Post-Colonialism: The Strong Relationship between Germany and Namibia

My name is Moesha Nyoni. I am 21 years old. I am an outspoken person,  I love traveling and mostly I love meeting and interacting with people. I did debate and public speaking during my A level period and won  numerous awards under Africa orate and Comtempary Affairs Foundation (CAF). I was a member of parliament from 2017-2018. My hobbies are writing songs,  playing my guitar,  reading novels, watching reality shows such crimes shows,  fashion runways and documented biographies.

Zimbabwe | June 27, 2020 | Student Essay

Africa is a continent that truly affirms that where history lives hope is ignited and optimism thrives. If you wind your thoughts back to the time of colonialism when Africa and greater parts of the world were held in colonial bondage by Western powers you would see the greater damage that was done all in quest of power and recognition. During this time our people were captured and detained as slaves, with no identity and sense of belonging at all. It was an era where it seemed inevitably impossible to escape from the bondage, however on the long run and after a massive loss of innocent blood and with the advent of great minds, characters and philosophies who demonstrated the need for liberty gradually colonies and other dependent territories around the globe achieved their freedom and independence.  Now this essay isn’t about colonialism or the loss we encountered as colonies rather it focuses on countries that once colonized other countries and deprived those countries development and advancement in all aspects. Countries and leaders who have looked beyond the conspiracies of Africa being once very primitive, dull and backward and actually grasped the lucid fact that today Africa could be a fully developed continent with better facilities, health cares, advanced and complex technology, to mention just a few if it had not been colonized. Countries and leaders that have taken full responsibility to reconcile with their former colonies and compensate the aftermath of the wars, massacres, genocides and apartheids that occurred long ago yet the scars and effects are still visible till date. This essay seeks to appreciate and showcase the footprints that Germany has shown by creating a strong bilateral relationship with Namibia.

To begin with, unlike other countries Germany and Namibia positively coincided with each other after the 1990 independence resulting in a gradual development of diplomatic relations. Namibian–German bilateral relations were established against the background of a resolution passed in the German Parliament, which stated the following, “Since Namibia’s independence in March 1990, friendly and comprehensive relations have developed between Namibia and the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany acknowledges a ‘special responsibility’ for Namibia, expressed officially in the parliamentary resolution of March 1989, entitled “The Special Responsibility of the Federal Republic of Germany for Namibia and all its Citizens”, in which the German Bundestag [German Parliament] called on the government to develop and cultivate special relations with the independent Namibia…”. This was fully showcased when the German development Minister Heidemarie Wiseczorek-Zeul visited Namibia officially asking for forgiveness of the past. It is this bold decision that bore  the results which improved co-operation and exchange between the two counties.

There are so many things that Germany has contributed which Namibia is benefiting  from till today. This programme started soon after Independence, and targeted the following three broad focal areas that is the sustainable development and management of natural resource, ensuring sustainable economic development, and the development of transport infrastructure.

On behalf of Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung/BMZ) the German organisations cooperate with their Namibian partners in various programmes and projects. A case in point is the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the new agency formed after the merger of the following German Technical Cooperation (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit/ GTZ), German Development Service (Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst/DED), and InWEnt – Capacity Building International, Germany.

Another government-related body is the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau , which is responsible for Germany’s financial aid programmes on a bilateral, multilateral and private level. Also, the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe/BGR), the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM), and the German Investment and Development Company (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft/DEG) are examples of similar German organizations which are active in Namibia.

Moreover German contributes through NGOs, international organizations and multilateral institutions. The German public strongly supports the agenda for social, health and environmental issues in Germany and abroad. The German NGO come in three categories that is Political foundations, Church-based organizations (CBOs), and Local organizations.

The political NGOs lobby, raise awareness and provide assistance to NGO development projects. They collaborate with the German Government in  increasing procedures adapted to allow for the funding of projects and programmes. Some examples of CBOs are Brot für die Welt (“Bread for the World”), which works in close cooperation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland , Johanniter Hilfswerk , and Miserior.

Moreover, there are other NGOs that work together such as the Senior Experten Service , a non-profit organisation, a Foundation of German Industry for International Cooperation (Stiftung der deutschen Wirtschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit). The SES offers interested retirees the opportunity to pass on their skills and knowledge to others, both within Germany and abroad.

