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Royal Navy HMS Portland visits Walvis Bay

Royal Navy ship HMS PORTLAND visited Walvis Bay in order to reinforce the UK commitment to Namibia.

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British High Commissioner flanked by Namibian dignitaries and CO Commander Sarah West
British High Commissioner flanked by Namibian dignitaries and CO Commander Sarah West, after the launch of the "2014 Doing Business in Namibia Guide"

This week the Royal Navy ship HMS PORTLAND visited Walvis Bay in order to reinforce the UK commitment to Namibia and provide training to Namibian Navy personnel.

Throughout the visit the UK Navy provided training to the Namibian Navy in fire fighting and damage control, first aid, techniques for boarding and searching ships and infantry cover and manoeuvre techniques.

At the evening reception held on board of the HMS Portland, H.E. Mrs Marianne Young, British High Commissioner remarked: “We are fortunate to enjoy close bilateral relations between the UK and Namibia. This visit and event exemplifies that, and enables us to build closer cooperation and understanding between our great countries. The UK and Namibia have much in common, including shared democratic values, vibrant trade, cultural and educational links, and bonds of friendship and Commonwealth fraternity. This week’s ship’s visit signifies another chapter in our strong record of partnership to achieve a common goal of improved security in this region and throughout the world. On a local level, the British Government also continues to provide capacity building support to the Namibian Police and Defence Forces and maintains active and close relations with all arms of the Namibian security sector.“

The British High Commission also launched the newly revised “2014 Doing Business in Namibia Guide”, an updated version of the original 2012 edition. The Doing Business in Namibia Guide, published by the British High Commission, was written by economist Robin Sherbourne. The 2012 edition has proven to be an extremely popular commercial and reference aid for British businesses in Namibia and has been an excellent tool to further the British and Namibian governments’ common objectives on trade and Investment.

On the occasion of the visit of the Royal Navy HMS Portland, the crew of the British ship and the British High Commission gave a helping hand to the Walvis Bay Kids Haven Children’s Home, a safe haven and home for 30 abused and vulnerable children. The British High Commission donated the construction of a playground valued at around 10.000 N$ on the premises while the crew of the ship painted the playground structures and surrounding walls in joyful colors, handing it finally over to the children and management of the Walvis Bay Kids Haven.

At the handing over, HE Marianne Young expressed her gratitude to the British soldiers, who donated their time and energy to the project: “Today you have touched the hearts of many children and made a difference to the future of these children here in Walvis Bay. The Walvis Bay Kids Haven focuses on abused and vulnerable children and baby dumping in the Erongo Region. And this work fits perfectly into our work, which is to build strong local communities and empowering the most vulnerable of society. The commitment shown by the Walvis Bay Kids Haven, placed in a harbour town, which brings its own problems, is remarkable. The British High Commission will continue supporting this project in future.”

During the visit, the netball team of the HMS Portland played a friendly match against the Namibian Navy Netball team. Namibia won the match 40:13.

Published 2 April 2014