Namibia: Iceland´s Twenty Years of Development Cooperation with Namibia to finish in 2010



Twenty years of development cooperation between Iceland and Namibia will finish in the end of 2010. Icelandic Government has formally notified the Government of Namibia that they will not be able to honour their request for extending the General Agreement made by the two countries on development cooperation. Iceland’s bilateral partner countries will therefore decrease by half in only two years - from six to three, but already ICEIDA´s country offices in Sri Lanka and Nicaragua have been closed.

Sighvatur Björgvinsson, the Director General of ICEIDA recently delivered the head of NPC, a public office for the President of Namibia, a letter of response from Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to their request for extending the General Agreement between the two countries. There it says that because of economic crisis due to the collapse of the banking system, the government of Iceland is forced to pull all efforts to lower public expenditure which inevitably recoils upon its ability to allocate funds towards development cooperation. Sighvatur explained further reasons for Iceland terminating development cooperation with Namibia in 2010 but pledged to honour all commitments already made and to implement all contractual projects.

The two Icelandic ICEIDA employees in Namibia, Davíð Bjarnason Project Manager for Social Projects and Vilhjálmur Wiium Country Director, have been asked to stay on throughout the period.

Iceland started development cooperation with Namibia in the same year that Namibia gained independence from South Africa, in 1990.