Windhoek-Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has urged line ministries to expedite negotiations with Brazil in order to finalise pending memoranda of understanding (MoUs).
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who also serves as Namibia’s deputy prime minister, was speaking yesterday at a meeting with visiting Foreign Minister of Brazil Aloysio Nunes Ferreira and said she had taken note of some pending MoUs on both sides that needed to be finalised.
“The signing of these MoUs is to be speedily implemented to enable us to continue to build on our solid foundation for increasing and expanding cooperation between our two countries in the spirit of friendship, trust and good faith,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah further said bilateral relations between the two countries have been cordial, but there is scope for expansion to cover many socio-economic areas of mutual interest. She said there are a number of existing cooperation agreements between Namibia and Brazil in areas of geology, agriculture, logistics, health, culture, education, sports, justice, law enforcement and military assistance.
She further noted that some progress had been made in the logistics sector following the opening of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) office in Sao Paulo with the aim to facilitate a direct shipping line between Brazil and Walvis Bay.
She said the first direct shipping line has the potential to increase trade volumes between Namibia and Brazil and would immensely benefit landlocked SADC member states: “This for us is a step in the right direction and the potential thereof cannot be overemphasised.”
Ferreira said the relation between Brazil and Namibia dates back before Independence and has been developing in an very harmonious manner. Ferreira said between Brazil and Namibia there are no contentious issues; quite the contrary. He added that Namibia has a sound system of governance, that seeks to harmonise fiscal and social policy.
Ferreira further said they are keenly interested in culture and education, which offer a path through which people can get to know each.
“We offer to the Namibian youth [an opportunity] to take up studies in Brazil. We currently have a number of Namibians studying in several careers in Brazil, “ he said.
From Namibia, Ferreira is expected to visit Botswana and then Malawi, before travelling to Mozambique, a country in which Brazil has significant investment, where he will spend two days on May 11 and 12.