Improved Namibia-India economic cooperation in pipeline… govt awaits draft MoU

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Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-International Relations and Cooperation Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has said Namibia is awaiting a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from the Indian government regarding cooperation in the field of tourism.

Nandi-Ndaitwah, who also serves as deputy prime minister, said this in the National Assembly last week while responding to questions put to her by parliamentarians wanting to know how the Namibian and Indian governments plan to expand trade and investment, particularly in the areas of energy, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure development and mining.

She said Namibia-India cooperation in the field of tourism would mainly focus on development of tourist destinations and enhancement of people-to-people interaction.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said Namibia has expressed an interest in cooperation with India in the agricultural sector, particularly in areas of drought-resistant crops, capacity building in food processing and agricultural technology.

She said this falls under the India-Africa Forum initiative in support of the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) to increase productivity, conserve land and environment, as well as ensure food and nutritional security.

The CAADP promotes, among others, the improvement of farming techniques through appropriate and affordable technology, appropriate use of irrigation, improving crop varieties and other measures, she added.

Additionally, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the Namibia-India Joint Trade Committee (JTC) was the ideal framework for trade and economic expansion between the two countries. She said the third session of the JTC was held in India on September 7, 2016. The Namibian delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Piet van Der Walt.

She said at that meeting Namibia encouraged proposals from India of joint ventures in mining and minerals exploration with Epangelo Mining Company.

“Part of India’s offers under the India-Africa Summit meeting was for the establishment of an Entrepreneurial Centre,” she said, adding that once the MoU is signed and becomes operational this would undoubtedly facilitate increased trade between the two countries.

Further, Nandi-Ndaitwah said there was an International Solar Alliance (ISA) spearheaded by India, which the Ministry of Mines and Energy has identified as a focal point for the activities of ISA. She added this would allow Namibia to more effectively partake and benefit from ISA programmes, such as rural solar electrification, training programmes and universal access to solar lighting, among others.

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