China, Namibia pledge to cement future relations

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Tiri Masawi

WINDHOEK - It took Chinese the country’s 70th independence anniversary last week to pledge its continued support to Namibia on the developmental, economic and political front.

The Chinese anniversary celebrations also saw China pledging US$1 million (approximately N$14.5 million) worth of drought relief aid to Namibia, which is reeling from the effects of the natural calamity, leaving close to 400 000 households needing food aid between now and the next harvest.

This follows the declaration by Namibian President Hage Geingob of a state of emergency on the drought as a way of stimulating interest and help from the world and other development partners.

Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, told a gathering that included Namibian Minister of Lands, Utoni Nujoma, as well as Namibia’s former President Hifikepunye Pohamba that China will continue to cooperate with Namibia and many African Countries in a win-win engagement on the development front.

Viewed by many African leaders, particularly revolutionary parties, as an all-weather friend, China has also received its fair share of criticism on the way it engages African countries, especially on the issuance of what critics call unsustainable debt burden.

Zhang said key areas of cooperation with Namibia going forward are public health delivery, infrastructure development, education and cultural exchange.

“Our bilateral relations have been continuously enriched and enhanced, particularly in recent years as practical bilateral. China-Namibia relations can be an epitome of China-Africa relations,” he said.

The Chinese Ambassador said the past 70 years have seen China contributing significantly to world peace as well as contributing to the development of the African continent in areas that create value and benefit for the locals.

Namibia is one of the many African countries that have benefited immensely from their engagement with China with the recently completed expansion of the Walvis Bay container terminal being the flagship project between the two countries.

On the investment front, China is by far the largest investor in Namibia’s uranium sector, controlling both Husab Mine and Rossing Mine and creating several jobs for the local folk.

 Namibian Minister of Lands, Utoni Nujoma, said relations between the two countries continued to grow from strength to strength and were cemented by a desire to see both parties accruing benefits of their mutual engagements.

Nujoma also added that the Namibian government’s relations with the Asian giant were hinged on the desire to grow the economy, create employment as well as cement cooperation in areas of mutual consent.

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