President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today witnessed the inauguration of Dr Hage Geingob as Namibia’s third President.
The colourful ceremony which was held together with Namibia’s 25th independence celebration was attended by 12 heads of state from across the continent, founding Nambian President and liberation hero Sam Nujoma, as well as representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The celebrations at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium started at 9.30am (Namibian time) and included a full guard of honour and military parade, fly past and 21-gun salutes by the Namibian Defence Forces.
After being sworn in, Dr Geingob was handed the instruments of office. He and President Hifikepunye Pohamba, whom he succeeded in office, exchanged seats as well as aid de camps in symbolic gestures.
After coming out of more than a 100 years of colonisation in 1990, Namibia has become a symbol of stability on the continent and has made strides in democratisation and economic development.
More than than 45 percent of MPs in the Namibian Parliament are women and a woman was sworn in as the new prime minister to take over Dr Geingob’s former position.
President Kenyatta and the First Lady, who received thunderous cheers when they arrived for the event, later attended a state luncheon hosted by the new president.
President Kenyatta’s visit to Namibia is meant to strengthen the strong ties between the two nations.
“We congratulate Namibia on these remarkable achievement, first on the 25th anniversary of their independence, and secondly on the inauguration of their third democratically elected President,” President Kenyatta said.
“It is proof that democracy is well and alive in Africa and that Africans themselves can chart their own destiny and be architects of their own prosperity as Namibia’s experience has shown,” the President added.
The President was scheduled to hold meetings with President Geingob, former President Pohamba and other senior officials of Namibia’s government with a number of items on the agenda.
Kenya has had close cooperation with Namibia in the medical sector with many Kenyan medical experts having had working stints in this southern african nation. A Kenyan serves as the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Namibia, while the University of Nairobi trains many Namibians medical students.
President Kenyatta wants to improve trade ties between the two countries, and he will be looking to expand the market for Kenyan teas in Namibia.
The President was also due to meet the Kenyan diaspora in Windhoek when he officially opens “Kenya House” later on Saturday. The Government fully owns its embassy building in the southwest African country of two million people.