Egyptian Ambassador to Namibia Mahmoud Fawzy Abou Dounya has reiterated the long history of brotherhood and cooperation the two countries share, which dates back to the period of anti-colonial resistance.
Swapo, as a liberation movement, had its fighters trained in Egypt and after Namibia’s independence in 1990 Egypt continued to support the country in capacity building, he said.
While highlighting to New Era some of the bilateral agreements, Dounya said after the independence of all African countries, Egypt founded a special department in its foreign ministry, which specialised in offering technical assistance and capacity-building courses, called the Egyptian Fund for Technical Assistance for Africa.
“Through the Fund, hundreds of Egyptian doctors, engineers, accountants, teachers and university professors, as well as diplomats were sent as experts to African countries to help African brothers to build their economy and human capacity,” he pointed out.
Dounya said this role is still continuing and at present, there are Namibian youth travelling to Cairo every week to attend various training courses in all fields of life.
He said Egypt’s role in helping other countries was also extended to the former Soviet republics, which disintegrated after the collapse of Soviet Union and became independent republics.
“Another fund was established in the Egyptian foreign ministry to give technical assistance and training courses to hundreds of youth from former soviet republics,” he said.
Egypt recently decided to merge the two funds, which constitute two departments of the Egyptian foreign ministry into a larger entity, called the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development, that was announced by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the African summit of June 2014.
The agency offers the same technical assistance to African countries and former Soviet republics, but on a larger scale. “That is the role Egypt is playing after it completed its role in helping Africa gain its independence,” the ambassador noted.
Notably, Dounya further said he was shocked when he took office in late 2014 to discover that the majority of agreements between Egypt and Namibia have lapsed.
“I find this fact contrary to the long history of friendship and brotherhood between the two countries. Most of my time since I came in late 2014 was concentrated on renewing the lapsed agreements and to convene new ones in new fields to further promote the co-operation between the two countries.”
Dounya said on November 18, 2015 he signed, together with Namibia’s Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta, a new memorandum on co-operation in tourism between the two countries.
Additionally, Dounya said there are efforts being exerted by the embassy to renew other agreements of cultural, scientific technical cooperation that were signed in 1993.
He said they are renewing the MoU in the field of education and exerting efforts to conclude an agreement in the field of civil aviation between the two countries. “There are also bilateral talks about an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and other agreements. These are just a few, not all of them.”