July 18, 2007

Congo oil could fuel country, says Congolese president

Visiting President Denis Sassou-Ngu'esso (Republic of Congo) has called for joint efforts by Congo and Namibia in expanding the oil refinery in Congo's second capital of Pointe Noire. Namibia could tap into his country's large oil reserves. Sassou-Ng'uesso said his country's sole refinery - CORAF - could fuel the oil needs of both Namibia and Congo. "We are only separated by Angola. There are a lot of products that Congo can import from Namibia including fish and meat," he said. Although the two countries' bilateral relations date as far as the time of the liberation struggle, efforts concentrating on trade and related issues have been weak.
Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba said that after the country's independence in 1991, the two countries proposed a framework agreement that would make provision for a Congo-Namibia Joint Commission, but to date no efforts have been made to ensure that the agreement bears the intended fruits. Pohamba proposed the two countries ensure that the agreement be revisited and inauguration takes place in April in 2008 in Windhoek. It was imperative that Namibia and Congo share views on poverty eradication and challenges of underdevelopment, he added. That could be done through cooperation in different areas of mutual interest, including sectors such as agriculture, trade, mining, tourism, health and education, among others. The two countries signed three Memoranda of Understanding - on Trade and Economic Cooperation, Promotion and Protecting Investment and Technical and Professional Education. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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