RUNDU – President Hifikepunye Pohamba last Friday preempted media reports that often put under intense scrutiny the relations between the People’s Republic of China and Namibia, when he rhetorically asked “why not China?”
“I know they (media) will be asking in the newspapers on Monday, ‘Why China?’ I will also ask, ‘Why not China?’” President Pohamba said last Friday after China provided Namibia with a team of technicians and engineers.
Namibia is facing a debilitating skills shortage in many areas that will take many years to remedy.
Pohamba deviated from his prepared speech and commended the Chinese government and others for offering technicians, engineers and instructors to help the country carry out its development programmes, which are affected by the existing skills deficit.
He made the remarks during the commissioning of the Namibian Air Force (NAF) Runway Lights Project at the NAF base at Grootfontein last Friday.
A group of Chinese aircraft technicians and engineers have been attached to the air force base to provide technical support to their Namibian counterparts. New Era was reliably informed that a group of Namibians are in China to receive training on how to fly, service and maintain the country’s modest fleet of warplanes.
“Some of you doubted whether the pilots of these planes are foreigners. It’s not the case, those are the sons and daughters of the republic of Namibia,” said Pohamba.
Pohamba also heaped praise on Dr Iyambo Indongo and his wife Elizabeth Indongo for “providing the nation with a daughter, Lumba Indongo, who is a pilot in the NAF”.
“Congratulations to the parents who brought up these children. Children we brought up ourselves turned out to be experts, flying and making the nation proud,” he said.
Pohamba further emphasised that the youth are now leading state institutions such as the army and the navy. He also urged all pilots to rededicate themselves to the core values of the air force.
After the official programme on Friday, those in attendance were treated to flawless aerial displays by helicopters and fighter jets flown by Namibians, much to their delight.
“Members at all levels must display a sense of discipline, professionalism and dedication at all times,” the Commander-In-Chief urged the armed forces.