WINDHOEK, JUNE 26 – A United States official who visited Namibia during the week of June 17-21 has praised Namibia’s efforts in combating the HIV/AIDS dilemna that has the plagued sub-Saharan region.
The U.S. Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Matthew Harrington covered the broad U.S. – Namibia partnership. Harrington served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Namibia from 2008-2010 and U.S. Ambassador to Lesotho from 2014-2017.
During his visit, Harrington delivered an address at the Ministers’ of Health Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Meeting on a Sustainable HIV Response for Epidemic Control. It was at that occassion where he applauded Namibia’s success in bringing the HIV epidemic from crisis to control, thanks to the partnership between the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services.
He also explained that PEPFAR has invested more than US $75 billion in sub-Saharan Africa, which has helped save more than 17 million lives and prevented millions of HIV infections.
Harrington said also, that the U.S. model of partnership offered sustainable, debt-free avenues for African growth, prosperity, and human capital development.
U.S. companies are attracted to countries known for their ease of doing business and their consistent policy and regulatory environments and he expressed enthusiasm about the opportunities for further growth in trade and investment between the United States and Namibia, especially through the Prosper Africa initiative launched at last week’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Maputo, Mozambique.
At the Katutura Health Centre, Harrington saw an example of Namibia’s success in combatting HIV/AIDS in person, where Namibia is expanding its global leadership in fighting HIV by implementing index partner testing and recency testing.
This approach will allow Namibia to prevent the spread of HIV by strategically focusing on recent HIV infections and people who are most at-risk of new infection.
Harrington’s meetings with the Namibian government included the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and Social Services and, the Minister of Environment and Tourism. He also had an opportunity to visit the Walvis Bay port expansion project to better understand Namibia’s positioning to be a logistics hub and transport corridor.
In other engagements, DAS Harrington met with representatives of American businesses present in Namibia and had lunch with alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the Fulbright Scholarship, and the International Visitor Leadership Program.
He was able to visit Swakopmund’s COSDEF Arts and Crafts Centre constructed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and also met with Peace Corps Volunteers who are dedicating two years of their lives to community development all around Namibia. – NDN Staffer