Ramaphosa arrives in Namibia to co-chair 3rd session of SA – Namibia bi-national commission

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Namibian counterpart President Hage Geingob

By: Sello Theletsane

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday, 13 October, arrived in Namibia on a to co-chair, with Namibian President Hage Geingob, the 3rd Session of the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Namibia Bi-National Commission (SA – Namibia BNC).

The SA-Namibia BNC was inaugurated in Windhoek a decade ago in November 2013 and consists of four Committees, namely:

1. Diplomatic Committee which is co-chaired by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
2. Economic Committee which is co-chaired by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
3. Social Committee which is co-chaired by the Department of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation.
4. Defence and Security Committee which is co-chaired by the Department of Defence and Military Veterans.

This 3rd Session was preceded by the Council of Ministers Meeting on Thursday, 12 October 2023. A Senior Officials Meeting of the BNC was held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 07 to 09 March 2023.

The key objectives of the 3rd Session of the BNC are as follows;

1. Evaluate progress on the implementation of commitments made during the 2nd session of the BNC;
2. Consolidate the existing bilateral political, economic and social relations between the two countries and people;
3. Promote cooperation in energy, particularly focusing on electricity and green hydrogen;
4. Deepen existing cooperation and coordination at regional, continental and global levels to advance common positions.

South Africa and Namibia share a common vision on issues of political and economic integration of the African continent. Both countries pursue Africa’s renewal, South-South cooperation, and the promotion of a rules-based, equitable international system of governance.

The scope of cooperation between the two countries is expansive, anchored by 74 Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements. The geographical proximity of our countries and the sharing of common borders has over the years presented many opportunities for cooperation and thus benefitted the economies of the two countries.

South Africa uses Structured Bilateral Mechanisms such as the BNC to promote and advance the country’s political, economic and social interests as well as exchange views on regional, continental and global issues of mutual concern.

President Ramaphosa’s delegation comprises of Ministers Naledi Pandor of International Relations and Cooperation; Thoko Didiza of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; Blade Nzimande of Higher Education, Science and Innovation; and Ebrahim Patel of Trade, Industry and Competition.

The delegation also includes Ministers Lindiwe Zulu of Social Development; Gwede Mantashe of Mineral Resources and Energy; Barbra Creecy of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries; Senzo Mchunu of Water and Sanitation; Sandisiwe Chikunga of Transport; Patricia de Lille of Tourism; and Ministers in The Presidency, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

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