Bilateral relations

For almost 40 years, France has been a committed partner of the Land of the Braves, for its emancipation and then in its efforts towards democracy and development, and now as a cultural, political and economic partner.

The embodiment of our long and excellent bilateral relationship is the Franco-Namibian Cultural Center (FNCC), which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016 in Namibia. In the heart of Windhoek, the FNCC is a symbol of exchange, openness and a space of fulfillment for the Namibian culture, in all its diversity, and for the Francophonie, in all its dimensions.

On the political front, Namibia and France are committed to defend democratic principles and actively contributing to peace and security in Africa. On the occasion of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Climate Change in 2016, the convergence of our governments’ views on the Paris Agreement has been clearly established. Namibia, the first African country committed to reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) by 89% by 2030, is an exemplary signatory, with a target of 70% renewable energies.

Namibia is a strong and stable democracy, a growing economy and a logistical gateway to southern Africa. To help it to face with the persistent challenges of poverty, our commitment to the development of Namibia continues on the one hand through the multilateral instruments, the European Development Fund (EDF), to which France participates in 20%, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, of which France is one of the founders and the second largest contributor.

On the other hand, France devotes bilateral resources to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises through SUNREF, AFD’s financial guarantee instrument, for projects related to sustainable tourism and agriculture and renewable energy, consistent with Namibia’s sustainable economic development goals.

If our trade remains modest, the interest of the French companies for Namibia is increasing, considering the assets of the country: political stability, strategic geographical situation, quality of the infrastructures, transparency in increasing improvement of its legal and business environment. Large French companies such as ORANO, Veolia, Thales, Colas, Peugeot, Alstom, Suez, but also French-Namibian SMEs, such as InnoSun (renewable energies), contribute, through their expertise and knowledge, to the development of Namibian capacities and the improvement of the French trade balance.

The Namibian French business association (NFBA), which meets twice a year since 2014 with Namibian and French representatives from the local private sector, is actively involved in the formation of this Franco-Namibian economic fabric, the embryo of a bilateral Chamber of Commerce.

With this legacy and new dynamism, the French embassy in Windhoek and its regional attachés, in connection with the Franco-Namibian Cultural Center, the French Development Agency, and the locally established French entrepreneurs and companies, are resolutely engaged in a mutually beneficial and profitable partnership with Namibia and Namibians.

Politicals relations

France and Namibia have excellent and friendly relations since the Namibian liberation struggle. In the 1970s, France was particularly active on the issue of the independence of Namibia in the United Nations Security Council. And in May 1981, it recognized Namibia’s unconditional right to independence, and SWAPO, the recognized representative of the Namibian people at the United Nations, opened an office in Paris.

Sharing the common goal of peace, security and development in Africa, our two countries have since maintained regular institutional relations. Presidents Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba were welcomed in France by President Jacques Chirac, who himself went to Namibia in 1998. In 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy welcomed President Pohamba to the Elysée Palace. In November 2016, President Hage Geingob met François Hollande on an official visit.

Our parliaments also have ongoing relations; after the visit of a French Senate delegation to Windhoek in 2013, a delegation from the National Council led by its president Asser Kapere was welcomed to France in October 2015.

Many Namibian ministers visited France
In 2015: Hon. Leon Jooste, Minister of Public Enterprises, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Charles Namoloh, Minister of Safety and Security.

Guest of honor at the 2015 Colmar International Tourism Fair, Namibia was represented by Deputy Minister of the Environment and Tourism, Thomas Nambahu, at the head of a delegation of around 100 people: officials, artists, heads of small and large companies in the tourism sector.

Environment ministers Ségolène Royal and Pohamba Shifeta met twice in 2015, once in Windhoek and once in Paris, to focus their joint efforts in the fight against global warming and desertification. Finally, Ministers Leon Jooste and Bernhardt Esau respectively took part in the Paris Air Show and visited the Airbus facilities in Toulouse.

On the same topic