ALMA statement on the passing on of His Excellency Dr. Hage Gottfried Geingob

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Published: 5 February 2024

With profound sorrow, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance joins the world in mourning the passing of His Excellency Dr. Hage Gottfried Geingob, the third President of the Republic of Namibia. His departure on February 4, 2024, marks a significant loss to the people of Namibia, the entire continent of Africa and the world at large. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, the people of Namibia, and his successor, President Nangolo Mbumba, during this difficult time.

President Geingob, born on August 3, 1941, was a visionary leader whose dedication to the development of Namibia, and the African continent by extension, leaves an indelible mark. As a founding member of the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) and a key figure in Namibia’s struggle for independence, he was instrumental in shaping the nation’s future. Serving as Namibia’s first Prime Minister following independence in 1990, and then again from 2012 to 2015, before ascending to the presidency, Dr. Geingob was a  fearless and pivotal figure in Namibia’s modern history.

Under his leadership, Namibia made significant strides towards gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence. His policies greatly increased the representation of women in political offices and worked towards closing the gender inequality gap. His Excellency’s tenure as Minister of Trade and Industry from 2008 to 2012, and his subsequent return to the role of Prime Minister and President, were marked by efforts to advance the welfare and development of all citizens. Dr. Geingob was known for his modernization vision, significantly impacting governance and policy in favor of a more inclusive and prosperous Namibia.

A milestone in President Geingob’s commitment to regional health and development was his instrumental role in the signing of the Windhoek Declaration by SADC African Heads of State and Government, in 2018 marking a historic commitment to eliminating malaria in the region. The Windhoek Declaration emphasizes the expansion of data sharing, collaboration, and program implementation across the SADC countries. It calls for increased domestic funding for malaria elimination, the adoption of supportive policies, and the establishment of national malaria elimination task forces. This declaration is a testament to President Geingob’s vision for a malaria-free Africa, underlining the necessity of regional cooperation and shared efforts to combat malaria, a disease that knows no borders.

The signing of the Windhoek Declaration under President Geingob’s leadership strengthens an historic movement to liberate African countries from the burden of malaria once and for all, unlocking the potential of millions across the region. His belief in the power of unity and collaboration to overcome malaria serves as a beacon that will continue to guide our efforts.

In honour of President Geingob’s legacy, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance reaffirms its commitment in supporting efforts to accelerate malaria elimination in the SADC region and across Africa.

May His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob’s soul rest in eternal peace, and may his legacy live on through our continued commitment to the causes he so passionately championed.