President Ramaphosa’s Closing Remarks during the Third Session of the South Africa–Namibia Bi-National Commission, Windhoek, Namibia, 13 October 2023
Your Excellency, President Geingob,
Our respective High Commissioners,
Senior Government Officials,
We have come to the end of the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and Namibia.
The Ministerial Report that we have just considered and approved has over 170 decisions across various areas of cooperation. This is testament to the thorough and commendable work of our respective Ministers and Officials.
The audit of our legal instruments has helped the BNC to determine the relevance of our Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, and to establish which instruments require further negotiation and finalisation.
We are emerging from this BNC with renewed vigour to further deepen our bilateral relations.
We look forward to addressing the Business Forum later today and receiving a report from South African and Namibian businesspeople on the potential opportunities for trade and investment they have explored.
Namibia is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the region. There is capacity to increase our exports to Namibia beyond current products such as chemicals, machinery, vehicles and steel.
Similarly, Namibia could go beyond exporting precious metals, iron and steel products, live animals and other goods to South Africa.
We have directed our ministers of trade and investment to finalise the draft agreement of cooperation to promote investment, industrial development, cross-border value chains and infrastructure development by March 2024.
This will enhance trade between the two countries and further contribute to the realisation of our regional and continental economic integration agenda. It will give more impetus to implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
We have agreed on the importance of an agreement on energy so that we can cooperate on the immediate challenges of energy and electricity supply.
I am satisfied that we emphasised the importance of mutual benefit and stronger collaboration in water security.
We will ensure that impediments that may arise in the implementation of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project are speedily resolved. This is because we need sustainable water supply amid unpredictable climatic conditions.
We spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on the peace and security issues in our region. Our regional efforts are bearing fruits in the north of Mozambique, and we hope that peace is sustained for development to take place in that area.
The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo deserve to cast their votes in December 2023 in a peaceful environment.
Our freedom is not complete for as long as the people of Western Sahara and Palestine continue to yearn for their own freedom and justice.
We will continue to support their struggles so that they too are accorded their right to self-determination and to exist as independent nations.
I wish to conclude by once again thanking you, Your Excellency, for convening and co-chairing the 3rd Session of our Bi-National Commission.
It is my honour and a privilege to extend an invitation to you, my Dear Brother, to the 4th Session of the South Africa-Namibia BNC, which will be held in South Africa on a date to be mutually agreed upon.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency