Marianne Young

Marianne Young

High Commissioner, Windhoek

Part of UK in Namibia

9th November 2011 Windhoek, Namibia

Guest blog by Natalie Luscombe, Office Manager for UK Minister for Africa

Minister Henry Bellingham, at the High Commissioner’s residence, with Natalie Luscombe, HE Mrs Marianne Young, and Jonathan Williams

I am UK based member of staff at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and have been in Namibia for two and a half weeks to help with the organisation of the 3 day visit to Namibia by the UK’s Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham.

The Minister arrived fresh from the UK on 31 October to a busy programme of events and important meetings with various members of the Namibian Government. With barely a moment to spare he was whisked away from the airport for a very quick introduction to the High Commissioner’s residence. Luckily the ‘boom slang` (tree snake) that was sighted earlier in a tree above the driveway at the residence did not make an appearance. With a quick change of clothes (even superman would be proud of) and some refreshments, the Minister found himself on his way to a meeting with local executives from British mining operators.

Chief Justice Shivute, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, British Council Country Director, and Minister Henry Bellingham at the relaunch of the Chevening Alumni

A reception to launch the Chevening Alumni Association followed, where the Minister met with the Honourable Chief Justice, Peter Shivute, and the British Council Country Director, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo. Mr Bellingham bore witness to the Honourable Chief Justice and the British Council Country Director putting pen to paper to officially launch the Chevening Alumni Association. With barely time to watch the sunset behind the beautiful Namibian mountainous landscape, Mr Bellingham left to attend a defence-themed welcome dinner.

On day two, following calls on the Prime Minister and the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr Bellingham arrived at the Israel Patrick Patrick Iyambo Police College to an extremely warm welcome from the Police band. Mr Bellingham was delighted to present the Minister for Safety and Security with English language text books that had been provided by the British Council for the use of the Police College. It was wonderful to see that the UK police force was represented too by Chief Inspector Adrian Brigden and Chief Inspector Tod O’Brien.

Members of the new British Business Group Namibia joined Mr Bellingham for lunch at the residence. This lunch was to celebrate the launch of the British Business Group in Namibia, bringing together representatives from Rio Tinto, Rossing, Rolls Royce Marine, De Beers, Namdeb, Weatherly Namibia, Capitas Symonds, Serica Oil and Gas, Chariot, Enigma, Ultimate Safaris and Infotour Africa for a frank and open discussion with the Mr Bellingham on issues around being a British business in Namibia. The Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Hage Geingob, and the Director General of the National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo were also in attendance.

Minister Henry Bellingham at the launch of the Range Rover Evoque

That evening Mr Bellingham stood side by side with Ricardo Raposo, Managing Director of Novel Motor Company, to launch the new Range Rover Evoque in the grounds of the Residence. As the covers were removed to reveal the Evoque, invited guests could not wait to jump inside for a test drive. Mr Bellingham was delighted to be part of this auspicious event and he too wasted no time in jumping inside the new Evoque to truly appreciate this British product first hand.

On his final day, following breakfast with representatives of civil society (Namgof, Nam Rights, Women’s Action for Development) and a meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Bellingham headed to Khomas High School.

He was greeted with an extremely warm reception. Children from the school lined the red carpet, singing at the top of their voices. As he made his way along the red carpet, Mr Bellingham was introduced to members of the National Olympic Committee, including the President and Martin Aloisius, a Paralympic athlete who won bronze in the 200 metre sprint in the All-Africa Games.

Minister Bellingham with Minister Iyambo – Minister of Education – Agnes Tjongarero – President of the NNOC, and qualifying athlete Martina Aliosius

Joined by the Minister for Education, Abraham Iyambo, at a whole school assembly, Mr Bellingham heard from Paralympic athlete Martin Aloisius about the hopes and dreams that he has for the 2012 Paralympics. Mr Bellingham spoke of London’s readiness for 2012 and the spectacular event that it is going to be. He met with children who had recently visited Scotland as part of the British Council Connecting Classrooms initiative. Hearing about their experiences during their visit and about the many different new skills that they had learnt. Mr Bellingham then had the pleasure of presenting prizes to the winners of an Olympic drawing competition.

With his impending departure from Namibia looming, Mr Bellingham returned to the High Commission to join staff from the High Commission and the British Council for a sandwich lunch, where he was able to talk openly with staff about the FCO and the British Council and answers any questions that the staff had. This proved a useful session for staff and Mr Bellingham.

As the wheels of the plane leave the tarmac of the runway and the plane takes off into the Namibian skyline. Staff at the High Commission and British Council can rest easy in the knowledge that their hard work and dedication made the Minister’s visit a success.

A big thank you goes out to all of those who met with the Minister and played a part in his visit for giving their time and sharing their knowledge of Namibia.

About Marianne Young

Marianne Young is the current British High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia. She arrived in Windhoek in June 2011 and presented her credentials to the President of the Republic of…

Marianne Young is the current British High Commissioner to the
Republic of Namibia. She arrived in Windhoek in June 2011 and presented
her credentials to the President of the Republic of Namibia on 3rd
Mrs Young joined the FCO in 2001 following a career in international
journalism, including time spent running an Asian maritime press office
in Singapore and a traineeship on the UK’s Times newspaper.
Her first role in the FCO was as a Press Officer in News Department,
after which she went on to be Head of the Great Lakes Section in Africa
Directorate and then Head of the East Africa & Horn Section.
In 2005, she became the first Head of Communications for the Engaging with the Islamic World Group.
She moved to the British High Commission in Pretoria in February 2007
and served as the Head of the External Political Section and Deputy
High Commissioner to the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.
Mrs Young moved across to the British High Commission in Windhoek in
June 2011, and presented her credentials to the President of the
Republic of Namibia on 3rd August 2011.
On her appointment as British High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia, Mrs Young said:
“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed Her Majesty’s High
Commissioner to Namibia. I look forward to working to strengthen the
many commercial, political and cultural ties between our two countries,
and to help the many British nationals who holiday there. My family and I
are particularly thrilled to be remaining in southern Africa – and to
have the opportunity to explore this beautiful country further and
discover more about its people and culture.”
Curriculum vitae

Full name:
Marianne Young

Married to:
Barry Young

Two daughters and one son

June 2011
Windhoek, British High Commissioner

2007 – 2011
Pretoria, Head of External Political Section and DHC for the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland

2005 – 2006
FCO, Head of Communications, Engaging with the Islamic World Group

2004 – 2005
FCO, Head of East Africa & Horn Section, Africa Directorate

3/2003 – 8/2003
FCO, Head of Great Lakes Section, Africa Directorate

2002 – 2003
FCO, Press Officer, Press Office

2001 – 2002
FCO, Departmental Report Editor, Press Office

Joined FCO

Senior Correspondent, Fairplay Group, UK

Staff Editor and then Asia Editor, Fairplay Group Singapore

Graduate Trainee at The Times newspaper, UK

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