On July 25th, 2019, the International School Network visited the Embassy of Namibia in Tokyo, Japan, to interview Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Morven M. Luswenyo, about his country.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo explained how Namibia became an independent state in 1990 and established an education system where students were divided by ethnic groups. Education was provided for free from grade 1 to grade 12. He had also stated that it is important for Namibian and Japanese students to have cultural interactions and communicate with each other.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo believes that communication and interaction between the people unites the people of the country. He added that technology has allowed for communication to happen both within the country and across borders. Not only are nations able to communicate but also exchange goods and services through international trade.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo stated that culture is definitely preserved through the generations of the people in Namibia. There are different cultural ways of thinking as well as dietary cultures. For example, Namibians eat relatively more meat and fish compared to other foods. Such cultures are preserved by teaching the younger generations in school.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo had said Namibia’s environment is conserved very well, especially by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Poaching is banned to preserve the many species that reside in the country. There are conservatories in order to protect the animals and even mosquitos. He also emphasized the importance of educating people about the animals and on methods that each individual can take part in to protect the environment.
Namibia is blessed with an abundance of wildlife that roams free and is closely protected by the government. H.E. Mr. Luswenyo recommended many tourism locations, citing that the country is home to numerous preserved national parks. Visitors will have the opportunity to see wild animals in its natural state, instead of having to see them caged in zoos. Namibia is also home to one of the largest and oldest deserts, in which people can be seen dirt biking or boarding down massive sand dunes. Additionally, H.E. Mr. Luswenyo reminded us that despite its dry climate, it shares a border with the Atlantic Ocean in which people can enjoy water activities. He emphasized the dynamics of the vast spaces and hopes more people will get to enjoy its beauty.
Globalization & International trade
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo strongly encourages globalization through international trade. Namibia currently exports products such as lobsters, oysters and corn to Japan, and imports Japanese technology and automobiles. He hopes more Japanese companies will assist in establishing their technology and infrastructure because their kind hearted people and spacious land have immense potential. He wishes to strengthen our harmonious relationship by increasing future interactions. In this sense, he is also looking forward to Namibia’s rugby players participating in the World Rugby Cup in Japan this September. These international events have the power to unite people, and with the Tokyo Olympics next year, the people are very excited for the two countries’ cooperation.
H. E. Mr. Luswenyo believes that globalization is the key to understanding each other and achieving world peace. In his views, the first step towards world peace is dialogue. By sitting down and listening to one another, countries could address their problems and solve them through communication, without the need for violence. Namibia’s foreign policies are settled by thoughtful dialogue. He stressed the importance of listening and understanding various cultures and ideas and preaching peace.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo proudly addressed his country’s devotion to gender equality. In general, women receive equal pay and are free from discriminatory acts based on gender under the law. To practice this vision in their government, they have 50-50 gender representation in their parliament. The nation works hard to ensure gender balance as part of their culture, and even established a Ministry of Gender Equality. Women are treated equally and with respect, and it is evident in their diplomacy. Both Namibia’s prime minister and foreign minister are women, and it reveals how gender balance plays a huge role in their society.
Qualities + Passion
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo’s main focus as an Ambassador is to encourage people-to-people contact between Japan and Namibia. He expressed his hopes to work more closely with the Japanese government and people, to further increase interaction and cooperation between the two countries.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo’s expressed his passion as the Namibian Ambassador to Japan to be the interactions he has with Japanese people from various parts of the nation. H.E. Mr. Luswenyo has been traveling across the country, to places such as Morioka, Miyako, Kamaishi, Wakayama, Osaka, to fulfill his goal as an ambassador is to ensure that more Japanese people can know about Namibia. He explained that he hopes that the whole country of Japan, including those living in remote areas, can feel closer to Namibia. This ties in with his belief that more interactions leads to a more “united and peaceful world”.
