Namibian Ambassador to the United States Hopelong Ipinge believes Georgia technology can help develop his country’s poultry and cotton industries, he told GlobalAtlanta during a recent visit here.

Mr. Ipinge visited Georgia for an interactive trade seminar that began in Atlanta and finished in Albany last week. He met with local businesspeople and government officials to address the incentives Namibia, a southern African country along the Atlantic Coast, offers to American investors.

Mr. Ipinge said his country was specifically interested in Georgia’s ginning technology, as well as acquiring expertise from poultry production companies located here.

“Today has been important because I have seen that Atlanta can offer us strong opportunities for foreign investment,” he said while here May 18, adding that he hoped either a Namibian consulate or trade office would open in Atlanta to help facilitate business with his country.

Mr. Ipinge said he believes Namibia’s commitment to foreign investment, its participation in the World Trade Organization, its developed rail and road systems and its rich deposits of uranium and diamonds are incentives for American companies to invest in his country.

Namibia has access to duty- and quota-free markets in Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland via its participation in the Southern African Customs Union, a trading network more than 30 years old. Its member countries are currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the U. S. government.

The trade agreement comes after the African Growth and Opportunity Act was passed in U.S. Congress in 2000, which encourages trade and investment between the U. S. and African nations to generate economic growth in the region and stimulate job creation and income development.

According to Florizelle B. Liser, assistant U.S. trade representative for Africa, Namibia has benefited greatly from AGOA. Since the agreement passed, trade has increased between Namibia and the U. S. from $125 million in 2000 to $311 million in 2004, Ms. Liser stated in a letter presented to members of the trade seminar in Albany. Patrick Dean Coleman, director of African affairs for the office of the U. S. Trade Representative, was also in Albany for the event.

Mr. Ipinge’s visit was organized by the Georgia AGOA Commission that works to expose African trade delegations to potential Georgia investors. Albany State University’s Textbooks for a Global Society Center IV, which works with organizations in Namibia to develop textbooks for the country’s youth, and the university’s Ronald H. Brown International Trade Center also sponsored the event.

For more information about investing in Namibia, contact Selma Ashipala-Musavyi at the Namibian embassy at (202) 986-0540 or selmaashipala@yahoo.com. For a geological survey of Namibia visit www.mme.gov.na or www.gsn.gov.na.

To find out more about upcoming events of the Georgia AGOA Commission, contact Davidayon Mayers-Kelley at (404) 215-9267.

To learn more about the Albany State University’s textbook program, contact the center at (229) 430-2792 or visit their Web site at http://asuweb.asurams.edu/tags