Katali applauds Germany-Namibia relations

Written by Tirivangani Masawi, informanté

Thursday, 23 September 2010

MINISTER of Mines and Energy, Isak Katali, this week applauded the long standing relationship between Namibia and Germany saying it has contributed significantly to improving Namibia’s human resources base in the mining sector. Katali said Namibia has a lot to celebrate in its 20-year partnership with the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources which has seen more than 90 young Namibian geologists benefiting from the skills exchange.

“We benefited tremendously from the training and bursary schemes provided by BGR which allowed us to replace many of our largely foreign staff members at independence with qualified Namibians,” said Katali.
Katali added that the cooperation between BGR and young Namibian geologists has set the platform for the country to form a strategic environmental assessment programme in the Erongo Region following the uranium rush that has seen more than five multinational companies exploring mining possibilities in the region.

Katali added that although the Geological Survey of Namibia enjoys the tag of being the best in Africa, the country still needs to do more to improve the quality of work they do.

“The Geological Survey of Namibia has a reputation of being the best in the continent but these are not laurels that one can rest on, my geologists need to live up to high expectations on a daily basis,” said Katali.

Meanwhile, the Minister’s sentiments were also corroborated by Permanent Secretary, Joseph Iita who emphasised the importance of a well equipped and knowledgeable geological department in the country.

The cooperation between BGR and the Namibian Government is expected to come up with recommendations on how best the country can safeguard the environment in the Erongo region following excessive mining activities in the country.

Namibia is also expected to maintain a balance of wealth creation in the mining sector and a supportive environmental management framework for the betterment of the future.