More friends in Germany than natives in Namibia
What started as a friendship challenge culminated in the founding last week of a German organisation with the lofty ideal to find more members than the total population in Namibia.
Sharing a sentiment expressed by HE, President Hage Geingob at a Namibian Heads of Mission meeting earlier this year, the current Namibian Ambassador to Germany, HE Andreas Guibeb told his colleague, Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser how important friendship in a globalised world is.
At the Heads of Mission meeting, HE Geingob said “We live in a globalized world where we need to hold hands across countries and continents to ensure the ecological survival of our planet and of human kind. We may speak different languages, have different religions, and different colours, but at the end of the day, we are all human beings. We, therefore, no longer speak of foreign affairs, but of international relationships, cooperation and partnerships between friends in charting common developmental paths between countries and peoples.”
When Ambassador Sparwasser heard these words, she immediately responded that Namibia probably has more friends in Germany than the number of inhabitants in Namibia. Later the Namibian Ambassador retold this story to his namesake, Prof Dr Andreas Staudacher from Baden Wuerttemberg who quipped, “I believe that she is right, lets create a Freunde Namibia’s Verein and prove to Namibians that they have more than 2.5 million friends in Germany and around the world”.
This was before the launch this week of the Namibia Inter Censal Demographic report which states Namibia has an estimated population of 2,324,388.
The wheel started rolling and last week at a special ceremony at the Namibian Embassy in Berlin, the so-called Freunde Namibias Verein had its constitutional meeting. The intent of the fledgling organisation is to establish branches in all sixteen German Bundeslaender, a process for which it will garner the power of the internet through a dedicated Friends of Namibia web4.0 platform.
“Friends of Namibia is a global bridge linking Namibia with its friends from around the world. Friends, Freunde, los amigos, les amies access the Friends portal in the language of their choice and the country of their choice to learn about the members, events and info to interact with Namibians at home and abroad,” stated the Namibian Embassy in Berlin.