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.