Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during a media briefing on the occasion of the State Visit by President Hage Geingob of the Republic of Namibia, Union Buildings, 20 April 2023
Your Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia,
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to express once again my appreciation to His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob for honouring our invitation to pay a State Visit to South Africa.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss, review and strengthen our political, social and economic relations.
During our official talks, we considered broad areas of cooperation and evaluated progress in the implementation of previous decisions and agreements.
We have directed that an audit of our legal instruments be conducted prior to the convening of the South Africa-Namibia Bi-National Commission in Windhoek later this year.
In view of the length of time between sessions of our Bi-National Commission, we have discussed the need for an Inter-Session Review Mechanism of BNC decisions and commitments.
This work is important for our collective efforts to rebuild our economies and improve the livelihoods of our people following the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notable progress has been made in various sectors of cooperation.
This is evidenced by the signing of new agreements to further expand our formal scope of cooperation.
We have agreed to deepen trade and investment between our two countries.
Our ministers responsible for trade and industry will convene a Business Forum later this year to be attended by businesspeople from both countries.
We also agreed that the ministers of trade of the two countries should put in place a mechanism to protect investments in our respective countries.
We will work together to leverage the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Tripartite Free Trade Area between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community.
We welcomed the progress made in implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area, including ongoing work to finalise the rules of origin for the remaining set of products.
This progress has been made possible through resolve and commitment.
President Geingob and I also discussed political, economic and security issues in our region. This includes developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini.
As South Africa, we wish Namibia well in its role as chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, which is playing a central role in advancing peace and stability in the region.
I have assured President Geingob that we will continue, as part of the SADC collective and within available resources, to assist with regional initiatives such as the SADC Mission in Mozambique.
We wish the people of Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Madagascar well as they prepare to hold elections this year.
President Dr Geingob and I deliberated on continental and international issues of mutual concern, including the implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063.
We expressed our concern at the current situation in Sudan, the ongoing occupation of Western Sahara, the continued denial of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
This State Visit has done much to reinforce the solid political, social and economic relations between our two countries in pursuit of mutual development and prosperity.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency