Leaders from around the world are continuing to pay tribute to the late president Hage Geingob, collectively remembering him as a distinguished leader and a champion of African unity.
Among them is Chinese president Xi Jinping, who hails Geingob as an outstanding leader, emphasising his role in enhancing the relationship between China and Namibia.
Xi describes Geingob’s death on Sunday morning as a significant loss for both the Namibian and Chinese people.
“The Chinese side cherishes the profound China-Namibia traditional friendship, and is ready to work together with the Namibian side in pushing forward the constant development of the China-Namibia comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership,” Xi says.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, likens Geingob’s death to the falling of a baobab tree while extending heartfelt condolences to the government, people and family of the late president.
“He was an inspiring pan-Africanist leader who led his country with humility, determination and courage until the end,” he says.
Russian president Vladimir Putin remembers Geingob as a remarkable individual whose contributions to Namibia’s statehood-building and historical events were profound.
“As a young man, he fought bravely in the ranks of fighters for independence, and then served the motherland faithfully for a long time, including as president and in other high governmental positions,” Putin said in a statement issued on Sunday.
He highlighted Geingob’s personal efforts in fostering friendly relations between Namibia and Russia, expressing his sympathy and support to the family and people of Namibia.
“I had the privilege of meeting this remarkable man, and I will always keep the bright memories of him. Please convey my sincere sympathy and support to the family and friends of the deceased, as well as to all the people of Namibia,” Putin said.
President Joe Biden of the United States also joined global leaders in honouring Geingob’s memory, lauding him as a fearless leader who dedicated his life to the fight for independence and the advancement of his nation.
“He was an eloquent advocate for his country and continent, who stood up for his values and beliefs. We will continue to build on his legacy, strengthening our partnerships and shared vision for deeper mutual support,” Biden says.
He highlights Geingob’s enduring ties to the United States, citing his educational journey that included studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Fordham University, and The New School in New York.
“I will miss working with him,” Biden says.
“We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with Namibia, honouring president Geingob’s legacy and vision for his country and people.”
Angolan president João Lourenço speaks of Geingob as a tireless fighter for the freedom of Africa, highlighting his dedication to self-determination, independence and sovereignty.
Lourenço expresses deep respect and admiration for Geingob’s energetic and determined approach to various sensitive topics.
“We have lost a unique figure in the contemporary history of the Namibian people, who leaves a void that is difficult to fill as it is not easy to replace a man with his moral strength, with his integrity, and with the iron will that characterised him, to project the Africa for a future of development and well-being of its people,” he says.
Meanwhile, the director general of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Ghebreyesus, describes Geingob as a visionary leader.
“President Geingob was a visionary leader of Namibia, whose courage epitomised his nation’s reputation as ‘The Land of the Brave’. His dedication to improving the lives and health of all Namibians will be his lasting legacy,” he says.
French president Emmanuel Macron recounts Geingob’s significant role in Namibia’s history, from experiencing foreign occupation and exile to organising the first elections and presiding over the Constituent Assembly.
“As head of state since 2015, he made his mark by opting for development and international openness, and by making the unity of the Namibian nation his permanent compass,” he says.
United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres also extended his condolences, saying Geingob was a respected and principled statesman who dedicated his life to serving and developing his country.
“A prominent anti-apartheid activist and pioneer of Africa’s green energy transformation, he became the first prime minister of Namibia in 1990. In 2015 he became the third president of Namibia and served in this position until his passing,” Guterres’ spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement.
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