U.S.-Namibian relations are friendly. The United States participated in the diplomatic efforts to bring about Namibia’s 1990 independence from South Africa and has since provided assistance to improve the well being of the Namibian people. The bilateral relationship is characterized by a shared commitment to democratic principles, including the rule of law and respect for human rights, and has been strengthened through programs to alleviate poverty and promote greater trade ties. The United States and Namibia are partners in the effort to improve health services, strengthen education, enhance the judiciary, and expand trade and development opportunities.
U.S. Assistance to Namibia
Namibia is a focus country under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the United States and Namibia have signed a PEPFAR Partnership Framework. A strategy to implement the Global Health Initiative was also recently completed. USAID and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the primary implementers of these programs. A five-year Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Compact to reduce poverty and accelerate economic growth in the sectors of education, tourism, and agriculture concluded successfully in September 2014. On average, there are 125-135 Peace Corps volunteers present in Namibia. The Department of Defense has provided professional development training to the Namibian Defence Force.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Namibia seeks to diversify its trading relationships which, for historical reasons, were tied to South African goods and services. The country is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), but has not taken advantage of AGOA since 2012. Namibia belongs to the Southern African Customs Union, which has signed a Trade, Investment, and Development Cooperative Agreement (TIDCA) with the United States. The TIDCA establishes a forum for consultative discussions, cooperative work, and possible agreements on a wide range of trade issues. The main Namibian exports to the United States are uranium ore and diamonds. Mining and transportation equipment make up the majority of the United States exports to Namibia.
Namibia’s Membership in International Organizations
Namibia’s foreign policy is heavily influenced by the positions taken by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the African Union, and the Non-Aligned Movement, of which it is a member. Namibia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Namibia maintains an embassy in the United States at 1605 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington DC 20009; tel: (202) 986-0540.