Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele says the region will continue to seek opportunities to realise the potential of cultural and tourism links, as well as investment opportunities with Botswana.
Ueitele made these remarks during the official opening of the two-day Ghomona 2015 Cultural Festival here on Friday, celebrated this year under the theme: ‘A Celebration of Culture Festival’. The festival formed part of the run-up to Botswana’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations, slated for September 2016.
Ueitele said he was particularly happy to be given the opportunity to highlight the unique contributions made by the people of Botswana. “We regard the Batswana communities as a great treasure and remarkable resources,” said the youthful governor. He expressed the hope that the festival and others would be a reflection of the strong political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries.
He said Namibia and Botswana share a rich history, and this event, Ghomona 2015, was a reflection of the close connection between the two countries. “Botswana and Namibia are one. It is up to us – the leaders and parents – to ensure that the youth of both countries understand the history between our countries,” he said.
“We, the people of Omaheke, have nothing but praises for the Botswana government and the pivotal role it played in ensuring that Namibia attains independence,” Ueitele said. He added that the Batswana provided unconditional and unwavering support to Namibia and its people during the long and bitter struggle to liberate Namibia from the yoke of colonialism.
Botswana’s High Commissioner to Namibia Tshenolo Modise, on behalf of her country, thanked the Namibian government for its unwavering support, which assured the successful staging of the inaugural Ghamona festival.
“Such support is indeed a true demonstration of the cordial bonds of friendship that exist between Namibia and Botswana, underpinned by shared values of good governance, democracy, equality and mutual interest, the rule of law and respect for human rights,” she said.
Namibians and Batswana displayed various types of traditional food at their stalls and were dressed in cultural attire as they danced to showcase their cultures.
The cultural festival started off with a street march along Church Street, led by the Namibia Defence Force, and included various cultural troupes and choir groups.
The festival was celebrated at the Lagare Stadium and ended on Saturday night with performances by popular Namibian artists Oviritje and Franco, as well as Afro Musika from Botswana.
The event was also graced by Ghanzi District Council chairperson Thato Tshweneyagae, various ministers and regional governors.