By Zhao Manfeng
DR Elia G. Kaiyamo, the Namibian Ambassador to China, says the Land of the Brave fully supports transport links between China and other African countries.
“Namibia fully supports efforts such as the link between China and other African countries to implement the Belt and Road Initiative,” Dr Kaiyamo told the China Daily website during an interview in Beijing.
Namibia intends to be an international logistics hub for SADC countries in support of closer regional integration efforts across the continent. “It is for this reason that we are currently at an advanced stage [with China’s assistance] to deepen and upgrade the port of Walvis Bay. Chinese container companies sail to our harbour and stop at the Walvis Bay container terminal with traded goods between African and the world,” the diplomat said.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce says that between 1990 and 2015 more than 40 Chinese enterprises had made a total investment of N$45 billion employing more than 4 000 Namibian citizens.
“China was one of the first countries to offer food aid to us when we experienced a three-year drought, and was the first country to offer capital when we needed it most,” said Dr Kaiyamo.
According to Xinhua, the first batch of drought relief food from China to feed more than 22,000 households in Namibia arrived in January this year, as the country battled persistent dry spells. Apart from food aid, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister, Zhang Ming, also announced that China would promote agricultural cooperation with Namibia to assist in food security.
“Different from those nations that carved out Africa with the sole intention of developing their countries with our mineral resources and the blood and sweat of our forced labour, China is our economic partner and genial friend, and has never colonised any single African country,” Dr Kaiyamo said.
Last year, a dual carriageway linking Windhoek, the capital, and Hosea Kutako international airport started being built by the China Railway Seventh Group and the Namibian company Onamagongwa Trading Enterprises.
Dr Kaiyamo said Namibia had the advantage of flourishing democracy and socioeconomic stability. He believed that Namibia’s democratic path could set a good example for African countries still undergoing the transitions to democracy.
“Political and economic instability and regional conflicts in some African countries set obstacles for the executive actions of the Belt and Road Initiative.
“African countries should also learn best practice from China’s flavour of democracy, law enforcement and hardworking culture,” said Dr Kaiyamo.
For him, the One Belt One Road Initiative was more than an economic opportunity, and also serving as a chance for African countries to learn from China’s experiences.
He said that the African continent and China shared similar hopes for the future internationally. According to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 programme, all member states aim for a prosperous continent free of epidemics, war and poverty. The Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) in 2015 also pointed to a bright future for Sino-African co-operation, backing and other moves for mutual benefit.
“African states have risen economically and seen development in cross-border transportation infrastructure, with the unmatched help of their Asian partner. Long-term Chinese developmental investment is key for African development and for Agenda 2063 to become a reality,” said Dr Kaiyamo.
China had proved many times that it was ready to share technology to support Africa’s quest for development without attaching conditions, he added.
Dr Kaiyamo said that the wholesale export of raw materials had been replaced with a focus on value-addition, skills development and technology transfer.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015