Windhoek-Namibian and Chinese youths last week dialogued to find means to address issues faced by youths in both countries.
The youths explored possibilities in which they can interactively assist one another and open opportunities for Namibian youth to access training and economic assistance for their uplifting.
Li Nan, the Chargė d’ Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Namibia, says as the largest developing country, China is willing to develop friendly relations with all countries of the international community, and African countries are a priority.
Youth coordinator Aaron Nekongo identifies innovation, social entrepreneurship and manufacturing as some of the areas in which the Namibian youth can greatly learn and benefit from their Chinese counterparts.
“Namibian youth are keen to innovate and have demonstrated key skills to do that, and the Chinese youth are advanced at innovation and technology. As such, Namibian youth who lack capital and technical or industry support can collaborate with Chinese youth to forge forward and break trade barriers. Assistance for Namibian youth by China is therefore welcome in this regard,” says Nekongo.
Hallo Hangala says in knowing the contribution and investment by China in Namibia, the Chinese government can play a critical role in capacity building amongst Namibian youth, adding that the China-Namibia youth dialogue comes at the right time, to ensure that China-Namibia cooperation strategies conform to the objectives of the national development agenda. “This can be achieved through capacity development, training and skills development,” says Hangala.
On the Chinese side, youth Ao Xiaolei from the Chinese Embassy says China has continually provided assistance to Namibia, some targeting the youth.
“This was done through various programmes as part of our six key priority areas, including education, agriculture, fisheries, health, social welfare,” he says. Ao adds that the Chinese government will continue to engage the people of Namibia, particularly the youth, to contribute to national development and strengthen relations between the two countries, especially amongst the youth.
In the interim, to realise the youths’ aspirations, Li says, the youth of both countries have an important role to play. “It is my sincere hope that the youths from China and Namibia work together to carry the China-Namibia friendship forward. And thus, today’s dialogue is not the last. It’s a start of more engagements amongst the youth of both countries,” he says.
Mandela Kapere, chairperson of the National Youth Service in Namibia, says the China-Namibia youth dialogue is expected to lead to robust dialogue in possible areas of cooperation, including trade. “Through the dialogue, we wish to enlighten the youth leaders in areas of cooperation, convey emerging challenges between the two parties and further enhance understanding of FOCAC and other initiatives to see how Namibian youth can benefit and participate,” Kapere says.