India had been in the forefront of the liberation struggle of Namibia
and was indeed among the first nations to raise the question of Namibian
independence in the UN. Since 1946, in every international forum, especially
the UN Committee on Decolonisation, India took the lead in supporting
the Namibian liberation struggle and provided all possible moral, material
and diplomatic support to the Namibian leadership in exile. The Indian
assistance covered training, medicines, humanitarian relief; besides,
implementing the Government of India's Africa Fund, India also contributed
to the Special NAM Fund for Namibia, NAM Solidarity Fund for Namibia and
the Commonwealth Special Training Programme for Namibia . Mr. Brajesh
Mishra was UN Commissioner for Namibia from 1982-87.
India recognised South West African Peoples Organisation (SWAPO) as the
sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people and allowed it
to open an office in India in 1981. The first ever SWAPO Embassy abroad
was established in New Delhi in 1986. The SWAPO Mission was closed after
independence of Namibia. Government of Namibia opened a full-fledged resident
Mission in New Delhi in March 1994.
An Indian Observer Mission was set up in Windhoek in July 1989 to monitor
the implementation of the UN settlement process and to liaise with SWAPO.
India contributed contingents of Army, Police and Civilian Observers to
help during the transitional period through maintenance of law and order
and supervision of the election process. It is noteworthy that a retired
Indian Army Officer, late General Prem Chand commanded the force under
the United Nation's Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG).
Diplomatic relations with independent Namibia were established right from
the moment of its independence, with the Observer Mission being upgraded
to a full-fledged High Commission on March 21, 1990. The independence
celebrations were attended by a delegation led by the then Prime Minister,
Mr. V.P. Singh, which included senior leaders of other parties (Mr. K.R.
Narayanan, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr. Indrajit Gupta, Mr. H.S. Surjeet),
to underline the national consensus that lay behind our policy towards
Namibia. The then Leader of the Opposition, late Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, also
attended, as a Special Guest.
Since Namibian independence, bilateral relations, including political,
have been extremely active marked by warmth and understanding. India 's
continued commitment to the task of Namibian reconstruction has been very
much evident and appreciated.
India-Africa Forum Summit that underlined India’s desire and intention
to broaden and deepen its consistent and long-standing engagement with
Africa is viewed positively by Namibia. A number of projects have been
earmarked for Namibia under the aid package announced during the India-Africa
Forum Summit, New Delhi.
Visits from India :
(i) H.E. Mr. V.P. Singh, Prime Minister of India, 21 March, 1990 (ii)
H.E. Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma, President of India: June 5 to 7, 1995 (iii)
H.E. Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Prime Minister of India: August 30-31,
1998 (iv) Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Shri G.M.C. Balyogi) in 1998 (v) H.E.
Ms. Vasundhara Raje, Minister of Small Scale Industries: September 2001
(vi) Parliamentary delegation for the 48th Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association Conference: September 2002 and several Cabinet level visits.
More recently, MOS, MEA Shri Anand Sharma visited Namibia in April 2006
for the SADC Consultative Meeting and the first meeting of India-SADC
Forum. MOS (Agriculture), Shri K.L. Bhuria visited Namibia in November,
2006 and signed a comprehensive Agricultural Work Plan with Namibia and
the successful visit of MOS (C) to Namibia in March 2008.
Major visits from Namibia :
(i) H.E. Dr. Sam Nujoma, President of Namibia: 1983 (3 times), 1985 (2
times), 1986, 1988, 1992, 1997, 1999 & 2003. (ii) Rt. Hon. Mr. Hage
G. Geingob. Prime Minister of Namibia: November 25 to December 1, 1995
(iii) Prime Minister Mr. Hage G. Geingob: November-December, 1995, several
cabinet level visits from Namibia more recently the visits of Namibian
ministers for Agriculture and Defence in 2005; Defence Minister Namolo
visited India in January 2007; Foreign Minister Marco Hausiku paid a successful
visit to India in October 2006 and was one of the first Foreign Ministers
from abroad to meet our EAM; a high-level joint Parliamentary delegation
headed by the Speaker of the Namibian National Assembly, Dr. Theo-Ben
Gurirab visited India in December 2006; the Minister for Information &
Broadcasting, Mrs. Netunda Nandi-Ndaitwah visited India in March 2007.
The Namibian Minister of Trade and Industry Immanuel Ngatjizeko led a
Namibian trade and industry delegation for the CII Conclave on India-Africa
Project Partnership – 2007 held in Maputo (July 1 - 4, 2007). The
Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy Erkki Nghimtina led the Namibian
delegation to the India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference and Exhibition,
6-7 November, 2007, New Delhi. The Namibian Minister for Agriculture,
Water and Forestry visited India in December 2007. The Namibian Minister
of Defence Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Charles Nomoloh visited India in February
2008. The Namibian Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Joel
Kaapanda visited India in February 2008.)
Trade and Economic Cooperation:
Namibia is a large country with a surface area of 824,268 square kilometres
[about ¼ the size of India], with a population of only 2.0 million.
