Namibia visit valuable, says Lungu

PRESIDENT Lungu being welcomed by his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob at State House in Winhoek, Namibia yesterday. PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE

JIMMY CHIBUYE, Walvis Bay, Namibia
PRESIDENT Lungu has described his trip to Namibia as worthwhile because it provides Zambia an opportunity to learn how Namibia has developed its infrastructure.
And the Namibian Port Authority (Namport) says the lack of rail linkage between Zambia and Namibia is hampering trade between the countries.
The President, who has since returned home, said after touring the Walvis Bay Zambia Dry Port here yesterday that the development in Namibia has inspired Zambia to accelerate its growth agenda.
The head of state also toured Namibia’s Husab Uranium Mine, a joint venture between Namibia and China.
President Lungu was in Namibia to officiate at that country’s Heroes’ Day celebrations at the invitation of his counterpart Hage Geingob.
Mr Lungu, who was accompanied to Namibia by Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba and his special assistants for press and public relations Amos Chanda and political affairs Kaizer Zulu, left Walvis Bay Airport at 17:30 hours and was seen off by Dr Geingob and Namibia’s First Lady Monica Geingob.
“This trip has been worthwhile and what is happening here in Namibia has inspired us to do a little bit more towards the integration and rationalisation of our region,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu said the expansion of the Walvis Bay is a manifestation of the implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) vision of regional integration.
“We are talking about integration at SADC level and this is the manifestation of the implementation of that vision. So, I would like to believe the vision has been shared by all of us and when you visit your brother, see how he is doing it, you get inspired and do more so that you do not remain behind,” he said.
And Mr Kalaba told journalists before departure that the trip was significant because Zambia played a pivotal role in the emancipation of Namibia from colonial rule.
He said the trip is significant for Zambia and Namibia because it shows the bond that exists between the two countries.
Mr Kalaba said Government is grateful to the Namibian government for the dry port, which eases the movement of goods from Namibia to Zambia.
“This trip was good for us and Namibia because it shows the bond that is between the two countries. President Geingob was in Zambia for 14 years, former presidents Hifikepunye Pohamba and Sam Nujoma were in Zambia for many years. So, the relationship between Zambia and Namibia is quite significant and very important,” he said.
Mr Kalaba said the Husab Uranium Mine is an eye-opener for Zambia to explore its potential in the mining of the mineral.
And Namport chief executive officer Bisey Uirab said the port handles about five percent of copper from Zambia’s Copperbelt Province but the percentage can be increased if there is a rail line connecting the two countries.

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