Publication: Sapa Issued: Windhoek Date: 2000-05-09 Reporter: Sapa

Namibia, Brazil Increase Cooperation in Range of Sectors






Date 2000-05-09

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Namibia and Brazil will increase cooperation in several sectors, including defence, AIDS and agriculture, government officials said Friday.

Visiting Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim held discussions with Namibian ministers aimed at improving bilateral relations in the defence, trade, marine resources, agriculture and health sectors.

Issues on the agenda included plans to buy anti-retroviral drugs from Brazil to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Other areas of cooperation include naval and defence activities, Amorim said.

"We are transferring a corvette to the Namibian navy in due course and help the fisheries sector with patrol boats," he said but declined to give more details.

His Namibian counterpart, Hidipo Hamutenya, emphasised the good relations between the two countries and said the talks were "very fruitful and constructive".

The ongoing training of Namibian naval cadet officers will continue. Brazil supported the Namibian liberation struggle and since 1994 has trained more than 100 naval cadets for the fledgling maritime wing of the Namibia Defence Force.

The Namibian defence ministry intends to establish a naval base at the port of Walvis Bay. The 1994 agreement with Brazil includes assistance with the construction and development of that naval base.

Budgetary expenditure of 86 million Namibian dollars (12 million US dollars / 10.3 million euros) is provided for the naval base, which is to include a jetty, administration block, stores and accommodation. So far a feasibility study and a master plan have been completed.

Namibian Minister for Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Hifikepunye Pohamba will soon visit Brazil to acquaint himself with a start-up programme for small farmers, and to share expertise on farming, officials said.

Amorim left for Brazil Friday afternoon after visiting Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and Sao Tome and Principe.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.