According to the Export-Import Data Bank of Department of Commerce the
following are the trade figures relating to Namibia (in million US dollars):
||Imports from Namibia to India
India To Namibia
Main trading partners of Namibia:
|Origin of % of
imports 2004 total
Namibia’s total trade and comparative figures for Imports
& Exports of Namibia for 2005 and 2006 (Source EIU):
|Namibia’s Total Trade fob
||Figures in US$
||US$ 2.068 billion
||US $ 2.285 billion
||US $ 2.655 billion
||US $ 2. 558 billion
Trade imports & Exports of Namibia with items for 2006:
|Main exports fob 2006
||% of total
|Food & live animals
|Other mineral products
|Main imports fob 2006
||% of total
|Machinery & equipment
|Refined petroleum products
|Chemical products, rubber & plastics products
Main trading partners and percentage of total trade:
|Destination of exports 2004
||% of total
|Origin of imports 2004
||% of total
Commodities of export/import India – Namibia:
The principal commodities of export from India to Namibia
are drugs and pharmaceuticals, inorganic/organic/agro chemicals, glass/glassware,
plastic and linoleum products, manufactures of metals, machine tools,
machinery & instruments, transport equipments, rubber manufactured
products and electronic goods. The top ten items of export from India
to Namibia, according to Namibian statistics are (i) Pharmaceuticals (ii)
Boilers, Machinery, etc. and parts thereof (iii) Glass and Glassware (iv)
Optical, Photographic instruments etc. and parts thereof (v) Vehicles
(Excluding trains); parts and accessories thereof (vi) Electrical Machinery,
Sound Recorders/Reproducers, TVs and parts thereof (vii) Inorganic Chemicals,
Compounds of precious metals etc. (viii) Articles of Leather, Saddlery
& harness, travel goods etc. (ix) Aluminium and articles thereof.
The principal commodities of import from Namibia to India are non-ferrous
metals, metalifiers ores & metal scrap, transport equipments, machinery
except electrical & electronic.
The volume of trade between the two countries, which is in India’s
favour, is small. India’s exports to Namibia were US $ 18.48 million
while imports from Namibia to India was US $ 3.42 million in 2006-07.
Indian products from South Africa are re-imported into Namibia and shown
as imports from South Africa. Similarly, Namibian rough diamonds arrive
in India via London/Antwerp and do not get reflected in the bilateral
Accordingly, the volume of trade between Namibia and India could be over
20% more than the reflected figures. Significantly, the importance of
Namibia for India’s trade to neighbouring SADC countries is growing
Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC)/ Special Commonwealth
African Assistance Plan (SCAAP):
Under these programme, the Technical Cooperation Division of the Ministry
of External Affairs, Government of India offers technical assistance to
156 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, Central
Asia, Gulf, the Pacific Island countries and the Caribbean.
The various fields covered under the Programme are, Audit, Banking, Finance
& Accounts, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Education Planning and Administration,
English Language, Entrepreneurship, Food Technology, Human Resource Planning,
Information Technology, Journalism & Mass Communication, Labour Administration
and Employment relations in a global economy, Manpower Planning, Management,
Oceanography, Remote Sensing, Parliamentary studies, Rural Development,
Small Scale Industries, Standardization, Small Business Development, Textile
Technology (website for the list/details of these programmes: http://itec.nic.in
The Programmes aim at the developing countries to work together to overcome
their common vulnerabilities and disadvantages and to maximise the benefits
that could accrue from the process of globalisation through sharing of
expertise in various fields. Thus, the programmes have found to receive
a high degree of acceptability, resulting in the accrual of well-earned
goodwill for India and boosted its image.
The ITEC assistance is granted under the following four categories:
• Training (Both Civil and Military) – nearly 400 Government
officials/other trainees since independence in Namibia.
• Projects and Project - related assistance such as supply of equipment,
consultancy services and feasibility studies. For example, India-Namibia
Plastic Demonstration Centre, Ondangwa, Namibia
• Deputation of experts – Long term deputation of Indian experts
with the Namibia Government and the University of Namibia, Windhoek, and
short-term visits of experts.
• Study visits of senior officials/decision makers to India –
Under the programmes, the Government offers full scholarship to selected
candidates, which include the entire course fees, tuition fees, accommodation
charges, living allowances, study tours, emergency medical assistance,
return international fares and gratis visa. The applications are routed
through the Namibian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Namibia is partner country under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation
(ITEC) Programme. More than 400 Namibians have undergone training in India.
Foreign Minister Mr. Marco Hausiku is the ITEC patron in Namibia.
The Ministry of External affairs also arranges for military training,
under which nominees of friendly countries, including Namibia, are imparted
training both long term and short term in national institutions in all
the three wings of defence services, including the prestigious National
Defence College, New Delhi and National Defence Services Staff College,
Higher Education Opportunities in India:
The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), an autonomous body with
the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India offers a few scholarships
every year for students, including from a friendly country like Namibia,
to pursue undergraduate/postgraduate courses/research work in various
Indian Universities. These scholarships are offered under various schemes
such as the General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (GCSS), the Commonwealth
Scholarship/Fellowship Plan and the Africa Day Scholarship Scheme.
Besides, world-class, high quality education in India's premier institutions
of higher learning, be it engineering, medicine or management, is available
on self-financing basis at relatively inexpensive costs. The High Commission
also assists students to study in India on self-financing basis through
the Ministry of External Affairs for which advertisements in the local
media appear in March of each year to join the academic sessions beginning
July-August of the same year. Visitors to this website may also visit
the portions dealing with education above.
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