By Charles Tjatindi
A high-ranking military delegation of Kenya’s National Defence College was in the country on a familiarisation tour of the region. The delegation met with the mayor and city councillors of Walvis Bay, where they briefed them about the college’s aims and their tour of the region.
According to Major General E M Sasia, the Kenyan National Defence College provides training not only to Kenyan military and naval officers but have in recent years allowed soldiers of other countries to study at the college.
“The college has trained officers and soldiers of countries like Namibia, Botswana, Sudan, and Burundi and even from countries like Germany and Sri Lanka. It is our belief that by allowing other countries to study at our college, we are contributing to regional harmonisation and peace.
“The training course includes a regional tour, to give the officers a better understanding of the issues and challenges affecting the different countries. In this way, we can also foster friendship and cooperation links in the region.
“Another group is currently visiting Burundi. This is the first time we are visiting Namibia and I must say that we are very impressed with the country, its infrastructure and the people,” he said.
He noted that as in many African countries, Kenya faces many social problems including adequate housing, which leads to the mushrooming of slums, a lack of enough schools and sanitation shortcomings.
“These are problems that face many African cities, and with this tour we would like to learn from our counterparts and see how common problems have been addressed. Maybe we can use some of these solutions and adapt them in our countries,” Major General Sasia added.
The delegation visited the naval base and was given an overview of Walvis Bay’s economy, tourism sector and challenges facing the municipality.
Some of the delegates were interested to know more about how road infrastructure is maintained, how the municipality deals with the increasing number of shebeens and backyard shacks, security and the crime situation as well as the integration of different cultures and ethnic groups in the country.
Another delegation also paid a call to the Walvis Bay Town Council.
The Swedish visited Walvis Bay as part of a country-wide tour to investigate possible fields of cooperation. Two members of the delegation hail from the city of Stenungsund and have expressed their interest in establishing further ties with Walvis Bay.
Their initial contact with Walvis Bay has been through a project called Flamingo with the Kuisebmond Secondary School.
Earlier this year, four Swedish students came to Walvis Bay and shortly afterwards four Namibian students spent some time in Stenungsund, more particularly at the N?