Namibia, Finland ink diplomatic spouse job deal

Spouses of diplomats often have to give up promising careers when they accompany their partners to a diplomatic posting abroad.

02 November 2020 | International

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibia and Finland have signed an agreement making it easier for the spouses of diplomatic staff to work in the country.

International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the agreement is important for both countries as it presents a stabilising factor for diplomats and their families. The world has come a long way since the first diplomats were exchanged between nations, and in a modern world it is increasingly rare that spouses of diplomats no longer have professions,” she said.

Often, these spouses have to give up promising careers and are stunted in their own professional growth, Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

“One could even argue that because most have their work and career locked firmly into their identity, when uprooted to accompany a spouse on a diplomatic mission, one can feel lost and this may be destabilising for spouses and their families.”

She said the agreement will increase the chances of accompanying spouses continuing their own careers when they are away from home.

“It also means that our diplomatic services stay in step with the changes in societies.”



Healthy relationship

Nandi-Ndaitwah said the agreement signifies a commitment to further consolidate the longstanding and excellent bilateral relations between Namibia and Finland.

According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, relations between Finland and Namibia are friendly, extensive and diverse.

“Interaction is lively, especially in the areas of education, culture, science, as well as amongst churches and municipalities.” She said Namibia is eager to learn from Finland's vast experience in industrial development and support for small and medium enterprises.

“We believe that such efforts will complement our aim at creating jobs, expanding value addition and fostering economic growth. In turn, this will lead to improvements in the social and economic well-being of our people.”

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