President of Namibia to make state visit to Finland

Office of the President of the Republic
Press Release 57/2013
1 November 2013

President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba and his spouse will be arriving in Finland for a state visit at the invitation of President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö on 11–13 November 2013. During the visit, the Presidents will discuss matters such as relations between Finland and Namibia, potential for cooperation and regional issues with regard for instance to developments in the EU and in the African Union. Multilateral cooperation and global economic and development issues will also be discussed.

The official programme of the state visit will begin with a reception given by President Niinistö and his spouse for the guests at the Government Banquet Hall, Smolna, on Tuesday 12 November. The official welcoming ceremony will be held on Etelä-Esplanadi outside the Government Banquet Hall at 10.00.

After the Presidents’ talks, the programme for the visit will include lunch hosted by the City of Helsinki, a wreath-laying ceremony at Hietaniemi Cemetery and a visit to Parliament. The day will end with dinner hosted by the President and his spouse at the House of the Estates.

The final day of the visit will include a visit to the Geological Survey of Finland and the Helsinki University Library. President Pohamba will also be meeting Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Namibian expatriates living in Finland and representatives of the Finland-Namibia Society.

Finland and Namibia enjoy an exceptionally warm relationship of long standing, having its origins in Finnish missionary work in the 19th century. Finland was a strong supporter of Namibia’s independence process, and interaction remains lively in the areas of culture, science and education, and also between individual churches and local authorities in the two countries. Recently, focus has shifted from traditional development cooperation to broader economic and trade partnership, with a consequent increase in trade and investments.

The previous state visit by a Finnish head of state to Namibia was made by President Tarja Halonen in 2011.