WINDHOEK, Aug 22 – After working in Namibia for the past six years as the Deputy Head of mission and political counselor for the Chinese embassy in Namibia, Zhang Yiming is now the Ambassador for the People’s Republic of China to Namibia.
“It is a great pleasure as well as a big responsibility for me to be back to work in Namibia-Land of the brave,” he said earlier today.
In the past three weeks, he has already made courtesy calls to various ministries and also visited some places around the country.
In his statement, the Ambassador pointed out his views and feelings about China-Namibia relations. “In the past six years Namibia has undergone various positive changes and accomplished impressive achievements, safeguarding its beautiful scenery and maintaining social harmony at the same time.”
China has made significant contribution to the development of Namibia and still continue to do so. More investment emanating from China are coming to Namibia. The Ambassador recently visited Husab owned by China situated in the wild Namib desert. The USD$ 4.8 Billion project invested in by China. It took only 4 years to finish the construction of a new modern industrial city in the Namib desert.
“I’m pleased to learn that 95% of the mine employees are local and the mine has created 1406 permanent jobs and contributed N$560 million in tax revenue to Namibia.The mine has produced the first barrel of uranium at the end of last year and will promote Namibian GDP growth by about 5% after full operation, increase the export volume by 20% and make Namibia the second largest producer of uranium in the world,” he added
Yiming was also impressed when he visited the container terminal and oil storage facility which was constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company. “They are magnificent and will surely enhance the handling capacity of Walvis bay port, and make it one of the few modern deep water ports in southern Africa.”
The Chinese have also invested in infrastructural development such as the Okahandja and Karibib on the way to sea, which was built by China Henan International Cooperation Group Co, Ltd (CHICO,)
The newly established Confucius institute at the University of Namibia provides more opportunities for local people to learn Chinese, and has so far enrolled 700 students.
He was however unhappy about the media negativity on China compared to 6 years ago, as the are is more negative news and criticism about Chinese nationals in the local media and added that this may hinder the development of our relations.
“Namibia is forever a true friend, partner and brother of China and China-Namibia relationship has always been regarded as one of the top priorities in China’s Africa Policy.”
Later this week, a member of the standing committee of the political bureau of the Communist party of China Central committee, First deputy premier of the state council, Hon. Zhang Gaoli will visit Namibia. It is China’s highest level visit to Namibia in 6 years and Namibia will be the only stop for Hon. Zhang in the Sub-Saharan area, showing the great importance China attaches to its relations with Namibia.
Namibia and China are expected to sign some various bilateral agreement including Agreement on Economic and Technical cooperation of Grant for the new Airport road project, Memorandum of Understanding on Human Resource Development Cooperation, and Exchange letters on the feasibility study of the 4 Rural school projects. – Robert Maseka