Speech held by Mr. André Scholz, Chargé d'affairs a.i. of the German Embassy on the occasion of the Day of German Unity 2012Enlarge image Chargé d'Affairs André Scholz speeking on the occasion of the Day of German Unity 2012 (© German Embassy)
Speech held by Mr. André Scholz, Chargé d'affairs a.i. of the German Embassy on the occasion of the Day of German Unity 3rd October 2012
Hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Peya Mushelenga, guest of honour;
Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
Hon. Members of the National Assembly;
Your Worship, the Mayor of Windhoek, Mrs. Trepper;
Dear Colleagues and friends from the Diplomatic Community;
Dear members of the press and media;
and especially to my German fellows:
Liebe Namibier deutscher Sprache !
Liebe Landsleute !
Allen ein herzliches Willkommen !
It is a great pleasure for me and my colleagues from the German Embassy to host the reception on the occasion of the Day of German Unity today. Let me extend at the very beginning a warm welcome to H.E. Onno Hückmann, the Ambassador designate of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Namibia and his spouse Martina Hückmann. For the upcoming diplomatic mission we wish you both all the best, success and an interesting time in the beautiful and friendly environment of our host country Namibia.
Let me also express many thanks to all those who assisted in organizing the reception. Let me mention only a few: first of all the colleagues of my Embassy and the artists from the Maranatha Singers for the cultural performance. A special recognition goes also to the generous sponsors Namibia Breweries, Ohorongo Cement, Oasis and Wecke & Voigts.
On National Days our memories very often go back to remember where we came from or what the national values are and which we represent. 22 years ago the 3rd October 1990 concluded an unprecedented chain of political events. Less than 12 month earlier the wind of change, inspired by the policy of openness and initiated by Gorbachev, gave birth to increasing strong demands by the people in the eastern part of Germany for political reforms. At the same time the lack of fundamental freedoms and human rights forced thousands of inhabitants to seek refuge in embassies of the Federal Republic of Germany in neighbouring countries or went on the streets in cities all over East-Germany to peacefully call for fundamental changes of the society. The slogan “We are the people” manifested the desire of the people for democratic reforms and self determination. At the end and within only a couple of month the political system in East-Germany collapsed and the so called peaceful revolution resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall and paved the way to overcome more than four decades of division within Germany. The long pursued dream “We are one people” became reality. Germany was united again!
But today we will also remember that few months prior to Germany's unification the Republic of Namibia celebrated her independence! Not only this parallel path of Namibia and Germany makes our bilateral relationship very special. It is symbolic that one of the spiritual fathers of the process of German Unification, former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, was also particularly and prominently engaged in the UN led actions that framed the conditions for Namibia's independence. Further more on two occasions - in April 1989 and June 2004 - the German Bundestag adopted resolutions affirming and reaffirming the special responsibility towards Namibia. Since 1990 our two nations developed a close co-operation covering nearly all possible sectors of bilateral relations. A number of governmental agreements form a solid basis for a wide range of exchange and support programmes in the field of culture, sciences, education, languages and sports. All programmes agreed upon between our two governments aim at further developing the economy of Namibia by reducing the disparities in income and living conditions and creating jobs. In this context it is a political imperative that development co-operation was and remains the key area of Namibian – German relations.
It is because of the nature of our relationship that the German development assistance to Namibia finds itself at an unprecedented high level. Regarding per capita spending it ranks highest within German development co-operation worldwide. Through this commitment we are able to support the Namibian government to achieve some of the main goals set forth in NDP 4 and Vision 2030 which are:
more income equality,
employment creation and
NDP 4 will guide us and together with the Namibian and our EU partners we will share the work.
Our main areas of co-operation, namely, Natural Resource Management, Transport and Economic Development pretty much hit the bull's eye already!
And the co-operation in these fields will always come with a main ingredient that is core to any country's development. Education and skills development are rightly considered a basic enabler for the set development goals. Within the past 1,5 years we intensified our involvement in the area of tertiary education and vocational training. We do this jointly with
• the University of Namibia and the Polytechnic in the area of transport engineering and logistics and with
• the Namibian Trainings Authority in the same fields as well as in the field of agricultural training.
For the education and skill programs we could mobilise grants to the amount of 17 Mio. € in 2010 and 2011.
Besides that allow me to highlight the projected energy shortage in your country: Together with NamPower, the German Government - through KfW-Entwicklungsbank - promotes renewable energies from a special facility for climate and environmental protection. For instance through the extension of the Ruacana hydro-electric power plant Namibia’s power generation markedly increased in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner.
Additionally, there are studies under-way that assess how biomass from invader bush could be used to generate electricity and at the same time increase agricultural production.
These are just a few highlights of the recent past that show how future oriented our collaboration is.
Allow me to mention another lighthouse program that not only conserves habitats for future generations, but also brings economic benefits to local communities by creating job opportunities: The Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Park, known as KAZA. It is the world's largest conservation area straddling Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. With Namibia as a leading driver and German Co-operation financing parts of the required infrastructure and management planning, this complex endeavour will hopefully spur regional integration, peace and prosperity.
Those are only a few highlights of our close and fruitful co-operation. A lot could be added but would go beyond the frame of this occasion.
By concluding let me take this opportunity to assure you that Germany will continue to be a reliable and strong partner of Namibia in the years to come. There are already clear indications that the ties between our two sister nations will become even more intense. Special reference is to be made to the recent establishment of a Namibian-German Friendship Group within the National Assembly of the Republic of Namibia. I take this step as the expression of the vivid interest by Namibian parliamentarians in further developing excellent relations to Germany. I do hope that the German Bundestag will respond positively to that valuable initiative thus paving the way for a forum of a political dialogue at parliament level to constantly review all aspects of our bilateral relations – including those of the past – and to come up with proposals towards further strengthening our joint partnership.
I thank you very much.
I would like to invite now His Excellency Onno Hückmann, the Ambassador designate of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Namibia, to make some welcoming remarks.