In particular, H.E. Mr. Luswenyo wants Japanese people to recognize Namibia’s attractive culture and tourist destinations, the potential of the nation for educational exchanges and investment, and issues such as droughts. He aspires for more Japanese students and Namibian students to study at each other’s countries, and for businesses and trade to flourish through more exchanges and interactions. Furthermore, H.E. Mr. Luswenyo mentioned his hopes for Namibia to learn more about technology and infrastructure from Japan. He hopes that Japan can contribute in areas such as corn production and agriculture for business purposes.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo explained that growing up in Namibia had been difficult due to the past situation; Before Namibia gained independence, the nation was not in a peaceful state, with strong divisions of ethnic and social groups. Since at a young age, H.E. Mr. Luswenyo had the dream of becoming a teacher. It is after he became a teacher for 6 months that he stepped forward into the civil servant career path. He has been working in diplomatic relations for the past 20 years.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo expressed his appreciation towards Japan for their projects helping Namibia, such as those by JICA in the fields of infrastructure and building of schools, and human resource development such as education and training. Namibian athletes are also coming to Japan soon for the World Rugby Cup and Olympics.
H.E. Mr. Luswenyo’s message towards students is to study seriously and hard, and to continue to interact with people from different cultures. He hopes that students will pursue an open approach, that does not limit themselves just to their own cultures but expands their possibilities for working overseas and taking the step of learning a foreign language. He believes that learning different cultures and getting to know other people will lead to a better and more peaceful world with harmony and understanding.
On June 30, 2015, the International School Network visited the Embassy of Namibia in Tokyo, Japan, to interview Ambassador Ms. Sophia N. Nangombe, about her country.
Cultures in Namibia - by Kate
Namibia is the best country to visit in the world to meet people from diverse cultures. While having the influence of European culture which advances modernisation in Namibia, there are still many cultural minorities who cherish their tradition. For example, the Himba tribe who are considered the last nomadic tribe in Namibia has refused to modernise and chose to follow their traditions. Although the official language in Namibia is English, there are numerous other national languages which include indigenous languages representing the Namibian culture. German is also widely spoken language in Namibia since Namibia was a colony of Germany. The nation was recognized as German South West Africa before Namibia won independence on 21 March 1990.
Namibia has a history where the whole nation fought through the struggle for independence. Cultural values the Namibian people established through its history are unity, liberty and justice. After the war, everyone had the same vision of their country to stand as an independent country. However, some parts of Namibian values are demolished by the nation’s modernisation, says the Ambassador Ms. Nangombe. This includes Namibian forms of showing courtesy. Such as the act of bowing, to express the feelings of respect towards others. Ms. Nangombe stated that she likes the Japanese society where it still cherishes courtesy, and the acts to express respect towards others. Similarly, traditional marriages of Namibia are no longer widely practiced. European forms of white marriages in now common for many Namibians today.
The value of unity is represented on the national flag. The Namibian flag consists of 5 colours. The golden yellow sun on the top left represents happiness of independence and the mineral resources in Namibia. This indicates the proud establishment of independence in the nation's history. The blue triangular shape expresses the Namibian clear sky which provides rain, a precious water source in the desert. Green represents vegetation and agricultural resources in Namibia. These are what maintains the nation’s economy as well as being an energy source of its people. The red diagonal line refers to heroism of its most important resource, its people. It is the blood of the people who fought for justice under colonisation. Lastly, the white lines wish for the continuation of peace and unity among its people. All of the things on the flag symbolise and connect back to its people. It shows how one cannot live without another. How we all need the sun, water, vegetation and the blood of people to be one nation. The unity of people is what makes Namibia a country.
Geography, Nature, and Tourism of Namibia - by Madoka
Namibia is situated on the south-western Atlantic coast of the African sub-continent. Namibia is a very vast country, with its surface area of 824,268 square kilometers. This is more than twice the size of Japan, which consists of only 377.915 square kilometers.
