Activity 6: Targeted Multilateral Diplomacy

Namibia will remain committed to strengthening the multilateral system as the best avenue for building consensus and problem solving for the shared challenges of humanity. COVID-19 has reaffirmed the critical role of international cooperation and collective action in addressing transnational threats to security and development. The United Nations and its Specialized Agencies are among the bedrock of multilateralism and remain indispensable instruments of cooperation amongst the Member States. To increase Namibia’s benefits from multilateral cooperation, the Government will re-align focus to proactively leverage technical cooperation in crucial areas of national interests such as the blue economy, climate change, agriculture, nuclear technology, environment, energy, education, logistics and ICT.

Namibia will remain steadfast in solidarity with the oppressed people of the world who remain under overbearing policies of aggression and economic sanctions. Freedom is non-negotiable. As a child of international solidarity, Namibia holds on to the conviction that freedoms denied to one are denied to all. Nambia renews her call to continue to support those people who are denied their rights to self-determination.

Activity 5: Bilateral Cooperation

Bilateral partners offer the best avenues for deepening trade and commercial ties that would contribute meaningfully to the economic recovery of Namibia. In addition to strengthening mutually beneficial relations with bilateral partners, through existing platforms of bilateral consultations and cooperation, specific countries, based on sectoral analyses, will be identified to unlock the potential of increased trading and markets for recovery.

In that vein, Namibia will undertake a comprehensive review of bilateral agreements to ensure that they are aligned with developmental needs and formulate country-specific policies to optimise bilateral cooperation through strategic partnerships. The country will sharpen strategies of engagement with bilateral partners, while exploring new opportunities for bilateral cooperation, including leveraging relationships to secure scholarships, internships and training opportunities for young Namibians with foreign companies and international corporates. Namibia will continue to utilize structured bilateral and high-level platforms, including Bi-national Commissions and Joint-Commissions on Cooperation (in pursuit of national priorities. Youth development as a priority will be integrated into framework agreements for cooperation with bilateral partners.

Activity 4: African Economic Integration

Through the African Union, Namibia will continue to play its role in ensuring that the Union delivers on Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. Namibia stands ready to take advantage of these opportunities with the launch and operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Single Air Transport Market and other critical priorities of Agenda 2063 and flagship projects for the continent. To derive maximum benefit from African economic integration, Namibia will enhance economic diplomacy by establishing a diplomatic and commercial presence in Africa’s sub-regional economic hubs by 2023. Furthermore, as a coastal state, Namibia will position herself to optimize the opportunities of the blue economy in Africa and beyond.

Activity 3: Optimizing Regional Integration

a. There is an inextricable link between peace and security on the one hand and sustainable development on the other. Hence, Namibia will continue to participate effectively and promote the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, which deals with social and economic integration, including the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ for Politics, Defence and Security dealing with peace and security.

b. During HPPII, Namibia will work within Regional Security Arrangements to create a collective security framework based on the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation. As and when necessary, Namibia will participate in regional and international Defence and Security initiatives, towards peacekeeping operations within the SADC, AU and UN.

c. To firmly position Namibia as a logistical hub, Namibia will firmly support the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure and services, deepen integration, to embed regional connectivity and value chains. The country will continue to accentuate relevant sectors in the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan.

d. Informed by the SADC Industrialization Strategy and to continue to create youth employment, in line with the theme on “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment”, from the 38th SADC Summit which Namibia Chaired, will be spearheaded at SADC deliberations and mainstreamed at other multilateral fora. This strategy will be bolstered by strong participation from the private sector as well as through concerted efforts at promoting vocational training in areas relevant to the productive sectors of the economy. The objective will be to empower the youth with skills that would enable them to be both self-employable and marketable to relevant sectoral opportunities in the economy.

Activity 2: Enhancing Conditions for Prosperity

The difficult situation that “Upper Middle-Income Countries” like Namibia find themselves in, needs to be redressed in order to augment national efforts for poverty eradication. While the concept might be valid, its application does not take into account the vast disparities between the wealthy and the poor in the country, which account for the skewed economic structure. This classification continues to disadvantage Namibia’s ability to access soft loans, while countries regarded as less developed are eligible to receive grant funding. On the contrary, measures such as the UNDP Human Development Index provide a more accurate assessment of development per capita. The country should develop a strategy to lobby at multilateral fora for the reconsideration of this classification.

Activity 1: Operational Adaptation: Working as One

a. Economic diplomacy requires aggressive and effective engagement with regional and global partners to harness the potential of trade and investment opportunities to create sustained economic growth and sustainable development at a domestic level. To this end, operational adaptations will be required through the creation of a national economic multi-stakeholder coordinating platform for targeted trade and investment promotion. An inter-ministerial platform to holistically consider issues of national priority and better coordinate our economic diplomacy in order to provide timely information and services to investors and all our stakeholders.

b. A key factor to be considered within the attractiveness of potential industrial opportunities shall be their potential to insert themselves within global value chains where Namibia has and or will have a comparative advantage. Such value chains can ultimately brand Namibia as the hub for certain products. To enhance working as one, Namibia shall create a nexus between the Foreign Service personnel and local business communities.