Human beings have been practicing diplomacy for centuries. Since the formation of the first city-states, diplomacy has played its role as one of the defining elements of a state. It is therefore paramount, that every nation positions itself in the global arena, through defining and applying its foreign policy, which will guide its activities and relationships in interacting with other states. On July 25, 2016, when I opened the Conference on the Review of Namibia’s International Relations and Cooperation, I referred to the dynamism of a changing world order and modern day diplomacy. I spoke of an ever changing diplomatic landscape where States are no longer the only role players, but where they have been joined by multilateral institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector as well as charismatic individuals who are all playing an active role in international relations. It is therefore a pleasure to welcome this evening, a mix of invitees hailing from a variety of professional backgrounds, to the inaugural lecture series named after Dr Theopold-Benjamin Gurirab, the first Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Namibia.

Foreign policy’s role in promoting a country’s development is a matter of great importance for understanding its national trajectory, especially in the case of an emerging country. The international dynamics that define our modern world have been greatly influenced by the emergence of what are referred to as middle-income nations, or emerging powers, whose main goal both domestically and internationally has been to promote their development and to increase their stature and presence. In a paper titled Foreign Policy and Diplomacy: Diplomacy as a Technique for Foreign Policy, Appu Nath describes Foreign Policy as the key element in the process by which a state translates its broadly conceived goals and interests into concrete course of action to set objectives and preserve interests. Namibia’s goals and interests are defined by our Vision 2030, the supporting National Development Plans, as well as by our Harambee Prosperity Plan. These plans plot the course of our developmental trajectory and the course on which we would like to take our country during the next several decades.

It is therefore crucial that our Foreign Policy speaks to these domestic goals and help translate them into concrete actions which will help achieve our developmental objectives. Today, we need to go beyond the dictionary definition of foreign policy as “a policy pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations, designed to achieve national objectives.” It must also have a larger dimension of global welfare – we need to be involved in the Southern African Development Community for the welfare of our region; in the African Union for the welfare of Africa, and in other agencies, including the United Nations and its agencies dealing with international issues. We need to be concerned about conflicts, drought, and refugee problems in Africa and beyond. We need to work relentlessly to address the challenges of global warming, global trade, and terrorism.

This decade has posed many foreign policy challenges for a country that anchors its foreign policy in principles it shares with the United Nations. During this decade we have seen economic boom and bust, increased social and economic inequality, challenges to human rights, terrible poverty, intractable wars in many parts of Africa, and the Middle East, refugee problems, threats of terrorism, evolution of social media and the resulting change in the dynamics of democracy, challenges posed by climate change, isolationist policies of certain states, threats to global trade and other international agreements. These are the challenges that impact upon what is in the interest of our country and the principles we stand for.

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Media Statement by His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, 31 July 2017

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real timoPresident Geingob’s Speech at the Heroes Funeral of the Late Comrade Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo

Saturday, June 24, 2017; source: Dr. Hage Geingob's facebook page

Speech by His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, at the Heroes Funeral of the Late Comrade Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, Heroes Acre, Windhoek

Photo: Southern Times


“The struggle was long and bitter, but our brothers and sisters never gave up...we should always remember and respect their blood that waters our freedom”... As we are gathered here, in the final resting place of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, we pay respect to their blood that waters our freedom and ask them to welcome this Son of the Soil, this revolutionary icon and torch bearer of our freedom, justice and equality – Comrade Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo.

In 2011, while being interviewed by Kazambire Zemburuka for NBC, Comrade Ya Toivo, true to his nature and in his usual frank and straight talking fashion, spoke about the rising scourge of tribalism in Namibia. He expressed the fact that tribalism will take Namibia down a road to nowhere. He spoke about how he was prepared to die for Namibia, risking physical, emotional and psychological torment in order to free Namibians from the chains of oppression, hatred and intolerance.

In his own words he said, “I am now done with my mission and very frail. I’m at the airport with my ticket now, waiting for the plane to come so that I go home to meet my friends, Tobias Hainyeko and others.”

Comrade Ya Toivo, for the past several years, we have been with you at the airport in the waiting room, keeping you company while you wait for your plane to arrive. That plane has arrived, and we are escorting you to the plane, tears in our eyes as you walk up the stairs with your one way ticket, ready to begin your non-stop flight to a destination where there will be no more hatred, no more fighting, no more incarceration and no more pain.

The restlessness and toiling of the living world is no longer a concern for this brave comrade, for he has fought the good fight, he has finished the race, he has kept the faith. Today he can return home to meet his friends, Tobias Hainyeko, Peter Mwashihange, Maxton Joseph Mutongulume, Dimo Hamaambo, John Ya Otto Nankhudu, Frederick Matongo, Peter Tsheehama, Peter Nanyemba, Mose Tjitendero, Richard Kabajani, John Pandeni, Andrew Intamba, Anton Lubowski, Gerson Veii, Moses //Garoëb and so many other heroes and heroines of Namibia’s liberation struggle. He will also peep into the room, where his fellow Robben Island prisoners are: Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Steve Tshwete, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada and others – icons who suffered for the freedom of their people.

