Guest Contributor | Jan 17, 2023 | 0
New Netherlands Consul takes office
Kegge was honorably discharged by King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands who now appointed Servaas van den Bosch as his successor.
Kegge and Consular Secretary Rina Issaks manned the Netherlands Consulate since July 2006, after the Dutch embassy closed its doors. Looking back at his eight and a half years in office, Kegge remarks that the relations between the two countries remains to be excellent with over 10,000 Dutch visiting Namibia each year and an estimated 500 Dutch people living and working here at any one time. Similarly, many Namibian visit the Netherlands for studies or pleasure.
“The Netherlands and Namibia have strong historical ties and share a mutual interest in engineering, horticulture, gender issues, tourism, energy and logistics”, said Kegge who first came to Namibia 25 years ago to work on the Kudu project for Royal Dutch Shell.
“It was a pleasure to serve the Dutch and Namibian communities and to contribute to cultivating better relations between the two countries,” he said.
Incoming Honorary Consul Servaas van den Bosch was appointed by the Royal Decree and officially took office on Tuesday this week. He arrived in Namibia in 2006 and is the founder and chief executive officer of Emergo Communications, a media and public relations firm which he runs with his wife Taffy Chirunda-van den Bosch.
“Ger Kegge and Rina Isaaks have done an excellent job representing the Netherlands in Namibia, more often than not going far beyond the call of duty to help people and improve relations between the two countries. It will be a privilege to continue their legacy and I am humbled and honored to have been appointed by King Willem Alexander and accepted as Netherlands Honorary Consul by Foreign Affairs Minister Netumbo Nandi- Ndaitwah,” said van den Bosch.
Under the 1963 Vienna Convention, states can appoint Honorary Consuls in charge of consular missions to represent their interests , for instance if there is no Embassy or other diplomatic mission near by. Honorary consuls are often business people appointed on merit rather than career diplomats. Namibia’s consulate falls under the Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria which is headed by Ambassador H.E. Marisa Gerards.