“25 Years of Independence: Perspectives for the German-Namibian Partnership”

Also available in Deutsch

During the week of 5-9 October 2015, Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag, visited Namibia on a private visit. During this visit, on 7 October, Prof. Lammert participated in a public lecture/discussion titled “25 Years of Independence: Perspectives for the German-Namibian Partnership”. Prof. Lammert offered a German perspective on the relationship between the two countries. On the other hand Prof. Joseph Diescho, a local political scientist offered a Namibian perspective on the relationship.

Prof. Lammert commented Namibia for the peace, stability and economic progress made since independence. The three scenarios are unique to Africa and Namibia therefore serves as a shining example on the African Continent he posited. Out of the 54 countries on the continent, Germany has a stronger relationship with Namibia because the country offers values in the form of the three scenarios have alluded to earlier. This relationship is also underpinned by recognition and understanding of Germany's role and responsibilities of the past in Namibia, in particular to the sad chapter of the Herero and Nama’s genocide. Prof. Lammert underlined that what took place in Namibia in 1904 was indeed genocide. However, he emphasized that this acknowledgement is made in his private but not official capacity. According to him, it remains important that Namibia and Germany find a common position on how to define and look into the future. Such common understanding could be in the form of cooperation in areas of vocational training Germany has advantage in and which is what Namibia needs.

Prof. Lammert further argued that due to developments in the global political arena it is important that countries function as a unit within a framework of a union such as the European Union. The challenges are so immense that no country will be able to cope in isolation. He offered the 2009 financial crises as one example. The current problems faced by Europe with refugees and immigration issues are another example. According to Prof Lammert, these scenarios clearly illustrate the magnitude of the challenges individual countries like Germany, being the biggest economy and more attractive to immigrants, faces. He also pointed out that it is important that African countries also take a closer look on why people are fleeing in high numbers to Europe. He underscored that an answer to this question needs divers approaches and a combined effort by both European and African Countries.

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Namibia, October 23, 2015

Lammert in Namibia October 2015

L-R: Prof. Diescho, Prof. Lammert and Dr. Althusmann