President Hage Geingob has agreed in principle to support and endorse the bid by Saudi Arabia to host the World Expo 2030.
Geingob’s endorsement follows a request by the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Kattan, who on Friday, during a courtesy call at State House, requested Namibia’s support and endorsement of the bid by Saudi Arabia to host the expo.
Kattan is an adviser at the Saudi Royal Court, with the rank of minister.
He had been the minister of state for African affairs since 2018 and was the dean of the Arab diplomatic corps since 2013.
In response to Kattan’s request, Geingob commended him for travelling from Saudi Arabia to deliver the message, instead of sending an ambassador from Lusaka, Zambia, saying the move signals the respect Saudi Arabia has for African leaders.
“You could easily have called and asked for our support, and we could have said yes because you supported us during our independence struggle. Also, nobody has asked us for support, but I will have to ask the international relations minister to make the announcement since she is the one to make such announcements,” Geingob said.
Kattan also notified Geingob of his country’s plans to improve bilateral relations with Namibia.
He said Saudi Arabia is keen to enhance its relationship with Namibia.
“We would like to enhance our relationship with all African countries, and this is very important for us,” he said.
He also asked Geingob permission for the two countries to convene an investment forum, saying Namibia offers enormous business potential.
“If you want, Mr President, we can arrange an investment conference between the two countries; we can ask our ambassador to arrange that soonest,” Kattan said.
In his response, Geingob said investment opportunities are open in Namibia for people who have experience in their respective fields, as the country wants to develop.
“These days, we are flooded by all kinds of requests from potential investors because we are one of the leading countries in green hydrogen. I am going Sunday to Davos, and my list of requests is full because we are bringing in these new future energy resources,” he said.