Congo Seeks Further Relations

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Visiting Congolese President Denis Sassou-N’guesso exulted the relationship existing between oil-producing Congo and diamond-rich Namibia, saying such relations provide the foundation upon which eventually the United States of Africa can be established.

Speaking at the State Banquet hosted in his honour on Tuesday night, the Congolese leader said relations between countries in Africa could act as a bridge that could lead to strengthening the regional blocs and eventually continental integration.

“We need to develop our cooperation further,” he said.

President N’guesso’s view is similar to what was agreed upon by African leaders during the African Union Summit held in the Ghanaian capital Accra early this month.

The leaders agreed that they should rationalise and strengthen the regional economic communities and harmonise their activities in conformity with the earlier decision of the Abuja Treaty.

Through the stages set in the treaty, the continent would accelerate the economic, and where possible, political, integration that will eventually lead to the formation of the Union Government in Africa. Africa’s regional economic communities should be the building blocs of a united continent, some leaders said.

Congo and Namibia have identified areas of cooperation in the fields of trade, investment and education. Agreements in these areas were signed on Tuesday.

President N’guesso said the two countries could expand their areas of cooperation by looking into other sectors such as agriculture, transport, mining and fisheries.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba applauded Congo for its transformation, dynamism and progress in different social and economic sectors.

He said Namibia was indebted to Congo for the support rendered during the country’s liberation struggle.

“The Congolese government provided the people of Namibia under the leadership of Swapo with all-round material, political and diplomatic support,” said President Pohamba.

It was in the city of Brazzaville where quadri-partite agreements were signed in 1988. The agreements gave impetus to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 and accelerated the achievement of Namibia’s independence in 1990, he said.

Over the years, the relations between Namibia and Congo have been enhanced, starting with the establishment of a bilateral Framework Cooperation Agreement signed in 1991.

President Pohamba said Namibia was committed to further expand the scope of bilateral co-operation in various socio-economic sectors for the mutual benefit of both countries.

He expressed satisfaction with the agreements signed by the two nations, saying this was a manifestation of the joint desire to solidify mutual government-to-government co-operation.

At the same platform, President Pohamba said peace was a prerequisite for socio-economic development on the continent. He called for a continued search for a peaceful resolution to conflict-afflicted Somalia and Sudan’s Darfur region.

“We call upon all concerned parties to find lasting solutions to these conflicts to ensure stability and prosperity for our continent,” he said.

President Pohamba called on the international community to continue assisting the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo in their efforts towards consolidating peace, national construction and economic development.

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