Geingob welcomes new diplomats… Trade, education, tourism top agendas

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Windhoek

Ambassadors from Greece, Spain, the European Union, the Philippines and high commissioners from the United Kingdom and Jamaica presented their letters of credence to President Hage Geingob yesterday at State House.
Most of them indicated that during their stay they aim to assist Namibia in the areas of trade, farming and education, as well as join the government’s battle to eliminate poverty.

The six diplomats were welcomed at an official function and were accorded the chance to hold private discussions with the president after the ceremony.

Each head of mission also signed the country’s official visitor’s book before they were each whisked away in their luxury official vehicle. Some were accompanied by their relatives, while others came with officials from their respective embassies.

The diplomats are Concepción Figuerola Santos (Spain), Joanne Lomas (United Kingdom), Jana Hybaskova (European Union), Cheryl Spencer (Jamaica), Joseph Gerard Angeles (Philippines) and Eleftherios Kouvaritakis (Hellenic Republic of Greece).

Ambassador Santos of Spain said her primary focus would be on education and further cementing the ties between Namibia and Spain.

High Commissioner Lomas said the UK high commission in Namibia would under her leadership build on the work of her predecessor by supporting economic growth to ensure a good business environment in Namibia.
“I will make sure that British companies are aware of the opportunities here. We will also support the president’s openness and transparency agenda,” she said.

During the private talks with Geingob, Lomas said: “He [Geingob] has shown leadership when it comes to transparency and I have invited him to join the overseas open government partnership, which will help Namibia’s openness and transparency drive.”

Ambassador Hybaskova said the EU would focus on pre-primary, primary, secondary and vocational education and promised about 30 million euros for education purposes.

She said the EU would also place great emphasis on developing rural areas and assist communal farmers.
“We extensively discussed with the president our plans to develop the northern communal areas. These include things such as helping cattle farmers and ways to get rid of the veterinary fence,” she said.

According to Hybaskova: “There is a need to improve the auction systems, veterinary assistance and abattoirs in the northern communal areas.”

“The marketing and commercialization of rural areas so that people can have money in their pockets will be our main aim for the next few years,” she said.

Attention will also be given to the civil society and economic partnership agreements, said the new ambassador, adding that economic agreements would support trade between the EU and Namibia, while at the same time open more markets for Namibian products such as diamonds, grape, beef and gold.

High Commissioner Spencer of Jamaica said she would focus on tourism and trade.
“Our relations come a long way, they even pre-date the diplomatic relationship, and my duty is to build on that and add new things. We already cooperate in areas such as sport,” she said.

“I plan to build on and see greater trade and investment, and the greater presence of Jamaica, in Namibia. I will be attending your national festivals and fares so that we can add on to that. There is so much we can do together in the area of tourism because I see the tourism potential,” she said.

Today the new heads of mission-designate from Switzerland, Canada, Singapore, Denmark, Norway and Malawi will present their credentials to the president at State House.

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