EU Day commemorated
Further commitment to Namibia
16 May 2021 | Events
These were the opening remarks by HE Sinikka Antila, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Namibia at the official Europe Day 2021 event held at the EU Residence, in the capital recently.
Europe Day commemorates the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, calling on the nations of Europe to unify and make war in the continent no more possible. It further calls for long-lasting peace, collaboration and collective efforts towards a better future. The vision of partnership has since been extended to other nations, such as Namibia, with the common goal of providing support and sharing best practises that is key for inclusive development and shared prosperity.
Hosted under the banner “Stronger Together,” the event celebrated the strong relationship between the Republic of Namibia and the EU, showcasing EU’s involvement through various projects in Namibia and enabled the Namibian community to engage with the EU and its 5 Member States represented here in Namibia (Finland, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain).
In his keynote address, Ambassador Penda Naanda, Executive Director at the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, said that Namibia continues to enjoy excellent relations with the EU in the areas of trade, investment, tourism and development cooperation, amongst others.
“The EU market remains an important market for Namibian exports. In 2019, Namibia exported goods valued at over €1.1 billion (N$19 billion). Export products ranged from agricultural products to fisheries as well as mining commodities,” he said, adding: “The Economic Partnership Agreement concluded between the EU and the SADC EPA States, of which Namibia is a member, allows for duty free, quota free market access from Namibia to the EU with the exception of arms and ammunition. Similarly, in 2019, European exports to Namibia were valued at over €425 million (N$7.2 billion), which speaks to the mutually beneficial outcome in trading relations between the EU and Namibia.”
Ambassador Antila said that EU – Namibia relations continue to grow. “I can confirm that the EU has been and will continue to be one of Namibia’s main development partners. In recent years, the cooperation has largely focused on education, agriculture and especially, livestock development as well as trade support, climate change, biodiversity and conservation.
“We work with the Namibian government but also with civil society and grassroots organisations. We coordinate closely and work together with EU Member States and with the United Nations. One example is the cooperation with Germany and the Government of Namibia in the area of vocational training which opens new opportunities for young Namibians seeking training, employment and a good income,” she said.
Furthermore, at the beginning of May, the EU together with UNESCO and NUST contributed to the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebrations coinciding with the 30 year Anniversary of Windhoek Declaration here in Namibia by supporting the Youth Newsroom.