PM makes official visit to Africa, Chang in charge of Gov't
Prime Minister Andrew Holness departed the island yesterday afternoon for historic official visits to Namibia and South Africa, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has announced.
During the prime minister's absence, Dr Horace Chang, minister of national security, will be in charge of the Government.
For his first stop, Holness will travel to the Republic of Namibia for a historic state visit. The visit is in response to an official invitation from the Government of Namibia early last year, and will be the first time a Jamaican head of government will officially visit that African nation.
Holness will arrive in the Namibian capital city of Windhoek, where, on Monday, he will be welcomed by a military guard of honour and a 19-gun salute. Later, the prime minister will exchange official remarks with Dr Hage G. Geingob, president of Namibia, according to the press advisory from the OPM.
Both leaders will address areas of possible bilateral cooperation, including visa exemption, sports, culture, and youth development. It is expected that the leaders will sign a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of political consultations between both countries.
On Tuesday, the prime minister will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Heroes Acre in the Namibian capital, after which he will depart Eros Airport to Walvis Bay Harbour. There, Holness will tour the Namibia Ports Authority and meet with officials.
Holness is also scheduled to engage with Jamaican and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals in Namibia and other areas in the southern African region to discuss developments in Jamaica as well as issues of interest to CARICOM.
For the Namibian leg of the trip, Prime Minister Holness will be supported by Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, minister of culture, gender entertainment and sport, as well as Robert Nesta Morgan, director of communications and public affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister.
On the second leg of his historic official working visit to southern Africa, the prime minister will travel to Johannesburg to meet with global leaders at the 10th BRICS Summit at the Sandton International Convention Centre.
The prime minister will specifically participate in the BRICS plenary session and BRICS Plus Meeting with heads of state and government of BRICS and heads of state and government of BRIC Plus countries and the United Nations secretary general.
The BRICS nations are Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Holness is also supported by Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.