Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe and Namibia should implement cooperation agreements signed between the two countries and make necessary adjustments taking into account emerging issues and areas where there is little interest, Foreign Affairs Secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha, has said.
Officially opening the Eighth Session of the Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation in Harare yesterday co-chairperson of the commission, Ambassador Bimha said the score card of performance in implementing the decisions of the Seventh Session was a mixed one.
The two countries committed to advance bilateral relations in trade, agriculture, rural development, mining, energy, transport and information communication technology, among others.
“We have had significant performance in some areas, moderate in others and no performance at all in others. Progress has been registered in the sectors of trade, energy, broadcasting and human capital development,” he said.
“In the energy sector, we commend our two countries’ power utility companies for the effective and efficient implementation of the power purchase agreement they signed in April 2015.Coopertion in the broadcasting sector is progressing well.”
He said the visit by Namibian Minister of Information and Technology Mr Tjekero Tweya last year enabled the two countries to identify new areas of extending the cooperation which has attracted the interest of other countries in the region.
In human capital development, Ambassador Bimha said Zimbabwe seconded professional staff to Namibia in the engineering and legal fields.
It has also provided training to Namibian diplomats.
“We have a number of agreements that we had committed to conclude by now which, however, remain under negotiation. Among these is the draft Memorandum of Understanding on Geology, Mining and Metallurgy’” he said.
“Another agreement we should conclude with speed is the draft MoU on Promotion of Small to Medium Enterprise Development in view of the critical contribution of these enterprises to trade and economic development between our two countries. We urge concerned colleagues to finalise negotiations and conclude the MoU before the next session of the Joint Commission.”
Namibia deputy permanent secretary for International Relations and Cooperation and co-chairperson of the commission, Ambassador Lineekela Mboti said Namibia was fully committed to the successful collaboration of the joint permanent commission.
“Namibia and Zimbabwe have always enjoyed excellent bilateral relations and cooperation.
“The diplomatic and political consultation between our two countries save an important purpose as they allow us to monitor and reflect on the achievement of the bilateral objectives within the context of the joint permanent commission,” he said.
“Namibia and Zimbabwe have signed several cooperation agreements. These instruments are catalysts to improve economic cooperation and political relations between our two countries.”
The meeting comes a few days before Namibian President Dr Hage Geingob visits the country for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.