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Namibia Celebrates Europe Day: Strengthening Ties with the European Union

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Windhoek, Namibia – On May 14, 2024, Honourable Jenelly Matundu, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, addressed distinguished guests and officials at the Europe Day celebration in Windhoek. The event marked the 74th anniversary of Europe Day, commemorating the Schuman Declaration that laid the foundation for peace and unity in Europe.

In her address, Honourable Matundu conveyed apologies from Honourable Dr. Peya Mushelenga, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, who was unable to attend due to prior commitments. She emphasized the significance of Europe Day, celebrating the peace and unity achieved through the European Union and the inspiration it provides globally.

“I wish to extend Namibia’s warmest congratulations to Your Excellency, Ambassador Ana Beatriz Martins, and to the people of Europe on this auspicious day,” Matundu stated. She expressed Namibia’s gratitude for the EU’s support across various sectors, highlighting the strong partnership built over the past 34 years. This relationship has been marked by political and social dialogue, trade, sustainable development, economic cooperation, and humanitarian aid.

Honourable Matundu highlighted several key EU-funded projects in Namibia, including:

  • The EU-Namibia Early Childhood Development Sector Reform Programme, funded at 320 million Namibian dollars over three years.
  • The 45-million-Namibian dollar Waste Buy Back Centre (WBBC) under the EU-funded ‘Improving Solid Waste Management in Windhoek’ project.
  • Ongoing support through the European Development Fund (EDF).
  • Funding for tertiary institutions and port infrastructure development.
  • Support for Namibia’s green recovery in line with Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan II.
  • Investments in Namibia’s green hydrogen project.

These initiatives underscore the EU’s commitment to supporting Namibia’s development and economic growth. The increasing trade between the EU and Namibia, bolstered by new agreements and partnerships, was also emphasized. Notably, in November 2022, the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the late President of Namibia, Dr. Hage G. Geingob, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Raw Materials Value Chains and Renewable Hydrogen.

“This partnership is ensuring the development and beneficiation of raw materials, and renewable hydrogen to support the green and digital transformation,” Matundu noted. She also highlighted the successful EU-Namibia Business Forum held in October 2023, which facilitated investment prospects and joint ventures.

In addition to economic and developmental cooperation, Matundu touched on international issues, calling for the EU to leverage its influence to assist in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and supporting the self-determination of the Saharawi people. She praised the EU’s support for women’s participation in peace processes, particularly through the Namibia International Women Peace Centre.

In conclusion, Honourable Matundu reiterated Namibia’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with the EU. “We are indeed grateful for the generous support provided by the EU to Namibia over the years,” she said, expressing optimism for the continued growth and cooperation between Namibia and the European Union.

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