Namibia will in two weeks’ time host the 31st Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), welcoming 350 parliamentarians from the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and EU countries.
National Assembly Speaker, Professor Peter Katjavivi, and Ambassador of the European (EU) Delegation to Namibia, Jana Hybášková, made the announcement at a recent media conference.
The event will be hosted from June 8 – 15 at the Safari Court Hotel by the Namibian National Assembly together with the EU Delegation to Namibia, the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS),Windhoek Office. The formal opening of the session will take place on Monday, June 13, between 11am and 12:30am.
Katjavivi said the JPA is of great importance to Namibia because it will also involve meetings of the three standing committees and bureau on June 11 and 12. Besides that, he said, there will be side events and meetings relating to AWEPA and the parliamentarians.
Katjavivi furthermore said the importance of the assembly for Namibia is that as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibian interests are reflected in the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
“As a signatory, Namibia needs to ensure that it ratifies the EPA which will promote the growth-at-home strategy,” he said, adding that the meeting will bring together ACP and EU member states at a key strategic platform for stakeholders to streamline their interests.
He said Namibia also has the opportunity to showcase three themes that are key to its socio-economic development and the well-being of its citizens. According to him the themes relate to conservancies, solar energy development and trade.
Katjavivi explained that Namibia has demonstrated a unique model to the rest of the world through the idea of sustainable conservancies.
“For instance through trophy hunting, Namibia has been able to improve the livelihood of our rural communities,” he said.
In this case, he said, Namibia is opposed to the idea of a blanket ban on all trophy hunting and the transportation of game trophies around the world without due consideration of every case on its own merit.
On the issue of solar energy, Katjavivi said Namibia happens to be in one of the areas on the planet that enjoy high quantities of isolation.
He said lately the country, together with its development partners, has made strategic interventions in the area of solar energy development, especially solar-diesel hybrid power development.
“We are an arid/semi-arid country and therefore solar energy development could save the country from a looming energy crisis,” said the Speaker.
On trade, Katjavivi said the country is trying to promote trade links between its communities and the international community.