By Staff Reporter
JOHANNESBURG, April 16 — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to host Namibian President Hage Geingob for a state visit to South Africa on Thursday, April 20, 2023. The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. It is expected to focus on political and economic issues of mutual concern, including regional, continental and international matters such as the situation in Eswatini, the conflict in Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Palestine, and the Russia-Ukraine situation. South Africa and Namibia have close historical relations, and their bilateral relations are conducted under the framework of a Bi-National Commission (BNC), inaugurated in 2013.
The state visit will give the two countries an opportunity to evaluate the progress made in the implementation of the decisions of their BNC and to enhance economic cooperation, explore trade and investment, and identify new areas of cooperation. In 2022, South Africa imported R16.1 billion from Namibia, and in turn, South Africa exported R56.5 billion to Namibia. The visit will be preceded by a bilateral meeting between the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and her Namibian counterpart, on April 19, 2023.
Namibia is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and President Geingob chairs the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security Cooperation. The last state visit to the Republic of South Africa by the Republic of Namibia took place in November 2012, by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba. The upcoming visit by President Geingob is expected further to strengthen the relationship between South Africa and Namibia and help identify new areas of cooperation between the two countries. – Namibia Daily News