Namibia is a very hot and dry country, yet with several contrasting natural features. There are four major geographic segments the country can be divided into. The Central Plateau is the largest landscape formation in Namibia at about 1,700 meters above sea level. The majority of the population lives in the plateau, and the nation’s capital, Windhoek, is located in its central area. The Escarpment, which is a mountain wall of up to 2,000 meters, forms a belt from the eastern Central Plateau into the Namib Desert. The Namib desert, where the name Namibia is derived, is perhaps the world’s oldest desert. The dry desert has almost no vegetation or water. It is often characterized by its very high sand dunes in the center and by its gravel fields in the north and south. Different from the dry Namib Desert, the Kalahari desert is very quiet, clean, and calm, and it receives much more rainfall than other parts of Namibia. The Kalahari desert is home to several indigenous tribes, including the San and the Bushmen. With modernisation, some San people, who were originally hunter gatherers, have moved out to other parts of the country.
Namibia is often referred to as the “Land of the Brave”, symbolized by the welwitschia plant, which is an indigenous plant that grows in the Namib desert. The plant grows in an environment of very little water, surviving bravely in the extreme climate.
Namibia receives more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Namibia generally receives very little rain and is very arid, with very low humidity. The management of efficient water systems in Namibia is therefore important. The main rivers of Namibia are the Orange River, located in the South, and the Zambezi and Kavango, located in the North. However, these rivers are very far from the general population, so most people receive drinking water from the Kunene River. Namibia is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa which provides water through municipal department, as NamWater sells bulk supplies of water and delivers them through networks throughout the country.
In the natural areas, Namibian people dig wells and rely on underground water resources that are safe to drink. There is an aquifer in Namibia called "Ohangwena II", which is capable of supplying water to people in the North for hundreds of years.
There are numerous species of animals in Namibia. The country is home to animals such as antelopes, elephants, cheetahs, and giraffes. Namibia has the world’s largest free-roaming cheetah population.
Ambassador Ms. Nangombe comments that the country has increasingly been preserving the environment. She explained that the UNESCO heritage sites in Namibia show a preservation of history, which acknowledges the advance in science of the ancient African people. The monuments and artwork (mainly of stone engraving) signify the capacity of the African civilization.
Relationship between Namibia and Japan - by Madoka
Japan and Namibia have a very sound relationship. Her Excellency Ms. Nangombe mentions that this demonstrates the prosperity of the assistance in the international community, by understanding each other and by helping without conditions. Japan has always been very supportive to Namibia in the aspect of infrastructure, and Namibia to Japan during the reformations. Japan has been supporting education programs in Southern Africa for a very long time in a United Nations system.
Official bilateral relations between Japan and Namibia have formed when the Namibian embassy was founded in Tokyo, Japan in 2010. In January of 2015, the Japanese embassy in Namibia was created, and currently the Ambassador of Japan to Namibia is on his way to the country.
Message by the Ambassador - by Kurumi
Previously responsible for the management of multilateral affairs, briefly working with the United Nations, and currently working as an Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia in Japan, Ms. Nangombe has been primarily working as a foreign service officer. Through her business, she served as deputy head of mission in places such as Zimbabwe, Belgium, the Netherlands, and India. As an Ambassador working in Japan, she was truly impressed by the culture of Japan. Also, she was impressed by the Japanese people’s high level of ethics, efficiency, and respect for each other. Moreover, she found the various foods in Japan very appetizing. She had been living in different countries such as Brazil (for four years) but she was really surprised by the efficiency and freshness of Japanese cuisine and was amazed by how the system was delivered to the customers.
Her Excellency Ms. Nangombe was appointed as Namibian Ambassador in Japan in the year of 2013. Since then, she has been continuously observing the attitudes of Japan and the Japanese people. As a future goal, she wishes to concentrate on what lessons she can learn from Japan and hopefully try to learn as much as she can. As for a message for the readers of the International School Network and the current Japanese students, she commented, “Try to understand Africa a bit more. Those who can afford to do so, should go visit Namibia as well as other African countries. From history to literacy rate, depending on the country, Africa is very different. Through visiting these countries, you will be able to distinguish Namibia from other countries and understand the differences between them.”
Madoka Nishina 11th Saint Maur International School
Kate Shimizu 11th Seisen International School
Kurumi Onishi 10th Saint Maur International School
Karen Nishina 5th Saint Maur International School