Canada established formal diplomatic relations with Namibia upon their independence in 1990. Canada’s High Commission in Windhoek was closed in May 1993 due to budgetary considerations. Canada is accredited to Namibia through the Canadian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, and has an Honorary Consul in Windhoek.
Namibia is accredited to Canada through the Namibian Embassy in Washington, D.C., with an Honorary Consul based in Waterloo, Ontario.
Canada’s proud and active engagement with Namibia dates back to the 1977-82 negotiations on the UN settlement plan. Canada strongly supported Namibia’s independence, gained in 1990, and provided military peacekeepers, police monitors, election supervisors and technical experts.
On the global stage, there are a number of areas in which Canada and Namibia actively cooperate. These include the Kimberley Process (to control the trade in conflict diamonds), initiatives to control high seas overfishing, and the commercial seal harvest.
The total two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Namibia equalled $176.8 million in 2013 (Statistics Canada). As part of efforts to facilitate trade, a Double Taxation Agreement between Canada and Namibia has been signed and received Royal Assent in June 2013.
Total merchandise imports from Namibia amounted to CAD $160.4 million in 2013. The most significant imports to Canada are products of the chemical or chemical related industry.
In 2013, total Canadian merchandise exports to Namibia approached CAD $16.4 million. The majority of exports are electrical machinery, cereals, as well as nuclear machinery and plastics.
There are significant opportunities for investment in Namibia, especially in the natural resources and mining sectors. Currently, the major focus for Canadian investors is mining, particularly diamonds and uranium.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 17 students from Namibia studied in Canada in 2011.
Canada does not maintain a significant development assistance program in Namibia. Namibia may benefit from various DFATD delivery channels such as the Pan African Regional Program; Multilateral and Global Programs including the International Humanitarian Assistance Program; and Partnerships with Canadians programs that support efforts of selected Canadian institutions, associations and non-governmental organizations working in developing countries. Local organizations can also apply for support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. In 2012-13, Canada provided $2.96M in development assistance to Namibia, mainly through multilateral channels.