By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Indian High Commissioner to Namibia Yogendra Kumar has reaffirmed the continued expansion of government activities between the two countries, as well as further widening the agenda of their cooperation. Kumar who was speaking on the day to mark India’s 60th independence stated his country remains proud to be associated with the valiant freedom struggle of the Namibian people and their endeavours to build a modern society. One of the areas the two governments have been concentrating on involves the e-connectivity project. The early operationalization of this project, Kumar assured, will witness significant strides including areas like tele-education and tele-medicine. “India and Namibia have collaborated well in the international forums especially the United Nations. I have no doubt that a more intensive agenda of collaboration, befitting a historical friendship, will be in place in the coming months,” he said. Indian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anard Sharma during his visit to Namibia in May 2006 said that human resources remain key to the development of any country, and as such his country has been involved in training African candidates including Namibians in diverse fields under its ITEC programme. Considering that the Namibian government has been encouraging young people to be innovative and engage themselves in small and medium business activities to reduce the unemployment rate, this is another area that India is interested in cooperating in. Being a global leader in information technology (IT), the country is prepared to build partnerships in this important sector with Namibia. At the same occasion, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said that the Namibian government is satisfied with the level of cooperation between the two countries both in bilateral and multilateral spheres. The two nations are prepared to strengthen their cooperation ties including active participation and influencing the outcome of many diplomatic challenges that confront the world today. Ndaitwah further expressed gratitude towards the Indian government for its generous and unwavering support during the Namibian days of struggle for independence. India and Namibia have been true partners in development, and evident are the achievements made in diverse fields of health, agricultural research and military and marine training, including the setting up of bio-gas plants at various locations in the country. “Namibia and India share a commitment towards freeing our people from the dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, ignorance and disease especially the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” said the minister. The considerable progress made by India from being a net food importing country to the position of being one of the largest economies in the world is a source of immense encouragement for Namibia.
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