Source: New era for Zim, Namibia relations | The Herald July 27, 2019
Tinomuda Chakanyuka in WINDHOEK, Namibia
President Mnangagwa and his Namibian counterpart President Hage Geingob have agreed to elevate relations between the two countries to Bi-National Commission (BNC), with the inaugural Zimbabwean-Namibia BNC set for 2021.
Relations between Harare and Windhoek have been on a Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) since 1992.
Through the JPCC, several agreements have been signed aimed at fostering economic cooperation between the two countries.
On Thursday, President Mnangagwa and President Geingob oversaw the signing of seven agreements under the 9th session of the JPCC.
During a State banquet hosted for President Mnangagwa at the Namibian State House in Windhoek on Thursday night, President Geingob indicated that the two leaders had agreed to further enhance cooperation between the two countries.
“Equally, I note with satisfaction that the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) between Namibia and Zimbabwe continues to meet regularly, in order to advance the implementation of our agreed commitments,” said President Geingob.
“On this note, I am pleased to announce that we have agreed to elevate the Joint Commission mechanism, which was co-chaired by ministers, to a Bi-National Commission which will now be chaired by the Presidents of Namibia and Zimbabwe.
“We look forward to the inaugural session in 2021.”
Speaking at the same function, President Mnangagwa commended officials from both Zimbabwe and Namibia for successfully holding the 9th session of JPCC.
The President said the signing of the agreements should lead to tangible programmes.
“The MoUs and agreements which were signed today (Thursday) attest to the immense potential of our cooperation.
“However, the signing of agreements should never be an end in itself, but must lead to concrete programmes which improve and grow our economies and quality of life of our people,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also took the opportunity to apprise his counterpart on various reforms being undertaken in Zimbabwe aimed at improving the livelihoods of citizens.
He said the reforms were being implemented against the effects of economic sanctions imposed by the West.
“My Government is consolidating its efforts to turnaround the economic fortunes of my country and improve the standards of living of all the people of Zimbabwe,” said President Mnangagwa.
“This is against the persistent and deleterious illegal sanctions which continue to constrain the pace of our economic growth.
“In line with regional and continental integration agenda, we are improving and modernising our infrastructure, in line with the region and beyond.”
President Mnangagwa said as Africa pursues the attainment of Agenda 2063, Zimbabwe is ready to play its part to ensure a more peaceful, empowered, modern, industrialised and integrated continent.
He went on to wish Namibia well as it gears for its national elections slated for November.
“I am aware that your country will be holding your national elections on 27 November 2019. In that regard, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and the people of Namibia a successful and peaceful election,” he said.
With those remarks, President Mnangagwa proposed a toast to the good health and long life of President Geingob.
He also proposed a toast to peace and prosperity for the Government and people of Namibia, and another toast to the continued friendship between Zimbabwe and Namibia.