Windhoek-Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, has revealed plans to create a Namibian-Finnish Parliamentary grouping that would look at issues of mutual concern between the legislative bodies of the two countries.
Katjavivi, who recently visited Finland in his quest to strengthen co-operation, repeated similar sentiments when he met newly accredited Finnish Ambassador to Namibia, Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstilä earlier this week.
According to Katjavivi, the friendship group would expound on issues of importance such as information and communication technology and gender-based violence.
“My visit in Finland was aimed at strengthening the already existing co-operation between our two countries. Of particular importance to me was the existing Finnish-Namibian Parliamentary group, which we met in Finland. We would like to emulate the gesture in order for us to champion issues of concern such as moving towards e-parliament and tackling gender-based violence.”
According to Katjavivi, critical issues of gender-based violence that continue to cripple Namibia need concerted efforts and co-operation between various stakeholders.
“We believe Finland is a leader when it comes to tackling such challenges. We would like to have a well-conceived plan and a framework with a strong targeted training element so that our interventions are effective. We would like to work together with our civil society organisations in order to reach all corners of Namibia,” stated the Speaker.
Kyöstilä, who recently presented her credentials to President Hage Geingob, promised to continue to enhance co-operation between the two bodies.
She was based in the troubled state of Palestine before she was posted to Namibia.
“I am very happy to be in Namibia given our history of co-operation dating back to the time of Finnish missionaries. When I left Palestine, President Mahmoud Abbas himself had kind words about Namibia, citing that I was going to a country whose dream for independence has been realised. I have noted all important issues that still need to be explored between our two countries and would work towards making sure we implement those issues,” Kyöstilä pledged.
The Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Maria Lohela, would reciprocate Katjavivi’s visit early next year, the meeting was informed.
*George Sanzila works as Chief Information Officer in the Research, Information, Publications and Editorial Services Division at the National Assembly.