Namibia: Geingob Jets Into Kasane for Elephant Summit

Windhoek — President Hage Geingob and other Heads of State of countries that make up the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (Kaza TFCA) are scheduled to arrive today in Kasane, Botswana, for an elephant summit.

State House confirmed in a statement yesterday that Geingob, who is also chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), would embark on a one-day trip to the Botswana resort town.

Kasane is situated at the far north-eastern corner of Botswana close to Africa's "Four Corners", where four of the KAZA TFCA countries Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe link.

Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta is already in Kasane, where concerned nations seek ways to speak in one tone about issues of conservation and particularly elephant management.

In his address to the summit yesterday, Shifeta said the involvement of local communities is very important to ensure that they benefit from the utilisation of natural resources.

He condemned the animal rights groups that are opposed to conservation hunting, also called trophy hunting, saying they have no idea of the reality on the ground.

President Geingob will participate in the Kasane summit at the invitation of the Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

The summit, taking place at a critical time for the African elephants of which the largest populations are to be found in Southern Africa, will convene under the theme "Towards a Common Vision for the Management of Southern Africa's Elephant", Press Secretary in the Presidency Alfredo Hengari said.

The summit further seeks to raise awareness on the current status of the African elephants in the Southern African region, exchange ideas on human-elephant conflicts, illegal and legal trade, agree on concrete interventions to address the challenges posed to Kaza-TFCA nations - who are hosts to 75 percent of the global elephant population - who seek to join forces and develop common positions within the framework of the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (Cites), which has banned international trade in ivory.

President Geingob is expected back in Windhoek today.

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