Windhoek — Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has called on Senegal and Namibia to develop strategies that will combat transnational security threats such as marine piracy and drug trafficking.
She made this call in her remarks at the end of the inaugural Namibia- Senegal Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) that was held in the Senegalese capital Dakar last Thursday.
She said, as maritime states, Namibia and Senegal are exposed to transnational security threats such as piracy and drug trafficking, which places a disproportionately heavy burden on both countries' small economies.
"We must develop strategies and work with our international partners to combat these threats in order to develop and take advantage of the benefits of the blue economy," said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
"When properly managed and conserved," she said, "Namibia and Senegal's [coastal waters] and the marine resources therein, have potential to provide peoples with healthy food through domestic and commercial fishing, employment opportunities and recreation through water sports."
"It is vital that our marine conservation strategies should include measures to combat unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU)," said Nandi-Ndaitwah who is also the deputy prime minister.
"Only by acting swiftly and resolutely in this regard shall we secure our fish stocks for the benefit of future generations," she added.
She said both countries should not mortgage the marine heritage of its people at the altar of short-term investments for short-term profits.
"We must work for long-term sustainability. I am, therefore, pleased that our ministers responsible for fisheries and marine resources are busy working on a memorandum of understanding to foster co-operation in the sector," she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah also used the opportunity to warmly thank all who diligently put efforts into the preparations for the inaugural session.
"You have given us hope and created an unstoppable momentum we need to take our relationship forward," she said, adding that although a long time has passed before the session could take place, "we are pleased that we were able to record many notable achievements through our bilateral relations".
"These achievements were made possible, mainly through high-level contact between the leaders of Namibia and Senegal, as well as exchange of technical levels," she said.
She furthermore thanked the Senegalese government for hosting the inaugural session of the JCC.
"We have achieved an important milestone towards enhancing our capacity to work closer together in different areas," she said. She said what the two countries have done will no doubt contribute to the ongoing efforts "for the integration of our continent and the achievement of Agenda 2063".
"I have every confidence in our shared will to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and bring about the changes we need," she said.