Marianne Young

Marianne Young

High Commissioner, Windhoek

Part of UK in Namibia

13th January 2014 Windhoek, Namibia

Happy New Year from the British High Commissioner to Namibia

Happy New Year to everyone – both in Namibia and further afield. I hope you all had a chance to enjoy the good company of family and friends over the festive season, to enjoy some fireworks and frolics wherever you were, and have come back refreshed and ready for the year to come. 2014 already looks set to be an exciting one for UK-Namibian relations. Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob met with our Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds in London last week (9 January) at the Foreign & Commonwealth Offices in London. They had wide-ranging and constructive discussions covering strengthening our already healthy trade links, illegal wildlife trade issues and a range of foreign policy issues. A great start to the year to help cement our deepening bilateral relations still further.

Glasgow 2014 New Year
The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow promise to be a GREAT event

 Back in Namibia, the Commonwealth baton is set to arrive on these shores at the end of this month on its global journey around all commonwealth countries ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and August. We remain in close contact with the Namibian sporting authorities who are firmly in the lead on its visit to Namibia but hope to swing the baton by the High Commission offices on its route through the capital and plan to host a Scottish themed reception to mark the occasion. Plenty of Scottish shortbread, tartan and even some whisky for those from the British community who can attend. So we are now desperately calling all Scots in Namibia to make themselves known to us – particularly ones that own kilts – and are also on the lookout for a Scottish bagpiper if anyone can alert us to one in Namibia. Please contact:

To mark the Commonwealth baton passing through Namibia, the British High Commission will also donate sports material valued at more than N$12.000 (£750) to the offices of a local NGO called “Physically Active Youth Namibia” (PAY), in Katutura, Windhoek’s township. PAY, under the leadership of Marie-Jeanne Ndimbira, organises school activity programmes where approximately 100 registered participants per term come every day for academic tutoring, a light meal during the break and sports. Every Friday the format is changed to incorporate life skills training, the aim of which is to foster critical thinking among youth and empower them to become active agents of change in their community as well as responsible global citizens. The donation will support PAY in their planned nationwide roll-out of activities in 2014/15. This support to PAY helps us to deliver a strong local legacy from the Commonwealth Games to Namibia.

Flamingos on Namibias Coastline
Beautiful flora and fauna awaits when visiting Namibia’s coastline in the Erongo region

For the coast, I aim to travel across to Erongo next month to host a reception for the British community in Swakopmund on 25 February and introduce our new Pro Consul Bernice Du Plessis, who will be able to update British nationals on our consular services and update our UK mapping exercise further. Details to come on UKinNamibia Facebook. We also have another Royal Navy visit planned in March – when a frigate and helicopter will call into Walvis Bay and we aim to host another business themed reception on board. A great bonus for our bilateral defence relations, which will be strengthened further by this visit, after the successful call of HMS Argyll in May 2013.

HMS Argyll May 2013
The HMS Argyll visited Namibia in May 2013 – Our bilateral defence relations will be further strengthened by yet another Royal Navy ship visiting the Namibian waters end of March 2014

Further afield, there are plenty of big piece foreign policy events due to happen this year too: a major Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Conference in London in June, and the NATO Summit in Wales in September, are but two that are scheduled to happen in the UK this year as well as the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

PSVI image
Time to Act Now. The Foreign Secretary William Hague is leading the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict initiative

In 2014, we expect good growth in the UK economy and my team will be focusing harder than ever on promoting trade, investment and the British government’s wider Prosperity agenda throughout the year. Plenty of activities for the local British Business Group in the pipeline, including a session to discuss incorporating human rights into business dealings, set for February. So a year busy and varied year ahead of us. Both myself and my team hope to get out beyond our office in Robert Mugabe Avenue as much as possible this year to engage with members of the British community, Namibian stakeholders and contacts from across our Prosperity, Consular and Security business interests. Do keep us with our activities via our UKinNamibia website and Facebook pages and stay connected with us.   British High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia HE Mrs Marianne Young

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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