Stage set for Geingob’s UK visit

by Toivo Ndjebela

Stage set for Geingob’s UK visit

London

President Hage was scheduled to arrive in London late yesterday, and would kick off his visit with addressing and networking with about 300 investors in Berkeley Square.

Mining, power and financing were the envisaged subjects of discussion, with Namibian Cabinet ministers on call to answer some questions.



Geingob had briefly left Europe for Havana, Cuba, where he was one of the few world leaders accorded the rare opportunity to speak at the funeral of legendary father of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro.

The Namibian head of state fulfilled his scheduled rendezvous in France, meeting that country’s President Francois Hollande for bilateral talks before engaging investors.

Geingob understands that his mandate as president differs from those of his two predecessors – presidents Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba – hence his focus on growing the economy and creating prosperity.

Naturally, Nujoma was tasked to consolidate the country’s independence, freedom and the then new concept of democracy, while Pohamba focused majorly on maintaining stability.

Having revamped the country’s foreign policy earlier in 2016 to give it an economic cutting edge, Geingob has been a busy man insofar as ushering the country into a sustainable economic direction is concerned. It is a project he started in New York, USA in September when he used his spare time off the busy UN General Assembly session to tell the Namibian story to investors.

He followed this up in October by personally attending a meeting in Johannesburg, a prelude to the highly successful ‘Invest in Namibia’ conference in early November.

Deals worth billions of Namibian dollars were signed at the conference in Windhoek.
Geingob continued his economic diplomacy drive this week in France, where he spoke to a forum of businesses about Namibia and what the country has to offer in terms of investment.

During the visit to France, several commitments were made, including the letter of intent signed between the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia and the French Agency for Development, to the tune of N$675 million. Upon arrival in London late yesterday, Geingob kicked off his visit with addressing and networking with about 300 investors in Berkeley Square.

Mining, power and financing were the subjects of discussion, with Namibian Cabinet ministers on call to answer some questions.This morning (Thursday), four companies with interest in energy and mining will entertain the Namibian contingent of relevant ministers at the Invest Africa headquarters.

In the afternoon, Geingob will arrive at Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth group of nations.

Their conversation will centre around bilateral ties between the two countries, wildlife conservation in Namibia and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled for the UK in the spring of 2018.

The President will then have lunch with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, also at Buckingham Palace, during which they will talk about wildlife conservation and investment opportunities between the two nations.

He will later meet Tobias Ellwood, British Minister for Africa and the Middle East. The pair will talk about UN Security Council reforms, investment, drought assistance for Namibia and implementation of COP 21 resolutions.
The ministers’ meeting with mining and energy investors will then resume again, before Geingob hosts a press conference on the Namibian economy.

The President will thereafter grant interviews to BBC and Reuters, focused on Namibia and why Fidel Castro is held in high regard by Namibians.

He will round off today’s schedule with dinner with investors, who amongst other things would be informed about Namibia being a gateway to the 300 million people Southern Africa market.

Tomorrow, Geingob will have a meeting with Vendata, owners of the Skorpion Zinc Mine in Rosh Pinah, before meeting secretary general of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland.

And after meeting Ian Taylor, CEO and president of Harvey Foster, the Namibian head of state will wrap up his visit with a keynote address at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, where he will talk about his philosophy of a new Africa, investment opportunities in Namibia as well as drought and climate change.

Geingob was scheduled to arrive in London late yesterday, and would kick off his visit with addressing and networking with about 300 investors in Berkeley Square. Mining, power and financing were envisaged subjects of discussion, with Namibian Cabinet ministers on call to answer some questions.

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