President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa is set to lead a high-level delegation of ministers on a working visit to Namibia. During this visit, President Ramaphosa will co-chair the 3rd Session of the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Namibia Bi-National Commission (SA – Namibia BNC) alongside his Namibian counterpart, President Hage Geingob.
This visit underscores the significant diplomatic and economic relations between South Africa and Namibia. The Bi-National Commission, inaugurated a decade ago in Windhoek, with its second session taking place in 2016, has played a pivotal role in fostering cooperation and partnership between the two nations.
Shared Vision and Expansive Cooperation
South Africa and Namibia share a common vision when it comes to political and economic integration in Africa. Both countries are dedicated to promoting Africa’s renewal, South-South cooperation, and the establishment of a rules-based, equitable international system of governance.
The geographical proximity of these neighboring nations, sharing common borders, has resulted in numerous opportunities for collaboration that have significantly benefited their respective economies. The two nations are bound together by 74 Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements, which further strengthen their multifaceted relationship.
Objectives of the 3rd Session
The 3rd Session of the BNC is set to address several key objectives, including:
- Evaluate Progress: The session will assess the progress made in implementing commitments made during the 2nd session of the BNC, ensuring that agreements and promises are upheld.
- Consolidate Relations: It aims to strengthen bilateral political, economic, and social relations between South Africa and Namibia. This consolidation seeks to deepen the bond between the nations and their people.
- Promote Energy Cooperation: Energy cooperation, especially in the realms of electricity and green hydrogen, will be a key focal point. Both nations recognize the importance of sustainable energy for the future.
- Enhance Regional and Global Cooperation: The session will emphasize the need to deepen cooperation and coordination at regional, continental, and global levels. This will help both countries advance common positions on various international issues.
President Ramaphosa’s delegation includes several prominent South African ministers, reflecting the depth and breadth of cooperation between the two nations. Some of the key ministers accompanying the President are:
- Naledi Pandor of International Relations and Cooperation.
- Thoko Didiza of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development.
- Blade Nzimande of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation.
- Ebrahim Patel of Trade, Industry, and Competition.
- Lindiwe Zulu of Social Development.
- Gwede Mantashe of Mineral Resources and Energy.
- Barbara Creecy of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries.
- Senzo Mchunu of Water and Sanitation.
- Sandisiwe Chikunga of Transport.
- Patricia de Lille of Tourism.
- Ministers in The Presidency, Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
Committees and Collaboration
The BNC consists of various committees, each focusing on specific aspects of cooperation:
- Diplomatic Committee: Fosters diplomatic ties and discussions between the two nations.
- Economic Committee: Focuses on strengthening economic cooperation, trade, and investment.
- Social Committee: Works to deepen social relations and cultural exchanges.
- Defence and Security Committee: Addresses security matters and defense collaboration.
This high-profile visit underscores the commitment of both South Africa and Namibia to advancing not only their own interests but also the broader interests of the African continent. The results of this 3rd Session of the BNC are expected to further solidify their already robust partnership, with implications for regional and global issues, including the areas of financial services, credit, lending, personal finance, motor vehicles, insurances, and banking – all of which are closely intertwined with the economic and diplomatic landscape of these two African nations.