President Hage Geingob today leaves for China in what is certainly Namibia’s first State visit to that country in recent years. Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba last went on a five-day State visit to China in 2005.
According to State House, Geingob’s visit would be for seven days. Accompanying him would be a delegation of 81 people, consisting of Cabinet minister, senior government officials and businesspeople. The visit is from March 26 to April 3. The business delegation consists of 61 business person drawn from wide array of local interests, ranging from the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI). These include the represenatives of the national airline Air Namibia, players from the country’s fishing, mining, manufacturing, civil engineering, information technology as well as hospitality and tourism sectors. Some of the prominent business people include Dr Leake Hangala who is the director of the NCCI and the executive chairperson of Hangala Group, Kennedy Hamutenya, the chief executive officer of the state-owned diamond marketing and selling company Namib Desert Diamonds, the chairperson of the Namibia Airports Company Rodger Kauta, as well as the company’s acting CEO Albertus Aochamub and deputy board chairperson Beverly Vugs. The chief executive officer of Roads Authority Conrad Lutombi is also in the delagation.
Private businesspeople in the delegation include Hosea Nico Kaiyamo of Cavema Fishing, David Sheehama David of Kambwa Trading, Lynette Lutombi from O&L Leisure, Amos Shiyuka of MobiPay, John Walenga of Omalaeti Productions and Jerome Mutumba of Guinas Investments. Others include Elmo Kaiyamo of Otesa, Feni Nanyeni of Nanyeni Investments, Martin Shipanga of Shipanga Medical Services, Erastus Shapumba of Chicco Group of Companies, Robanus Amadhila of Roama Gates Manufacturing, Nathalia Goagoses of House of Telne and Jeremia Muadinohamba of Muadifam Enterprises.
The ministerial delegation to travel with Geingob are the Deputy Prime Minister Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Industrialisation Trade and SME Development Tjekero Tweya, finance minister Calle Schlettwein, water and forestry minister Alpheus !Naruseb, works minister John Mutorwa, tertiary education minister Dr Itah Kandjii- Murangi and Albert Kawana the Attorney General.
Presidency Press Secretary Alfredo Hengari in a media statement issued on Saturday said the visit follows an invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The trip will focus on sectors including science and technology, infrastructure, agriculture, trade and industry, business facilitation and tourism.
Geingob will also be accompanied by First Lady Monica Geingos.
Whilst there, Geingob said in the statement, he will strengthen commercial relations, development cooperation and people to people exchanges between the two countries. He said this would be aimed at contributing meaningfully to Namibia’s economic and industrial development.
The president was further quoted as saying Namibia has a lot to learn from China as a major power and key centre of excellence and technological innovation, and one that has been able to lift close to 800 million people out of poverty in less than four decades. Hengari indicated that Geingob and his delegation will be travelling on commercial flights and will depart on Tuesday. Cameroon’s Paul Biya last visited China on a state visit last year.
– Additional reporting by NAMPA