Focusing on Africa

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WINDHOEK Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba has said he believed the upcoming China-Africa Summit to be held early in November in the Chinese capital of Beijing, will further strengthen the friendly cooperation between the two countries. In an interview with Xinhua, Pohamba said the China-Africa cooperation serves as a platform for collective consultation and dialogue among developing nations with the intention to jointly meet challenges of economic globalization and to promote common development. “I was invited to attend the summit when I visited China last year. And I am going to China this November with the expectation of good results to emerge from the summit,”he said. “China is one of the trusted emerging stronger economies in the world today. So we are not only going to expect assistance from China, but also to learn how the Chinese people succeeded economically and socially,” said the president. Pohamba didn’t agree about with the term, “China’s Year of Africa, ” which is based on the fact that the Chinese government has issued its African policies, and Chinese leaders have visited so many African countries, saying China has been with Africa for the past 50 years. “Namibia and China have cultivated excellent relations which can be traced back to our struggle for freedom and independence,” he said, adding that China was among those countries which rendered material and moral support to Namibia during “those dark days of struggle for independence.” “We shall continue to cement these existing cordial relations between our two countries and peoples,” he said. “This will be continued for many years to come.” Pohamba said he was very satisfied with the current bilateral relationship between Namibia and China, and the Namibian people will learn and share experiences with more advanced and advancing nations such as China, India, Germany, the United States and many others. It is critical for Namibia to find new areas of cooperation with China to accelerate its economic growth and prosperity, the president said. “It is heartening to learn that the Chinese government is offering to provide technical assistance in the form of concessional loans to address the continent’s development level as well as to write off debts.” “We in particular wish Namibia to join ventures with potential Chinese investors in fields such as gas and oil prospecting, exploration and processing, property development, telecommunications, port and road construction, manufacture of automotive parts and spares, rail infrastructure development, as well as leather-processing,” he said. Pohamba welcomes more Chinese companies to come and invest, as those who are already in the country have made ‘wonderful contributions’ to its growth. “The Chinese companies which had not yet come to Namibia, are invited to do so. They can first come and see what areas they would like to invest in. I want to see our people, through joint ventures with the Chinese, getting trained in the running of a business,” the president said. Many Chinese businesses are located at strategic centres in Namibia, including rural areas, benefiting the majority of Namibians, Pohamba said. He said he wanted to see Chinese companies coming and joining their Namibian counterparts in bringing about development to Namibia, which gained independence in 1990 after a long struggle. The president specified agriculture, mining and tourism as three areas, among others, whuch would welcome more investment from Chinese companies. Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Liang Yinzhu, said here on Thursday at the reception commemorating the 57th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, that China has all along viewed Namibia as one of the most reliable friends, which will continue to strengthen friendship with the country and its people. Trade volumes between the two countries increased rapidly and grew last year to nearly 140 million U.S. dollars, while the economic cooperation extended to the areas of railway and telecommunication.