Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday telephonically accepted President Hage Geingob’s invitation to visit Namibia post-COVID-19, according presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari.
Trudeau, who called Geingob to hear how Namibia was coping with the pandemic, responded positively to Geingob’s invitation, describing Namibia as a vast country with beautiful landscapes.
Geingob during the telephonic conversation also raised concerns with regard to classification of Namibia as an upper middle-income country and how this has affected the country in terms of access to grants, favourable loan conditions and development assistance.
“Trudeau pledged support to President Geingob on the issue of classification of Namibia as an upper middle-income country, informing that with climate change, other countries, specifically those from the Caribbean also faced a similar challenge of classification as upper middle-income states,” Hengari said.
According to Hengari, Trudeau said his country would work with international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support economies, not just in Africa, but globally that seek to be reclassified favourably.
Furthermore, Hengari said Geingob informed Trudeau that Covid-19 is a formidable challenge and that it was impacting the Namibian economy negatively, particularly the sectors of tourism and mining, that are crucial to Namibia’s economic growth.
“Cautioning against a wave of infections with the reopening of the economy, President Geingob recounted Namibia’s robust steps in fighting Covid-19 since the outbreak of the virus on the country’s shores on 13 March 2020,” Hengari said.
Hengari said the Canadian prime minister furthermore congratulated Geingob for the sterling job in containing and fighting the spread of Covid-19 in the country. According to the presidential press secretary, Geingob also commended Canadian investors in Namibia such as B2Gold and Dundee Metals, saying they were responsible businesses and exemplary in their corporate social responsibilities.
Similarly, Hengari said, Trudeau called on Namibia to support Canada’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
During his visit to that country in 2018, Geingob in a meeting with Trudeau in Ottawa reaffirmed his commitment to grow the two nations’ bilateral commercial relationship and had stressed the importance of achieving economic growth that benefits both parties.
At the time, Geingob expressed gratitude for Canada’s active support during the period leading to Namibia’s independence.