By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
In a bid to strengthen bilateral ties between Namibia and Sierra Leone, President Julius Maada Bio has over the weekend romanced with the President of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob and his wife at the Presidential Lodge, Hill Station in Freetown.
In his welcome address, President Bio said Namibia being one of the smallest countries in the African continent, with a population of about 2.5. million, deserves commendation for the significant strides made to consolidate the gains made since attaining independence in 1990.
He recalls that, Namibia’s independence was born out of sweat and blood within the struggle for emancipation led by the South-West Africa People’s Organization in 1966.
President Bio further recalls that in March 1990 when Namibia was celebrating its independence, Sierra Leone sent a high-powered delegation led by Hon. Egerton T. Kamara, who held fruitful bilateral meeting with President Sam Nijoma.
President Bio also intimated that Sierra Leone became a source of succor to many Namibians during those days of Namibia’s colonial struggle.
“I am pleased that this morning my brother together with his dear wife, the first lady of Namibia, are soladarizing with Sierra Leone on many fronts including the historic work that myself and First Lady Fatima are doing for women and girls in Sierra Leone and globally. I am pleased that this morning my brother and I have discussed how our two countries can deepen cooperation on the bilateral and multilateral level,” he said.
He commended Namibia for its peace and democratic credentials, as Namibia happens to be one of the top-ten most peaceful countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He assured that the two countries will inspire each other as two of the most peaceful nations in the world and reiterated that his government remains committed to fighting poverty, corruption and eradicating Gender Based Violence and help make host to many Namibians to enable them pursue secondary school and university education in Serra Leone.
On his part, Namibia President, Dr. Hage Geingob, expressed profound thanks and appreciation to President Bio and his wife, Fatima Bio and the people of Sierra Leone for such a kind invitation to visit Sierra Leone.
He commended the warm reception accorded him and his wife, which made them to be very elated as if they were home away from home, and also commended President Bio for the brave step in re-uniting the two counties in terms of bilateral relations.
President Geingob also intimated that Namibian were coming to Sierra Leone in search of education and that most of them have served as now ministers and prime ministers, noting that the call made by President Bio to come together was not only to reconnect and address the multiple issues that affect the two countries, but Africa the continent as a whole
Both Presidents have agreed not just to rekindle ties but also expand the current narrow framework of cooperation to include collaboration in mining and minerals, fisheries, agriculture.
Namibia and Sierra Leone are members of the Committee of Ten African Heads of State seeking reform of the United Nations, and coordinating Africa’s bid for a seat in the non-permanent category of the UN Security Council. President Julius Maada Bio is the current Coordinator of C-10.