Veteran Namibian politician, Nora Schimming-Chase, was laid to rest at a state funeral ceremony at her family’s farm De Rust near Rehoboth in the Hardap region last Saturday preceded by a state memorial service at Parliament’s Gardens last Friday.
Schimming-Chase died at the age of 77 years in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the Paramount Hospital after a long illness.
Described as a goal-oriented individual with proven leadership capabilities, a consummate politician, passionate debater, team player with extensive experience in party politics and the observation of elections her career experience also included
various consultancies and training assignments with the Namibia Democracy Institution (NDI). She was a member of the Namibian Government delegation that went to observe elections in Madagascar in 2013 and also served as a member of a number non-governmental organisations (NGOs) chairing the Women across Borders Movement.
From December 1999 to November 2006 she was elected to the Namibian parliament as member of the Congress of Democrats (COD) having served this party in various capacities of vice president and national chairperson; member of the Interim Executive Committee, responsible for International Affairs and CoD Campaign co-ordinator for the presidential and General Assembly Elections of Namibia 1999.
During 2006 to 2009 she served in the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia in various capacities including as chief whip of the Congress of Democrats (COD),
deputy chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum, an election observer for the Ecumenical Team for the South African elections; election observer, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone.
From December 1998 to March 1999 she served the Namibian as acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after serving as deputy section commissioner general for EXPO 1998, Namibia, and acting section commissioner general for EXPO 1998, representing Namibia in Lisbon, Portugal. She also served as Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was after serving as non-resident ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Namibia to the Federal Republic of Austria and at the same time
Namibia’s Representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Eminent Persons Group to observe the elections in the Republic of South Africa.
From July 1992 – 1996 she served as ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Namibia to the Federal Republic of Germany
during which chaired SADC ambassadors in Germany from 1994, was a
member of the “Group of 13” select ambassadors in Bonn, deputy dean of the Commonwealth ambassadors Group in Bonn (1995), executive member of the Bonn Diplomatic Club (1996) and holder of the German Order of Merit (1st Class).
In August 1991 she was chargee d’Affaires of the Republic of Namibia to France and set up Namibia’s first embassy there. As undersecretary, Multilateral Affairs, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990, she attended three-month Diplomatic Training Course of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as a pre-posting course for heads of mission. In 1989 – 1990 she was with the Namibia National Front (NNF) to which she was elected foreign secretary of the, deputy campaign director and member of the NNF Parliamentary team. Between 1987 – 1989 , she was with World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva Switzerland as Deputy Director, WCC Commission on Inter-Church Aid, refugees and World Service serving as moderator: Africa Task Force WCC; moderator: various donor/recipient conferences on Africa, Asia, Middle East, North America; and moderator: WCC preparatory Committee for: Women’s Decade and World Convocation on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation and as moderator: WCC Namibia Working Group on Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 435
From 1980 – 1986 she served the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), Windhoek, Namibia as director of Education during which she was a member of the CCN Secretarial Committee; started the Legal Aid Unit of the CCN, overseeing unit with a fellow colleague for three years; served animator/resource person: WCC World Conference “Diakonia 2000”, in 1986; attended WCC Commission on Churches participation in Development Regional Network, representing Namibia; attended a three-month course on Human Rights, Social Justice and Development, in The Netherlands.
She was a member of the South West Africa National Union (SWANU) serving as Secretary General, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Publicity and Information of SWANU and represented SWANU on the SWAPO delegation at the Lusaka Talks, in Zambia in 1984 and also represented SWANU at the Commemoration of the 100 Years of Colonialism in Namibia. She headed the Swanu party Offices in Tanzania and served as the party representative in Dar-es-Salaam after she was recalled from her other assignments overseas. She was then recalled to Namibia in November 1978, under Amnesty of UN Security Council Resolution 435 and elected as Deputy Secretary General of SWANU in 1979
While at the International School of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania she served as a teacher, teacher’s representative on the Board of Directors and acting head mistress of the School. In the Federal Republic of Germany from 1968-1974 she was a part-time television journalist, Internationale Fruhschoppen and tutor with the German Volunteer Services (DED) – East Africa Group
Nora Schimming-Chase educational and professional resume looks as follows
1961 Diploma Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa
1966 Bachelor Degree in Political Science, English Linguistics and African Literature, the Free University of Berlin, West Germany
1967 Exchange Student: African Studies Department, Columbia University, New York, USA
1968 Completion of Master’s Degree equivalent, Admission to PhD Programme
1969 Completion of ‘Hauptseminaraufnahme Prufung’
1970 Commenced PhD Thesis: ‘The Sociological Aspects of the Novels of Chinua Achebe. ‘
1997 Bundesverdienstkreuz (German National Order of Merit, First Class)
1984 Paper on “the Analysis of the 1984 Lusaka Talks on Namibia.”
2012 Contributed the Chapter on the Parliamentary Dimension of Foreign Affairs to a publication by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Many various Publications on Education, the Role of Women in the Liberation Struggle, the Role of the Churches in the Struggle, Various Aspects of Politics in the Struggle.
• “Nora’s Namibia”, a film on the Liberation Struggle with German Television. (1984)
• “Namibia, Africa’s last Colony”, a documentary film for the BBC Programme, Third Eye
• “The Supreme Law”, a documentary film on the Namibian Constitution, by Jackson Swartz
Additional skills & Accomplishments
• Mother Tongue English, Fluent in written and spoken German, Afrikaans, Nama Damara, Herero, working knowledge of French
• Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Package: Excel, Word, PowerPoint
• Accomplished public speaker and expert presentation and facilitation skills
• Code 8 Drivers License