President Geingob in Kenya


Namibia’s Head of State Dr Hage Geingob concluded a three day state visit to Kenya on Sunday. The President’s next stop was Geneva in Switzerland for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. On the picture: Dr Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos arrives in Nairobi and is accompanied here by Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. President Geingob was hosted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (see page 2 for full extract of the speech Dr Geingob delivered at a reception function by President Kenyatta)

It gives me great pleasure, to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Government and people of Kenya and especially to you my Dear Brother, for the warm welcome my delegation received upon our arrival in this historic city of Nairobi.

The generous hospitality extended to the Namibian delegation since our arrival, which is so characteristic of Kenya and its people, has made us feel home away from home. And so we say, ASANTENI SANA!
Your Excellency, Our longstanding bilateral relations epitomise the spirit of Pan – Africanism. Pan-Africanism was decisive in breaking the yoke of colonial domination and it is befitting, on this auspicious occasion, to acknowledge the contribution of one of the movement’s most notable protagonists – the first President of the Republic of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s commitment to the liberation of Africa had early beginnings.
However, the movement began to gain serious traction following the Fifth Pan African Conference which took place in Manchester during October 15-21, 1945, where he was joined by other luminaries such as Ras Makonnen, Kwame Nkrumah, Amy Garvey, W.E. Du Bois and George Padmore, among others. The decisions taken at this conference set in motion an unstoppable wave of events that would result in the liberation of our African continent.
Consequently, when Namibians faced the oppression at the hands of South African apartheid regime, Kenya and its people opened their doors for Namibians. The narrative of the Namibian struggle for national liberation will not be complete without invoking the role played by Kenya and its people.
The Republic of Kenya contributed a large military contingent to the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG). The unwavering commitment of the UNTAG personnel at that time, with its dedicated son of the Kenyan soil, Lieutenant-General Daniel Ishmael Opande, as its Deputy Force Commander from 1989 to 1990, remains fresh in memories of many Namibians.
In that unpredictable and difficult milieu, the UNTAG personnel remained unshakable. And together with the great Kenyan contingent, we observed not only a landslide victory for the SWAPO Party, but a long awaited celebration of the end of apartheid and beginning of freedom and independence.
When the apartheid administration was defeated and its colonial masters had to pack and leave to allow the Namibian people to chart their own destiny, Lieutenant General Opande heeded the call by our Founding President Comrade Sam Nujoma, to remain behind and assist with the establishment of the Namibian Defence Force. He did a sterling job making Namibia, Kenya and Africa proud.
I salute this great dedicated Son of Africa, for his invaluable contribution to the noble cause of Namibia’s emancipation and nationhood.
Your Excellency, Having traversed down the arduous path of the fight against colonialism and having emerged victorious, Kenya and Namibia are now ceased with the challenges of the second phase of the struggle. Our people are free, but they need food, clothes, shelter and jobs. Our youth want to pursue their dreams in a world of immense opportunities. The time is opportune for Kenya and Namibia to once again unite in the spirit of Pan Africanism, in order to deliver on the promise of economic emancipation and the Africa We Want as underscored in our Agenda 2063.
I am aware that despite the excellent bilateral cooperation between Namibia and Kenya in various areas, trade activities have been very minimal. That means there is potential for growth. There is a room for improvement, especially in the area of transport and logistics. The Republic of Kenya has an excellent transport and logistical network as well as one of the biggest, and well managed harbours in Africa, Port Mombasa. Kenya’s experience in making Mombasa a Port of choice for most East African countries could be a good lesson to Namibia, as we strive to make the Port of Walvis Bay a premier regional destination and a gateway into Southern Africa. These efforts have the potential to contribute immensely towards the acceleration of the African regional integration process.
Our cooperation in the field of Education, Agriculture, Health, Defence and Aviation is noteworthy. Namibia remains grateful, especially for the assistance received through the establishment of a heart unit at the Windhoek Central Hospital. The services of the Kenyan health professionals who have assisted patients at various hospitals around our country is greatly appreciated.
To take our cooperation to the next level, let us deepen our trade, educate our people, and elevate our cooperation as per decisions of the recently concluded Inaugural Session of the Joint Commission of Cooperation.
Your Excellency, As the Chairperson of SADC, Namibia believes that with the support of other multilateral and regional institutions, Africa will continue its long-standing efforts to help establish an enabling environment for economic growth and prosperity. SADC will continue to support the efforts to devise new investment strategies and trade practices for the benefit of Africans. This will help accelerate regional integration as witnessed during the recent signing of the Agreement Establishing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
Your Excellency, Africa’s time has come. Together, we can eradicate poverty and hunger, restore peace and give hope to those caught in conflicts. Together we can deliver on the promise of economic emancipation.
Together we can achieve the Africa We Want. As so eloquently said by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta,
“Our children may learn about the heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future.” To our Kenyan brothers and sisters, and Namibians – let us join hands and become the heroes of our children by becoming the architects of the future.
In conclusion, I wish once again to thank you my Dear Brother, Your Excellency, President Kenyatta, the Government and the people of the Republic of Kenya for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and my delegation, which has made our stay in this beautiful City of Nairobi, a very memorable one indeed.
I thank you!

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