Last tribute paid to President Hage Geingob by Namibians and African heads of state


Visionary statesman 

”, “

 hero of independence

 ”, “

 a pillar of support 

”... Several African heads of state paid tribute on Saturday February 24, 2024 to the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, who died on the 4 last February from cancer at the age of 82.

Emotions were strong this Saturday during his funeral at the Independence Stadium in the capital Windhoek.

The national funeral of President Hage Geingob at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia, February 24, 2024. © MICHAEL PETRUS / AFP

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Wrapped in the flag of


, Hage Geingob's coffin is carried in procession by soldiers, in front of a packed stadium.

Prime Minister of independent Namibia in 1990 then President of the Republic from 2015, Hage Geingob left his mark.

In the stands, several African heads of state are present.

The Angolan João Lourenço says he shares “

 the pain of the Namibian people


Burundian Évariste Ndayishimiye salutes “ 

one of the greatest statesmen in Africa


Ethiopian President Sahle Work Zewde honors “ 

the fight waged by Hage Geingob in favor of the Namibian people 


For his part, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, pays tribute to “

 a freedom fighter


 Doctor Geingob will have left an indelible mark on the destiny of an entire people and inspired many leaders by his vision of a harmonious and prosperous Namibia, but also by his fight for an integrated, developed and better represented Africa, particularly in the Concert of Nations


A respected anti-apartheid activist, Hage Geingob spent nearly 30 years in exile in Botswana and the United States.

During his presidency from 2015 to 2024, he faced the Covid-19 pandemic, the global recession and climate change, which caused a severe drought.

Unification of the nation, but inequalities still very strong

The Namibian president worked to bring the nation together, believes Henning Melber, professor at the University of Pretoria and specialist in Namibian history.

Hage Geingob was part of the first generation of the anti-colonial struggle.

He also retains the image of a modernizer.

I think he left a mark as the third president of the independent Republic of Namibia by coming up with the metaphor of the Namibian house.

It is a house where everyone should have their place, where no one should be left behind.


But Henning Melber nevertheless qualifies this assessment, because President Geingob has not been able to erase the inequalities in the country: “

  Namibia remains the second most unequal country in the world.

Social disparities have not diminished under his Presidency.

While in office, he was often criticized for failing to keep his promises.

But when

the news of his death

was announced, all Namibians were in shock.

So I think that general reaction just showed that he is a man of the people, that he is part of the new Namibia and part of the treasure of the Namibians. 


Hage Geingob's body remained on display at Independence Stadium throughout Saturday night.

This Sunday, he will be buried at Heroes Acre, a national monument, in the south of the country.

More than 40,000 people attended his state funeral at Independence Stadium in the capital Windhoek.

Félix Tshisekedi and Joseph Kabila present at the funeral of the Namibian president

Since the transfer of power between the two presidents on January 24, 2019, the two men have not appeared at the same event.

After this inauguration, they remained in contact for a while as allies in Parliament until the breakup at the end of 2020. Since then, Félix Tshisekedi and Joseph Kabila have officially had no contact.

The camp of the former head of state even boycotted the last electoral cycle which saw the current president be re-elected.

During the inauguration ceremony in January, Joseph Kabila, although invited, was not present.

Officially retained in South Africa as part of his academic research.

Despite these tense relations, there was no question of the two men not going to Namibia.

 We must salute this figure of independence and underline the good relations between the two countries 

,” explained a few days ago a close friend of Félix Tshisekedi.

President Hage Geingob was also due to attend his inauguration on January 20 in Kinshasa, but a last minute setback ultimately prevented him from doing so.


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