By Kaleb Nghishidivali
Windhoek, 05 September – Japan has consistently ranked as one of Namibia’s most substantial donor nations, providing an impressive total of over US$271 million towards the country’s development initiatives since gaining independence. This noteworthy disclosure came from the Japanese Ambassador to Namibia, Nishimaki Hisao, during his courtesy visit to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Prof. Peter Katjavivi.
The Japanese diplomat highlighted the multifaceted support Namibia has received, encompassing vital sectors such as human resource development, agriculture, and emergency response, particularly during times of drought when Japan has provided essential food aid to vulnerable citizens. Medical assistance has also been extended, and the two nations have collaborated in other critical areas of the economy, primarily through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“Japan has been instrumental in constructing classrooms and deploying volunteer teacher experts in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, who have imparted knowledge across all 14 regions of Namibia,” remarked Hisao.
Additionally, Japan has made significant contributions by awarding scholarships to numerous Namibians, enabling them to pursue diverse fields of study in Japan. Since 2013, JICA has held the position of a strategic partner within the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), providing indispensable technical expertise in shaping Namibia’s logistics masterplan.
During their meeting, Hisao elaborated on the joint Japan-Namibia Rice and Mahangu Project, initiated in 2012 at the University of Namibia’s Ogongo campus. The project has yielded scientific evidence supporting the successful cultivation of rice in northern Namibia.
Speaker Katjavivi commended this initiative and underscored its importance for replication in other regions of Namibia, particularly given the nation’s susceptibility to drought.
“We applaud this project and hope to see it extended to other areas of our country to alleviate hunger. This marks significant progress, and it is imperative for our Members of Parliament to take note of such endeavors,” noted Katjavivi.
Furthermore, Katjavivi revealed that the Namibian parliament is exploring avenues for forging connections with its Japanese counterpart.
“Japan has consistently stood as a steadfast development partner, and as our parliament, we aspire to build a partnership with the Japanese parliament. We eagerly anticipate engaging with our Japanese colleagues during the forthcoming IPU General Assembly scheduled for October in Angola as the initial step toward nurturing this friendship,” affirmed the Speaker.- Namibia Daily News