of the National Planning Commission Leonard Shipuata said the governmental negotiations between Namibia and Germany are held every two years to reaffirm their commitment to the three focal areas of cooperation. “The negotiations were supposed to be held last year, but were then postponed to this year,” concluded Shipuata. Namibia and Germany’s cooperation ties date back for a long time, way before the country’s independence in 1990. In a resolution of the German Bundestag in 1989, Germany acknowledged its special responsibility towards Namibia, and has maintained a special relationship with its former colony. Shipuata noted that significant support has been rendered by Germany to Namibia. Germany has been Nami-bia’s largest bilateral donor with approximately over a billion Namibia dollars coming the country’s way, since 1990. A large proportion of financial cooperation funds used to secure basic needs is provided as grants, even though Namibia is actually only entitled to loans due to its relatively high per capita income. This is in response to the Namibian government’s wish to keep new debts to a minimum.
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