The governments of Jamaica and Namibia have agreed to a visa waiver program, the first of several agreements between both countries, as Prime Minister Andrew Holness began a full day of discussions on Monday with the Namibian President Dr. Hage Geingob.
Previously, Jamaica unilaterally waived visa requirements for Namibians entering the country as an expression of solidarity and support during Namibia’s liberation struggle. Namibia today reciprocated this action.
Speaking at a joint press conference with President Geingob in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, Holness said the two countries have now cemented a deeper bond.
He declared that his official visit to Namibia, the first by a Jamaican Head of Government to that African country, is of strategic importance.
“You know we have two beautiful countries, but we scarcely ever get to enjoy the beauty of our countries. We need to encourage travel between our two countries for tourism. I’ve welcomed the announcement by your President of the waiver of visa requirements for Jamaicans; Jamaica had long ago abolished visa requirements for Namibians,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Jamaica and Namibia are also working to secure a stronger relationship in several areas including trade, investment, banking, sports and culture.
In addition, Holness said there will be greater opportunities for the people of both countries.
Committed to ACP
In the meantime, the Jamaican leader and Namibian President Geingob have recommitted to ensuring the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group remains.
“I also welcome the public support of your President to ensure that the African Caribbean and Pacific arrangement remains intact,” Holness said.
Noting that there are some countries who feel it better to negotiate with Europe bilaterally, Holness believes that Jamaica and Namibia can also be efficacious in that regard. “We are stronger together and the liberation struggle may have ended for many Africans but the new struggle is now for our economic independence and our economic liberation and it makes no sense for us to separate on this matter,” he said.
The Prime Minister is slated for a series of Government and cultural activities in Namibia for the remainder of his working visit.