Expo 2020 Dubai

…An opportunity for Namibia to be part of a shared response to a changed world

Dear Editor,

One year from now, a collaborative and innovative Expo 2020 Dubai will be ideally placed to help shape a better future, and we are excited to be a part of it.

THE year 2020, saw the unprecedented outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with challenges that have left the world and humanity irrevocably changed, forcing us to turn inwards to look after ourselves. But one year from now, almost 12 months later than originally scheduled, Expo 2020 Dubai will provide the platform where the world will come together again.

It is the chance for us all to respond to how our world has been altered, and to move forward together to tackle other, equally urgent priorities such as climate change, and the hardest hit sectors during the Covid-19 e.g. health, tourism, mining, education sectors, overall SMEs and the informal sector to mention but a few.

From 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 will bring together the world in a spirit of solidarity and optimism – a global forum that will demonstrate and amplify the need and desire for positive change, and provide tangible opportunities to showcase what Namibia can offer to the world.

Through our participation in Expo 2020, we are demonstrating our commitment to helping create a strong and sustainable future. Everyone must play their part, because through recognising our common humanity, we will realign our purpose and accelerate our shared progress. Expo 2020 has a responsibility to inform and inspire a planet that deserves a brighter tomorrow protecting the environment, sustainably utilising the Earth’s resources and preserving our unique cultural heritage.

Because at the same time as dealing with the impact of Covid-19, the world is also facing a wealth of other challenges, including ensuring a climate-friendly future, sustainable food supply, and equality of access to education, digitalisation and healthcare.

Expo 2020 is an unprecedented opportunity to find collaborative, action-driven solutions to these challenges, uniting more than 190 countries in the unwavering belief that great things happen when we come together.

By harnessing the togetherness, ingenuity and compassion born out of the pandemic, further exciting innovations and collaborations will ensue.

Namibia as an Expo 2020 participant, we have the opportunity to showcase the very best of our culture, heritage and technology to a global audience of more than 25 million; people who will visit Exp0 2020.

We look forward to opening our pavilion in October 2021 where we will showcase how keeping trade flowing will help the world continue to recover from the pandemic. This postponement has given our pavilion more time to innovate and work towards an even better and more meaningful experience that will amaze and engage all visitors.

Our path hasn’t changed course; it is just a bit longer. The expo will still be an amazing event that brings out the best of our humanity, and Namibia has made great strides towards this event. Soon, the Namibia Expo 2020 Committee will have commerce visiting the regions to engage the local leaders and ordinary Namibians on how they too can become part of this great occurrence, where the objective is to get their contributions on how best we can tell our story, our history, our culture, our economy, our opportunities, our ambitions and our uniqueness, and showcase our ingenuity to the world.

We have since begun the call to local entrepreneurs to join the expo bandwagon by inviting them to a platform where they will be exhibiting their contributions to the economy at our pavilion in Dubai.

Already, out of 192 participating countries, Namibia is one of the only eight African countries whose heritage and tradition has been featured in a new global storybook published by the Expo 2020 Dubai.

‘Children’s Tales From Around the World’, is a digital collection of traditional children’s stories and folktales that celebrate the wonders of the planet and its people. It was released on September 8 to mark International Literacy Day and contains 24 timeless tales of various cultures and tradition, as the Expo 2020’s gift to children and families everywhere, connecting Namibian culture and its people to the rest of the world.

We, and the whole expo community, are ready. We have worked hard to continue our preparations throughout the pandemic and ensure that we seize the opportunity to help shape a greater world, working collectively with the organisers and other participating countries to achieve a better, stronger and more equitable future for all.

So, our journey continues.  If 2020 was the year the world almost came to a halt, then 2021 must be the year of unprecedented, universal acceleration towards the attainment of urgent global goals, because while the expo’s timelines may have altered, our participation and shared goals remain firmly unchanged.

Ambassador Simon M. Maruta – Commissioner General: Namibia Expo 2020 Dubai