Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Togo President Envious of Green Climate Fund

President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe of Togo praised Namibia's ability to host the Green Climate Fund Secretariat, saying that the country has all the qualities that will enable it to host such a prestigious event.

Gnassingbe made the remarks during a state banquet held at State House in his honour this week. He is on a state visit to Namibia from 10 to 12 October 2012.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who expressed his gratitude to the Togolese government for its support to Namibia to host the bid, emphasised the importance of sustainable development and the search for the best ways to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

"Given the opportunity, Namibia stands ready to discharge its obligations related to hosting the Green Climate Fund Secretariat," said President Pohamba.

During official talks held at State House on Wednesday, 10 October, with President Gnassingbe, Pohamba highlighted the fact that Togo has the potential to become one of the top destinations for cultural tourism on the African continent adding that the two countries are both home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the president's view, this holds immense potential for the promotion of cultural tourism and may even be a comparative advantage to the tourism industry.

President Pohamba noted that both Namibia and Togo share a common history of German colonialism. He expressed appreciation for the support and solidarity rendered by the people of Togo during the liberation struggle. "It is my wish that our two countries will further build on the foundation that we are laying today and explore other areas where Togo and Namibia can work together for the mutual benefit of our people," the President said.

President Gnassingbe's two day state visit to Namibia is in line with this years' African Union theme of "Boosting Intra-African Trade" with the view to encourage member states to make progress towards integration. The two Heads of States discussed bilateral cooperation in various sectors such as fisheries, environment, transport, agriculture, tourism and education.

"Trade and commerce have become the cornerstones of successful bilateral relations, therefore our two countries could reap dividends from increased co-operation in trade and the promotion of investments in various sectors of our respective economies," Pohamba said.

On Thursday, 11 October the Togolese president paid a visit to the University of Namibia's Neudam campus, Walvis Bay Salt Refinery and the Namibia Maritime and Fisheries Institute and is expected to visit NamCot Diamonds this Friday to view the cutting and processing facilities.

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