Namibian President May Attend Russia-Africa Summit – Finance Minister
/ Go to the mediabankRussia-Africa Summit / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Namibia could be represented at the highest level at the upcoming Russia – Africa summit this summer, Ipumbu Shiimi, who serves as the minister of finance in Namibia, told Sputnik. While saying that he himself would not be present, Ipumbu noted that a delegation would be there on behalf of Namibia. “I believe Namibia will have a delegation, because Namibia and Russia are good friends, I believe there will be a delegation,” he said. “It could be at a head of state level but I don’t have a lot of information yet.” The Namibian minister stressed he considers the upcoming event important as it will provide the opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest. “I think it’s always good when people come together, to discuss a common interest,” he stated. “I think it’s something we should all encourage, I think it’s an important summit.” Russian President Vladimir Putin in March invited the leaders of African countries to attend a summit in Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month that preparations for the Russia-Africa summit are underway.
The first Russia-Africa summit was held in October 2019 in the Russian city of Sochi, and the second is scheduled for July 2023 in St. Petersburg. Russian Ambassador to Ouagadougou and Yamoussoukro Alexey Saltykov told Sputnik in March that the Russian side has already sent invitations to the leadership of both countries.
Shiimi further indicated that Namibia wants to see more tourists from Russia come and visit the country amid growing relations between the two nations. “We have some cooperation in the area of tourism for instance. We get a lot Russian tourists coming to Namibia. We want to get more tourists coming from Russia to Namibia,” Shiimi said.The finance minister described relations between Russia and Namibia as “strong,” adding that the “relationship has been there for quite a long time and it’s getting stronger and stronger.”In fact, the Namibian official noted that “there are some Russian private companies that have started to talk to us about desalination plant, renewable energy, solar.” However Shiimi did go on to caution that the discussions were “only at private level,” and that more was needed to proceed.Asked about Western sanctions against Russia, Shiimi said Namibia does not want a particular country to be singled out and believes it is important that “we all work together.”
Delegations from the United States, Canada and the EU, in anticipation of the upcoming second Russia-Africa summit, are demanding that African leaders in fact stop cooperation with Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador-at-Large Oleg Ozerov told Sputnik in March.
Speaking on the topic of new means to encourage international trade efforts, Shiimi underscored that Namibia backs any such endeavors.“I think whats important is that world trade must continue. And if you can find more means to encourage foreign trade, to encourage world trade, that’s something we’ll support,” the minister stated.“Namibia wants to trade with all its partners with the rest of the world. Trade is something we want to encourage,” he said when asked how he assesses trade with Russia. “We’re a very small country and therefore we cannot afford for the world to be fragmented cause we need to trade with everybody. So we will want to support the world to support trade and intensify trade, so everything that is going to create restrictions for trade is not in the interest of the world in our view.”In June 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the BRICS Business Forum that the five major emerging economies should establish an international reserve system based on the basket of BRICS currencies. Although it may take years for the group to create such a monetary system, the final result is likely to be a balance between the competing Western dollar system and the BRICS currency basket, Gary Korolev, CEO of financial services firm Sovereign Wealth Management, told Sputnik. AfricaRussia Not Going to Use US Dollar in Trade With Africa, Ambassador Says26 January, 11:07 GMTRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that the creation of a common currency would be discussed at the BRICS summit in August.The finance minister also said a meeting with his Russian counterpart has not been scheduled during the ongoing 2023 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, of which he spoke on the sidelines of in Washington, DC. The event runs from April 10 to 16.