On February 4th, 2024, Namibia’s President Hage Geingob, aged 82, passed away weeks after being diagnosed with cancer, prompting a global outpouring of condolences from world leaders. Namibia is a mining hotspot, rich in significant deposits of diamonds and lithium, a crucial ingredient for electric car batteries.
President Joe Biden expressed his sympathies, highlighting Geingob as a “fearless leader” who fought for independence, contributed to the drafting of Namibia’s constitution, and served his country as prime minister twice before becoming president.
Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz recognized Geingob as a “great statesman,” commending his efforts towards reconciliation with Germany.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, extending his sympathies, noted Geingob’s significant role in fostering friendly relations between Namibia and Russia, recalling personal vivid memories of him.
“His personal contribution to fostering friendly relations between Namibia and Russia cannot be overestimated. I had the opportunity to meet this remarkable man, and I will forever hold vivid memories of him.”
African Heads of State, including Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu praised Geingob as a “veteran in the struggle for democracy, proponent of good governance, and advocate of economic, social, and political solidarity among African peoples.”
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa remembered him as an “outstanding leader” and a “towering veteran” of Namibia’s liberation. Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu honored him as a “venerable Pan-Africanist” and a great friend.
Hage Geingob, who became Namibia’s first prime minister at its independence in 1990 and led as President since 2015, leaves behind a legacy marked by his dedication to democracy, independence, and service to Namibia, mourned by the global community.
Vice President Nangolo Mbumba takes the helm until presidential and parliamentary elections at the end of the year.