Visit to Namibia by the President of the Bundesrat
President of the German National Council Günther laying down a wreath at the monument for Hereros killed during 1904-1908., © Staatskanzlei SH
From the 13 to the 18 July 2019, the President of the Bundesrat of the Federal Republic of Germany and Minister President of the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein, Mr. Daniel Günther, visited Namibia.
During his visit, he met with President of the Federal Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob as well as the Chairperson of the National Council Margareth Mensah-Williams and other members of the Namibian National Council. Mr. Günther also held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and the Deputy Speaker of the Namibian Parliament, Prof. Loide Kasingo. On the 17 July 2019, Federal Council President Günther and his delegation attended a session of the National Council (second chamber of the Namibian Parliament), where, as the first head of a foreign legislative body, he delivered a speech before the assembled House.
“Germany is firmly committed to its historic responsibility”
In his speech, President of the Bundesrat Günther pointed out that Namibia and Germany were at the same time united and separated by a common history. He emphasized that the horrors which German colonial rule at the beginning of the 20th century had inflicted on the people of Namibia, especially the Herero and Nama, remained unforgotten. He said:
“The consequences of the crimes of that time are still felt today. We recognize this historical guilt without any ifs or buts. I bow my head before you in humility and respect. ”
Günther went on to say that the German and Namibian governments were in constructive talks on dealing with the colonial past and that the Federal Government was striving for a joint approach to these issues. Germany was firmly committed to its responsibility with its history.
He further expressed in his speech the desire to encourage the connection between the Bundesrat and the National Council and invited representatives of the National Council for a visit to Germany.
Insights into the current situation of the Namibian economy
The Federal Council President was accompanied by ten business representatives from Schleswig-Holstein, representing different economic sectors. As part of their visit, the delegation visited the KFW-funded Goreangab water treatment plant near Windhoek as an example of German-Namibian development cooperation. In addition, a visit to the Namibia University of Science and Technology, which cooperates for many years with the University of Flensburg, also took place.
The delegation then traveled to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay where talks with the Governor of the Erongo region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, and with the Mayor of Swakopmund, Paulina Ndahafa Nashilundu, took place, followed by a visit to the deep-sea port of Walvis Bay. The business delegation also visited the Seawork Fish Processors in Walvis Bay. In Swakopmund, the delegation visited the Memorial Park Cemetery and laid down flowers at the memorial which commemorates the Hereros who died between 1904 – 1908.