NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas welcomed His Excellency Martin Andjaba, High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia, as both countries forge relations in education, training and tourism. His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, Governor General accepted the Letters of Commission, during a ceremony at Government House on Thursday, February 10, 2011.
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Republic of Namibia established diplomatic relations on 15th May, 2008, with the presentation of the Letters of Commission by the previous Namibian High Commissioner to The Bahamas, His Excellency Patrick Nandago.
“The Bahamas and Namibia indeed enjoy excellent bilateral relations, even though they are pursued in the multilateral fora that form the global stage, particularly in the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth,” Sir Arthur said.
“The independence struggles of The Bahamas, though less painful from those of your country, Excellency, were imbued with the ideals of Democracy, the Rule of Law, and the Promotion and Respect for Human Rights,” he said.
When the call, spearheaded by the United Nations Council for Namibia, came to support the realisation of these ideals for Namibia, Sir Arthur said,” The Bahamas could do no less than to respond positively. The Independence of the Republic of Namibia in 1990 is also a success story for the United Nations.”
Sir Arthur also commended Namibia’s priority focus on national reconciliation, constitutionally enshrined environmental protection and its ‘Vision 2030’. “As we do our utmost in an environment still affected by the economic downturn to seek a transparent and well regulated solution to the said downturn, The Bahamas would welcome the support of Namibia in her full accession as a member of the World Trade Organisation,” he said.
Sir Arthur took note of the high commissioner’s pledge to maintain and further deepen cooperation between both countries in areas such as education, training and tourism. He also suggested possible areas of exploration in health, sports, culture and Commonwealth-funded technical assistance.
“I am confident that you will fulfil the goals of your current mission in The Bahamas, and thus your pledge,” Sir Arthur said.
High Commissioner Andjaba also acknowledged that The Bahamas and Namibia enjoy excellent bilateral relations, from the time of the Liberation struggle in his country.
“We will remain eternally grateful for the important role that your country played in support of the people of Namibia. The Government of Namibia is committed to strengthening the political, historical and cultural relations with your great country,” he said.
Since Namibia independence in 1990, its government has recorded significant progress in the provision of health, education, housing, creation of jobs, land reform and infrastructure.
“However, formidable challenges such as poverty, unemployment, especially among the youth, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and lack of skills remain to be addressed. In our efforts to find solutions to these challenges, it is important that we closely work with all our brothers and sisters around the world,” the high commissioner said.
He also paid courtesy calls on Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham; Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of National Security the Hon. Tommy Turnquest and other officials.
Martin Andajaba is also the Ambassador of the Republic of Namibia to the United States since September 2010. He served as Permanent Representative of Namibia to the UN in New York from September 1996 to August 2006. He was a member of the Security Council Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda from May 4 -8, 2000 which was aimed at assisting the parties to resolve the conflict in the DRC peacefully.
The Republic of Namibia is a vast, sparsely populated country situated along the south Atlantic coast of Africa. It is the 31 largest country in the world, with a population of about two million people. Its main exports are diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, and processed fish.
By Lindsay Thompson
Bahamas Information Services