112 years old, since 1910.
24 April 2024

A Message Of Condolence To The Government Of The Republic Of Namibia And The Murangi Family on the passing away of SADC Director Trade Industry Finance and Investment (TIFI) Mr. Nokokure Murangi

27 March 2008

It is with a deep sense of regret and sadness that I stand before you today to talk about our dear colleague, brother and friend, the late Nokokure Murangi, who passed away on the 21st of March 2008 in a tragic car accident.

I personally came to know Noko in the early 1990`s when he started representing the government of Namibia in various trade meetings. At the time I was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Botswana. This started a long professional relationship that saw us participating in various fora including the WTO Trade Negotiations. I recall in particular working with Noko during the launching of the new round of the multilateral trade negotiations in November 2001 in Doha, Quatar and the subsequent WTO follow-up meetings including the 2003 SACU WTO Trade Policy Review.

The WTO Trade Policy Review meetings are very critical meetings where SACU as a Customs Union is subjected to intense scrutiny by the entire WTO Membership on its trade policies to ensure that SACU complies with the global trade rules and disciplines on Customs Unions. As a regional trade expert, Noko played a critical role in the last WTO Trade Policy Review of SACU by assisting to respond to the numerous questions from the WTO Membership.

Noko and I were also part of a joint Namibia and Botswana delegation that successfully lobbied the US Senate for third country fabric benefits under AGOA in 2002. These benefits allowed Namibia/Botswana textiles and clothing companies to access the US market using raw material from third countries including China. This was a special dispensation for these two countries as they are not Least Developed Countries.

At the regional level Noko played and instrumental role in the renegotiation of the SACU Agreement which led to the signing of the 2002 Agreement, which Agreement led to the establishment of the SACU Secretariat here in Namibia. Following the establishment of the Secretariat Noko continued to show keen interest in the evolution of SACU`s Trade Agenda. I participated with Noko in a number of trade negotiations between SACU and third parties including SACU/MERCOSOR and the SACU/US Trade Negotiations.

In all of those instances, Noko distinguished himself as a brilliant, committed and insightful trade diplomat and a good networker. In this regard the SACU Chief Negotiators quickly came to rely on him as one of the top regional experts on Trade Negotiations.

Noko was a strong advocate for the development of the region and was always very constructive towards the development of the region. His death comes at a critical time when the Southern African Region faces the challenges of fostering deeper regional integration and where he would have continued to provide his much needed valuable guidance to the region for the best possible options. His untimely death therefore has robbed the entire Southern African Region of a very intelligent, knowledgeable, dynamic and engaging expert.

It is also important to understand that because of his charming personality, Noko had made numerous friends both in the region and across the globe. He will therefore be missed for a very long time by his friends the world over. I would also like to recall that Noko personally welcomed me and supported me in the early days of my arrival here in Windhoek and in my efforts to establish the SACU Secretariat. He will be dearly remembered for his sophistication, charming personality and love for life.

Noko will be missed for his insightfulness, kindness and friendly disposition on both the official and social encounters he has had with the SACU Secretariat colleagues. His illustrious career and dedication will inspire all of us to continue the good work and build on the foundations that he laid.

On behalf of the SACU Secretariat and indeed on my own behalf I would like to pass our deep and heartfelt condolences to the Government of the Republic of Namibia, the Murangi family and Noko`s friends across the globe.

May His Soul Rest In Eternal Peace.

Tswelopele C. Moremi
Executive Secretary