Genocide talks to reach conclusion by year-end

The head of the German Bundestag delegation to Namibia, which left on Thursday after a four-day visit, has expressed confidence in the dialogue being undertaken between the two governments on the genocide issue.
 
Dagmar Wohrl told the media on Thursday that the talks should reach an amicable conclusion by the end of the year or early next year. 
 
Wohrl was leading a five-member delegation of German economic cooperation and development parliamentary committee members.
 
The delegation had several meetings with government officials, including Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa, National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi and OvaHerero Paramount Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro, who is the head of the OvaHerero/Nama Genocide Technical Committee. 
 
Wohrl revealed that the German government has to date contributed over N$14 billion to Namibia, in the form of government and non-governmental development programmes.
 
She said this contribution had been made in different sectors, such as agriculture, vocational training programmes, among others, and was set to be intensified, as they continue to explore other areas of interest that they could assist Namibia.
 
The delegation spent two days in Rundu engaging farmers and assessing the extent to which rural development had taken place in that area.
 
Wohrl noted that the German government was well aware of the various challenges that are being faced globally, such as climate change impacts, the shortage of electricity within the SADC region and the water shortages, among others.
 
She said her delegation would return to Germany with several findings they gathered during their four-day visit, which they would share with their parliament.
 
Wohrl further highlighted that German had supported the Namibian government with the policy of national reconciliation, and also in dealing with the legacy of apartheid.
 
She said the main goal of the German-Namibian cooperation is to dismantle the social disparities that resulted from Namibia’s history.
 

“Although donors have been dwindling over the years, the German government will continue to expand cooperation with Namibia in key focal areas, which include the development of cooperation on land reform, the improvement of productivity in farming, as well as security of tenure for land.”
 
Wohrl said the German government would continue to establish cooperation in natural resource management, transport and sustainable economic development, while also delving into areas outside their focal areas, such as HIV/AIDS and energy efficiency.
 
“To date we have managed to give back 75 percent of land rights to locals, erected 8,000km of fencing, especially in the Rundu farming area. Also 100 boreholes have been put up in various areas around the country and 100 cattle kraals have been built through this government to government cooperation.”
 
Wohrl emphasised the need to improve and effectively implement dual vocational training education in Namibia, as it was part of the key strategies that assisted German develop by addressing its skills gap after the Second World War.
 
Dual vocational education, she explained, is the training of individuals in both the theoretical and practical concurrently, in whatever specialty the students would have chosen.
 
“This helps to prepare the individuals from both ends, as it teaches them both the practical part during the day, and after work they go for the theoretical part, such that by the end of their training they are well-versed and are fully equipped.”
 
Another German special envoy is expected in Namibia next month.

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