Ghana and Namibia have had long-standing bilateral relations dating back to the days of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
This relationship was reinforced in 2015 when the Namibian government set up its High Commission in Ghana. On Tuesday, April 14, 2021, H.E. Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, the second High Commissioner of Namibia to Ghana, paid a courtesy on call the National Executives of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) to officially introduce herself and build stronger economic ties between the GNCCI and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI). She was warmly welcomed by the Mrs. Victoria M.E. Hajar (1st Vice President of the GNCCI) and Mr. Mark Badu-Aboagye (Chief Executive Officer of the GNCCI) on behalf of the National Executives.
Indisputably, diplomatic relations between these two countries have been excellent. However, trade and investments have not greatly benefited from these relations. Available statistics from the International Trade Centre (ITC) shows that Ghana’s exports to Namibia recorded a 92.5% reduction in trade from US$160,000 in 2016 to US$12,000 in 2020 while Namibia’s exports to Ghana recorded a 20.3% increase in trade from US$ 1.92 million to US$ 2.3 million over the same period. The High Commissioner, noting this fact, called for a shift from conversations exclusively diplomatic to one with a blend of diplomacy and economics, which will be pivotal in boosting trade and investment between the two nations. With the AfCFTA agreement in operation now, she urged both parties to put a lot of work into making the agreement yield the desired benefits.
The High Commissioner further revealed that Visa processes for business travels were being reviewed by the High Commission to ensure smooth entry into Namibia. She believes this will serve as an incentive for Ghanaian companies who want to tap into the Namibian market.
In addition, she stated that the High Commission will, in the upcoming months, organize a Business-to-Business event to build stronger economic ties between Ghana and Namibia. As part of the activities of the event, there will be ‘meat tasting’, to get people acquainted with Namibia’s main product of export – beef. She concluded by announcing that the CEOs of meat producing companies in Namibia will be in Ghana in a couple of months to explore the Ghanaian Market and meet with the National Executives of the GNCCI and members who are interested in the meat business.
As a step to improve on the economic relationship, the National Executives of the GNCCI and the High Commissioner agreed to take the necessary steps to finalize the draft MOU between the GNCCI and the NCCI and sign it.
The 1st Vice President agreed with the High Commissioner to build better economic relations to increase trade and investment between the two countries. She thanked the High Commissioner for the High Commission’s effort to reduce Visa hurdles and ended the meeting by assuring her of the Chamber’s readiness to support the expansion of trade and investment in both economies.