Also there other non-profit independent association such as Solidarity Service International which do campaigns for solidarity and a just and peaceful world in which a natural way of life is preserved. It is supported by volunteers, grass-roots initiatives and donor groups. SODI is funded by donations, membership fees and public funds. Since 1994 they have received yearly accreditation from the German Central Institute for Social Issues (Stiftung Deutsches Zentralinstitut für soziale Fragen/DZI).  SODI and its Namibian partner, the Clay House Project, constructed 600 dry toilets in Otjiwarongo and in rural areas in northern Namibia. These facilities serve over 4,500 people, who actively took part in the construction of the toilets and who learned how to maintain them themselves.

Moreover, there is the WFD which advocates and works for social justice, the observation and implementation of human rights, equal support of both women and men in development processes, and sustainable economic and agricultural activities which preserve natural resources. It runs several projects in Namibia, including a crisis management fund for orphans, and a project for children living in Katutura. 

The Ombili Stiftung Supported largely by the Lions’ Club of Mosbach in Germany, is dedicated in  providing education and training to the San people of Namibia. projects such as a 4-ha vegetable garden under irrigation were established. Traditional and other handicrafts are encouraged and taught, and the products are bought by the Foundation to be sold locally or they are exported. A community centre, a school, a workshop, a kindergarten, a hostel, classrooms, and staff housing for teachers and employees at the Foundation have been constructed with the sponsorships of financial contributions by German NGOs as well as donations by private individuals.

Moreover, there is the Bürgersinn Foundation which supports the Baumgartsbrunn Farm School project in Namibia in particular. The project is committed to helping young women and children to help themselves. A primary school and a guest farm belong to the project as well. The principal goal for Baumgartsbrunn is to secure the existence of this model project of North–South cooperation beyond the death of its founder, Helmut Bleks, and to sustainably develop the project for the future.

Moreso there are  NGOs that  help children such as Hilfe für  Namibia  which assists in identifying projects in need of help. Several institutions in Namibia are supported by Help for Namibia, including the hostel in Rietoog, Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia (CLaSH), the Gobabis Kindergarten, the Rakutuka Primary School, the retirement home in Rehoboth, the Kombat Primary School, and the Khoandawes Primary School.

Also, KiNderHilfe iN Namibia eV/Help supports self-help projects in local communities regarding the construction, enlargement and improvement of day-care centres, pre-primary schools (kindergartens) and schools. Kinderhilfe also provides secondary school learners with scholarships. The organisation realised the need for classrooms, pre-primary schools, kindergartens and school equipment. Institutions that are involved in the education process are supported by way of building materials for the construction and renovation of classrooms and of pre-primary schools , the construction, upgrading and renovation of kindergartens and the maintance of hotels to mention just a few.

Some smaller German NGOs committed to the support of children in Namibia in respect of similar projects include LionKids Namibia eV, Deutsch-Namibischer Partnerschaftsverein eV, Namibiakids eV, and Fahrräder für Afrika eV/Bicycles for Africa, which cooperates closely with the Bicycle Empowering Network (BEN) Namibia which work on the provision of sustainable transport and bicycle-related income generation opportunities. 

Furthermore, on 24 june 2019, Hon Schelettwein signed a financial Cooperation Agreement on Interest Subsidized loans between Germany and Namibia. This agreement covered programmes to the value of 80 Million EURO which were for completion of phase 2 of MR44 Swakopmud- Walvis Bay, securing Windhoek Water Supply, and for lending to small Enterprises and Low-income Households.

On a conclusive note Germany has contributed a lot not only to Namibia but to a number of countries and to the European union. This to me then makes it one of the most positively influential country with leaders that define great leadership.

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14 thoughts on “Post-Colonialism: The Strong Relationship between Germany and Namibia

  1. Soumarya Dutta says:

    Had been looking for some materials on this Topic.. It’s a really well researched essay..A great read overall..


  2. Tinashe Thaundi says:

    Well written and in point 👏 it goes to show how far we have come and how far we still have to go both as a continent and the world as a whole


  3. Ranganai Nyachuru says:

    This is truly a well researched article. When we see this from the young generation it gives us hope for the future. The world is in turmoil at this stage as youths are nolonger learning and studying to improve themselves. They would rather be on social media twitting and whatsapping useless and pathetic messages. Well done Moesha Nyoni for this article. I personally expect more from you.


  4. Rutendo says:

    While much has been written on this topic, your article shows that you have done your research well. I really enjoyed reading your article and will be looking forward to reading more of your articles in future .Great job Moesha


  5. Rue says:

    Great article Moesha . This will inspire a lot of young people of your age . I am looking forward to reading your next article


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