Japan commits to supporting Namibia’s development efforts

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Japan stands as one of Namibia’s most significant donor nations, having contributed more than US$271 million to Namibia’s development efforts since independence.

This was revealed during a courtesy call by the Japanese Ambassador to Namibia, Nishimaki Hisao, on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi yesterday.

During the visit, the Japanese diplomat emphasised that Namibia has received assistance in various crucial areas, including human resource development, agriculture and emergency response.

“Japan has extended support by providing food to vulnerable citizens affected by drought and they have also offered medical assistance,” he said.

Further explaining that Japan and Namibia continue to collaborate in other vital sectors of the economy through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Notably, Japan has played a pivotal role in constructing classrooms and providing volunteer teacher experts in mathematics, physics and chemistry across all 14 regions in Namibia.

Hisao added that his country has also awarded scholarships to numerous Namibians for studies in diverse fields in Japan. Since 2013, JICA has served as a strategic partner of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group and has offered technical expertise for the formulation of Namibia’s logistics master plan.

During the meeting, Hisao unveiled the joint Japan-Namibia Rice and Mahangu Project, which was initiated at the University of Namibia’s Ogongo campus in 2012.

“This groundbreaking project has scientifically demonstrated that rice can be successfully cultivated in northern Namibia,” he noted.

While speaking at the same occasion, Katjavivi praised the initiative and stressed the importance of replicating the project in multiple regions of Namibia due to the country’s vulnerability to drought.

“We commend this project and hope that it can be replicated in other parts of the country to alleviate hunger. This is a significant step, and it is crucial for our Members of Parliament to pay close attention to such projects,” said Katjavivi.

He told the Japanese delegate that the Namibian parliament is exploring opportunities to establish connections with its Japanese counterpart.

“Japan has consistently been a development partner, and as a parliament, we are looking to develop a partnership with the Parliament of Japan. We eagerly anticipate engaging with our colleagues at the upcoming IPU General Assembly in Angola in October to initiate the steps toward building this friendship,” he added.

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