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SA commits to help drought-stricken Namibia

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Old 08-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
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Sa SA commits to help drought-stricken Namibia

South Africa has pledged a package of support to the tune of R100 million to help alleviate the effects of drought in Namibia.

This was announced after talks between President Jacob Zuma and his Namibian counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Zuma is in Windhoek, Namibia, for a two-day state visit to bolster political and economic relations between the two countries.

The semi-arid, diamond-rich country has been hard hit by severe drought -- the worst in 30 years.

In their deliberations, Zuma and Pohamba reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together in pursuit of regional economic integration.

The Presidents said they hoped the Bi-National Commission between the two countries (BNC) will enhance bilateral economic and political ties.

The BNC will take on a new format of cooperation, which will include sectors such as education, gender matters, health, fisheries, land, culture and ICT.

According to official statistics, about 66% of Namibian exports go to South Africa, while South Africa takes up about 80% of total investment in Namibian mining, retail, banking and insurance sectors.

South Africa has emphasised that the BNC should also contribute to taking forward regional integration and the promotion of intra-African trade and in particular, infrastructure development, to ease the movement of people and goods.

Presidents weigh in on regional matters

Zuma and Pohamba also discussed the prevailing political, economic and security situation in the SADC region.

They welcomed the positive developments in the DRC, the peaceful conduct of elections in the Kingdom of Swaziland and Madagascar, and expressed concern about the emerging instability on the Africa continent.

With regard to Mozambique, the two Presidents condemned the recent resurgence of armed violent activities by Renamo, and further urged the party to cease hostilities, while they expressed support to the government and the people of Mozambique.

There have been tensions in Mozambique after the former rebel movement accused the Frelimo government of not honouring the Rome peace agreement they signed in 1992.

Renamo is demanding the scrapping of the existing electoral law, arguing that it allows the government to rig elections. The former rebel movement has lost all the elections since it laid its arms down to stop the 16-year civil war against Frelimo, which has been in power since independence 1975.

Renamo also accuses Frelimo of discriminating against its party members and sympathisers -- accusations which are rejected by President Armando Guebuza’s government.

The two sides have been in talks since the beginning of the year to do away with their differences, but there is little progress.

Zuma and Pohamba further reaffirmed their support to the people of Western Sahara in their quest for self-determination and reiterated their support for a sovereign State of Palestine. -
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