President Hage Geingob will deliver the opening address at a five-day Foreign Policy Review Conference to take place at the Windhoek Country Club Resort in the capital on Monday.
The aim of the conference is to review and analyse the impact of global changes on Namibia’s domestic policies, to reflect the new and emerging issues and identify strategic priorities of foreign policy.
The conference will focus on the eradication of poverty in line with the country’s national development agenda, as outlined in Vision 2030, NDPs, Swapo Party Election Manifesto and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), complemented by the AU Africa Agenda 2063, and the UN Agenda 2030 on sustainable development.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said “we live in a rapidly changing world, involving actors and competing national interests”.
She said the complex global environment requires that the government be adaptable in order to meet the social and economic aspirations of citizens.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said every foreign policy is a reflection of the country’s history and its aspirations for the future.
“Namibia’s foreign policy was crafted against the backdrop of our national liberation struggle and the end of the Cold War,” she said, adding that the policy is guided by Article 96 of the Namibian Constitution.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah the general provisions were elaborated on in the White Paper on Foreign Policy and Management of Economic Diplomacy, which was adopted in 2004.
She said that since then, dynamic changes have taken place and continue to take place at the national, regional and international level with a fundamental impact on political, social and economic development.
All these changes warrant a review of policies, she added.
She said that as articulated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan “we will review our foreign policy with a view to move from the traditional foreign affairs view to international relations and cooperation.”
“In an integrated world there are no foreigners,” she said, adding that the foreign policy review conference to be held by the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation is therefore in response to this directive.
The participants at the conference will include representatives of the government, parliament, diplomatic corps, academia and civil society. The topics of presentation and discussion range from Poverty Eradication, Agriculture, Blue Economy, to Trade and Investment, Multilateral and Bilateral Cooperation, Infrastructural Development, Land Reform, Foreign Service, Public Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy, Education, Gender and Youth Empowerment.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said an exhibition will tell, in pictures, the story of Namibia’s engagement with the SADC region, the African continent and the rest of the world from the time of the national liberation struggle to date.