Relationships France Namibia

Relationships France Namibia


A historical support

France was along with Namibia for access to independence and freedom and accompanied in its development efforts since 1990.

Friendship strong and ancient underlying bilateral relations with Namibia rests on French support to the Namibian people to win their freedom including the formal commitment by France in 1981 to support the unconditional right to Namibia independence and the concomitant opening of a representative office of SWAPO in Paris

 An important cultural presence

In addition to the French Alliance has since 2010 Swakopmund, The Franco-Namibian (CNBC) Cultural Center was created in 1991 by an intergovernmental agreement. He joined in 2000, its final location, a new building constructed on the French Government grant which is one of the most outstanding and original architectural designs the Namibian capital. Its location in the heart of the capital and dynamism are an essential tool and an invaluable asset in terms of image and influence.

This bi-national structure of local law, sponsored by the French Government’s primary mission is to implement cooperation projects between France and Namibia in cultural and artistic fields, its action can be extended to all areas cooperation.


The SDF is a tool for cooperation adapted to the spatial and social components in this young country Namibian institutionally. Flexible use, the multi-sectoral dimension of the funds used to initiate cooperative action around some poor, rural (San, Himba Topnaar) or issue (women including domestic violence, orphans, disabled rights the man). In 2009 and 2010 new projects were implemented in the sectors of governance and cultural action.

The choice of thematic priorities and projects are carried out in partnership with the National Planning Commission (NPC), responsible for the implementation of five-year development plans and poverty reduction in Namibia.

The agreement for the newest FSD implemented in Namibia, with a maximum indicative amount of € 1 million, was signed in September 2007 with the NPC.

The FSD was completed in March 2011, it allowed the implementation of 35 projects. In total 842,940 Euros has been committed.


The AFD Group is authorized to intervene in Namibia since the country’s independence in 1990. Namibia has benefited from a significant mobilization of external partners after its independence and the Namibian authorities are usually very reluctant to borrow donor.

The AFD projects have so far been concentrated in the areas of infrastructure and the environment. Currently, the priorities are to modernize the education sector and infrastructure in the sectors of energy, transport and water.

As for PROPARCO, it builds its presence in Namibia through 5 types of intervention:

  • Provide long-term financial resources and / or subject to the banking systems
  • Supporting the development of business and use the leverage of investment funds
  • Financing infrastructure critical for growth
  • Support funding for microfinance institutions
  • Accompany technically partners
  • Monitoring for AFD as PROPARCO is provided from the Agency in Johannesburg.


AFD has granted two loans to Namibia in 1996 (3.5 million euros for the supply of drinking water in Windhoek) and 1998 (5.3 million euros for the doubling of the electrical interconnection South Africa).

AFD signed in December 2008 a loan agreement with the national carrier of energy production, NamPower for funding of up to € 35 million of regional interconnection project (Namibia-Zambia) in the region Caprivi. AFD Group is also involved in the financing of the Erongo desalination plant, up to 40 million US dollars (30 million Proparco and under-participation of 10 million AFD). The water produced (20 million m3 per year, expandable to 45 million) by the desalination plant will be sold during the first 12 years of operation at the uranium mine Trekkopje. Ultimately the project will contribute to increase the scarce water resources of Namibia.

AFD also provides financial management of two projects from the French Global Environment Facility (GEF). These projects are initiated cooperation services of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs who also monitor their implementation. The support to the “Committee of the Orange / Senqu River” project aims to institutional strengthening and supporting the development of conservation strategies and water and environmental protection. The French GEF also provides financial support to the tune of EUR 1.4 million in interim network which aims to restore and management of plant and animal biodiversity for the benefit of local community development through tourism and reasoned hunting.

Other AFD in Namibia are at the stage of identification. AFD Group is in contact with the Namibian authorities and other donors on a number of infrastructure operations in the port sector and hydro power. AFD also seek to intervene through its ARIZ in the banking sector and tool support for Namibian SMEs.

 Cultural cooperation, scientific and technical

During the visit of Mr. Bockel, Secretary of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, a Partnership Framework Document (DCP) was signed September 12, 2007, embodying the will of France to engage with Namibia (provision of grants and concessional loans over 5 years for an indicative amount between 113 and € 130 million).

If the promotion of cultural diversity (the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre has become the reference tool) and the teaching of French are two traditional areas of action of the French cooperation, France also intervened in recent years in the area of governance: support of decentralization, training administration, police cooperation, support for the Namibian Ombudsman. Thus, we have made a decisive in the creation of NIPAM (Namibian Institute of Public Administration Management), School of the Namibian public support.

AFD operates in Namibia since 1996. She participated in 2008, alongside the EIB, KfW and EU financing of regional interconnection Caprivi Strip which connects the power grids in Namibia and Zambia, through a loan of € 35 million.

AFD was again asked to provide a new funding (€ 50 million), alongside the EIB. The project will finance the infrastructure to minimize the transmission of electricity deficit that threatens the economy and ensure a better transmission of electricity, including hydropower from Zambia to the centers of consumption in Namibia. The project will also aim to assist NamPower in its quest for improved energy efficiency and increased demand management.

The project is currently under investigation, with a presentation to decision-making bodies of the AFD in 2014, according to the schedule of NamPower.

AFD has provided a guarantee of the ETF portfolio ARIZ end of 2010, is now committed to more than € 2.5 million. The renewal of the guarantee portfolio is under negotiation with the ETF. In addition, a portfolio guarantee first instruction is with the Bank of Windhoek.

The French Global Environment Fund (GEF) funds in the amount of 1.4 million euros a project of 12 million euros on the assessment of biodiversity, introduction and translocation of wildlife. It also supports the Commission of Orange River (ORASECOM) with 1.5 million.

 Economic relations growing

Although there are between the two countries a tax treaty and an agreement on investment protection (see agreements and treaties), trade represent relatively modest amounts.

Namibia imports mainly from France industrial machinery and equipment, milling, vehicles and pharmaceuticals. The amount of Namibian imports (French exports to that country) reached 20.5 million euros in 2011, against 18.8 in 2010, 22.9 in 2009 and 10.2 in 2008 (French sources). It can vary substantially when a large purchase of equipment (eg aircraft).

In services, it should be noted the development flow of French tourists in Namibia which have been in several years 9959 in 2005 to 17,039 in 2010 (+ 71%).

It exports mainly in France commodities (fish, fruits, meats), and from time to time of uranium but for very substantial amounts then explaining those years very large variations and, consequently, a bilateral trade deficit of France. In 2011, the Namibian exports to France (French imports from that country) amounted to 85.7 million euros against 200.5 in 2010, 56.5 in 2009 and 19.5 in 2008 (French sources)

French companies are generally address the Namibian market via their South African subsidiaries. Since 2009 some elements across the Namibian market, worth noting: Eurocopter for the Namibian Police, Thales for a contract for the air traffic control, Alstom as part of a consortium with Austrian firm for completing the fourth single hydraulic turbine plant in the country (Ruacana).

Are represented locally: AGS, Air Liquide, Bureau Veritas, CMA-CGM, Colas (bitumen), SDV-Bolloré Africa, Maurel and Prom, Vinci, Eurocopter, Thales, Bouygues, MOBILITAS, Logistics, Total (distribution), Veolia (treatment water) AREVA., Livingstone Mining

Other companies have also won tenders from a French base: Airbus, Dassault, Oberthur.