Namibians warmly welcomed First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) Dr. Jill Biden on her first official two-day trip in Namibia from February 22- 24, 2023. During her visit, the First Lady emphasized the importance of the partnership between the United States and Namibia, and our shared priorities in the region, including a focus on empowering women and youth, improving health outcomes, and promoting our shared democratic values.
Dr. Biden arrived on Wednesday at Hosea Kutako International Airport. Upon her arrival, Dr. Biden was greeted by the First Lady of Namibia Monica Geingos, who she recently met at the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit. They then proceeded to Heroes’ Acre to lay the wreath as symbol of solemness for the lives lost during the liberation struggle.
Dr. Biden was later welcomed by President Hage Geingob at the State House. She then met with Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah to discuss Namibia’s history and U.S. support of Namibia’s efforts to promote health, education, and women and youth empowerment.
Thursday opened with a lunch hosted by First Lady Geingos at the State House. Namibians from government, private sector, and civil society attended the lunch where both first ladies gave remarks. Dr. Biden spoke about her reason for visiting Namibia and the shared values both countries hold. “As Joe said at the summit, African voices, African leadership, and African innovation all are critical to addressing the most pressing global challenges and realizing the vision we all share: a world that is free. So we are committed to making sure that African countries not only have a voice in organizations like the UN Security Council and G20, but that those voices are valued as equal partners, working side by side to advance our shared priorities like empowering women and youth, strengthening global health, and building economic prosperity,” said Dr. Biden.
Late Thursday afternoon, Dr. Biden visited Hope Initiatives Southern Africa- Namibia (HISA) center in Katutura’s Kilimandjaro informal settlement where she met with a Peace Corps Volunteer and beneficiaries of several PEPFAR programs, such as HIV positive breastfeeding mothers from the community, who receive assistance through the Development Aid from People to People (DAPP).
Dr. Biden concluded the day by meeting with U.S. Embassy staff at the new embassy campus, a construction project that resulted in more than 17 million USD being invested into Namibia and employment for more than 2,000 Namibians, of which 100 are women. She commended them on their hard work in advancing the relationship between the United States and Namibia.
On her last day of the visit, Dr. Biden delivered a keynote address at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, inspiring young leaders and youth from different educational institutions. Dr. Biden highlighted the importance of education, and the role young leaders can play in prospering Namibia and Africa at large. “Your voice can build the future—of Namibia and of the world—today,” she said to the applause of the crowd.