Heroes like Comrade Ya Toivo and his peers, should not be honoured with words but with actions. For it was through action that this brave son from Omangundu scaled the heights of the school of life, to become a symbol of defiance against tyranny and oppression.

So as the plane disappears into the sky, beyond our sight, each one of us must ask the following questions - How will we honour the memory of Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo? Will it be through words or action? Will we make a commitment to work towards the healing of wounds? Will we develop an intolerance to tribalism and racism? Will we help the poor by committing to fight poverty and corruption? Will we hold hands and pull in one direction in the spirit of Harambee? Will we commit to building the Namibian House together as one people or will we splinter and go down the road to nowhere? Let us ponder these questions, because the answers thereto, will reveal to us whether we are sincere in honouring this gallant son.

Finally, although our hearts are still heavy and our spirits burdened by the fact that Comrade Ya Toivo has departed to the final destination, let us take comfort in these words from Mathew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.

Comrade Ya Toivo is no longer weary and no longer burdened. He has left the worries of this world to us, and has gone to receive his rest. Therefore, may the soul of Comrade Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo rest in eternal peace.

A Book of Condolences for comrade Toivo Ya Toivo is being opened at the Embassay of the Republic of Namibia, Reichsstr. 17, in 14052 Berlin, from:
Monday, 19 June 2017, to Friday, 23 June 2017, from 10h00 to 12h30 and 14h00 to 16h30.
in Kondolenzbuch für den Genossen Toivo Ya Toivo wird in der Botschaft, Reichsstr. 17, 14052 Berlin, in den Zeiten:
Montag, den 19. Juni 2017, bis Freitag, den 23. Juni 2017, von 10.00 Uhr bis 12.30 Uhr und von 14.00 bis 16.30 ausliegen.



Today, 13 June 2017, President Hage G. Geingob formally conferred the honour of national hero status upon the Late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo (born August 22, 1924 and died on June 09, 2017). With that proclamation, the President further directed that a State Funeral be held in honour of the Late Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo.

As is customary with this announcement the remains of Ya Toivo will be interred at the Heroes Acre and it is directed that all flags in Namibia be flown at half-mast with effect from Wednesday, June 21, 2017 until Saturday, June 24th 2017, the date of the official State Funeral. Those dates also constitute the official period of mourning.    -End-


toivo ya toivo verstorben 2017 06 100

 Founding President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Sam Nujoma (left), Toivo ya Toivo (right)

Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo is no more

New Era, 9 June 2017

Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Namibia’s iconic son, liberation struggle hero and former Robben Island prisoner, is no more. He passed away this afternoon at the age of 92 years. Born on 22 August 1924, ya Toivo was the co-founder of the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), as well as the founder of the Ovambo People’s Organisation (OPO) in 1959. He spent 16 years on Robben Island.

Namibian hero Toivo is no more

The Namibian, 2017-06-09, by Staff Reporter

STRUGGLE icon and former Robben Island prisoner, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, has died today.

NM20141104026He was 92.

Ya Toivo played a crucial role as a founder member of Swapo in the 1950s, in fact the main force behind the creation of OPO, the fore-runner of Swapo.

For his strong beliefs and convictions, he endured arrest, imprisonment, detention and harassment at the hands of the colonial authorities.

Along with the late South African freedom figther Nelson Mandela, Ya Toivo was incarcerated on the notorious Robben Island Prison, where he was imprisoned for a period of 16 years, enduring long periods of solitary confinement and other forms of harsh treatment.

That was after he and 36 other Namibians were arrested on 9 September 1966 by members of the South African security forces in the north. They were charged under the Terrorism Act and on 9 February 1968 he was found guilty of contravening the act and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

After his conviction he made a statement to the court and said: “I know that the struggle will be long and bitter. I also know that my people will wage that struggle, whatever the cost. Only when we are granted our independence will the struggle stop”.

Throughout his years at Robben Island Ya Toivo refused to recognise South Africa's jurisdiction over Namibia and was the real troublemaker for the prison authorities. For instance, on 18 April 1970 Ya Toivo demanded that all Namibians be transferred back to their country and called for a drastic improvement of the medical services on Robben Island.

He personified courage and steadfast commitment to the struggle. “Quite militant”. This is how Nelson Mandela once described Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, with whom he spent around ten years in the same section on Robben Island. Two years after he was released, Madiba recalled Toivo in a conversation with Richard Stengel, who collaborated with him on his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. “He was quite militant,” Madiba said. “He wanted very little to do with whites, with the warders.”

After Independence, he served in various ministerial positions until his retirement in 2006 and was also involved with, among others the Red Cross and the fight for the release of the Cuban Five. His last public appearance was this week at the Cuba-African conference.

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