Ambassador from Namibia: Who is Martin Andjaba?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Martin Andjaba became ambassador of Namibia to the United States in September 2010.
Born on December 17, 1957, in Ontokolo, Northern Namibia, Andjaba obtained in 1981 a Diploma in Public Administration and Management at the United Nations Institute for Namibia, focusing on historical, political and cultural studies. The following year he attended a one-month course on materials management at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
From 1981 to 1983, Andjaba served as a general service officer at the UN Institute for Namibia, with responsibilities for protocol, transport, procurement, material management, clearing and forwarding.
In 1984, he relocated to Luanda, Angola, to become senior coordinator at the Department of Foreign Affairs of SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization), the party that sought Namibian independence from South Africa. He held this post until 1989, during which time he also served as secretary of the Africa Group of Ambassadors in Luanda (1986-1989).
In 1989, Andjaba was chief of protocol for SWAPO’s Directorate of Elections in Windhoek. That same year, he obtained a certificate in diplomacy at the Foreign Service Academy in Lagos, Nigeria. He attended the First Diplomatic Course at the University of Namibia in 1990.
After Namibia declared independence in 1990, Andjaba served for the next six years as the government’s chief of protocol.
In September 1996, he became Namibia’s permanent representative to the United Nations. During the period that Namibia was a member of the UN Security Council (1999-2000), Andjaba twice served as President of the Security Council—in August 1999 and October 2000. He was involved in one particularly dramatic moment involving the United States. On January 20, 2000, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina) addressed the Security Council and boasted that the U.S. had done more to promote freedom in the world than the UN. “In the 1980s, we called this policy the Reagan Doctrine,” said Helms, adding that Ronald Reagan’s policies were responsible for “the dramatic expansion of freedom in the last decade of the 20th century.”
Andjaba replied that his own country’s independence had to be postponed for the eight years of Reagan’s presidency because the Reagan Doctrine “went hand-in-hand with the apartheid regime in South Africa. Legitimate and genuine national liberation movements were called other names—terrorists—and those that caused death and destruction in Africa were called liberators.”
Andjaba remained at the United Nations until September 2006. After that he served as Namibia’s “acting foreign affairs permanent secretary ambassador.”
Andjaba is married and has four children.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
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