By Confidente Reporter
NAMIBIAN Ambassador to China, Dr Elia Kaiyamo, says the relevance of the Namibia-China relationship is evident in many of sectors in the Land of the Brave, including transport, mining, education, trade and many others.
Speaking during a public lecture at the Beijing Normal University recently, Dr Kaiyamo outlined his perspective on China-Africa cooperation, in the context of the current global governance architecture.
Dr Kaiyamo said the Namibia-China cooperation is “an excellent model, of a win-win partnership”.
He specifically mentioned Swakop Uranium’s Husab Mine, saying it had “brought meaning and purpose to the lives of previously unemployed Namibians”.
He stressed that Namibia-China solidarity will continue to grow, while Namibia’s investment doors are always open to those who respect the country and treat its citizens as equals.
“The contribution which China has made and continues to make in providing education and training to Namibian students, in various fields of study, is commendable,” the Namibian diplomat said.
He also stated that Namibia is willing to draw lessons from China’s experiences.
“Namibia will promote increased interactions and exchange visits by high-ranking Namibian and Chinese government dignitaries… and high-level dialogue. China and Namibia will strengthen the bilateral relationship and create impetus for greater cooperation.”
He also promised the Asian country that Namibia will prioritise the conclusion of a Bilateral Air Services Agreement, to facilitate direct air travel between the two countries.
“This will increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting Namibia. More attention will be given to promote volumes of trade and investment, joint ventures and partnerships, as well as attracting Chinese companies to come and open factories in Namibia’s Export Processing Zone.
“In 2016, China approved the import of Namibian beef. The Namibian government will work with their relevant Chinese counterparts to make this a reality.”
He also highlighted the challenges facing Africa.
He said that if the continent is to attain its full potential, and devote its full energy to economic and social development, the issue of ravaging conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria need to be resolved.
“African leaders have declared a collective ambition to silence the guns by 2020. This is a noble, commendable objective that is important, so countries can start basic development projects.
“The matter of strengthening African peace and security architecture, commonly known as APSA, is of crucial importance. At the same time, the continent will need to build on the gains made by inclusive governance, through regular, popular, democratic elections.”
Dr Kaiyamo said the achievements of building inclusive, democratic states need to continue.
“Africa’s partners can play a key role in supporting African initiatives, and addressing African problems. The other challenge is the issue of affordable financing of development projects.
“As I indicated, many of our African nations, including Namibia, face the challenge of growing debt. Africa has many heavily indebted poor countries and the issue of debt relief is a fundamental issue, which needs the support of our partners, including China. Without access to affordable loans, especially soft loans, African nations will face a difficult struggle to develop their economies.”
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