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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yiming at the Ceremony of Chinese Ambassador Scholarship and Panda Pack Distribution
29 October 2018, Outjo, Kunene Region
2018/11/30

Hon. Marius T. Sheya, Governor of Kunene Region,

Cde. Tuarungua Kavari, Regional Coordinator of SWAPO,

His Worship Cllr. S. !Oe-amseb,

My fellow Chinese Compatriots,

Dear Principles, Teachers, Parents, Learners,

Media Friends,

Good Morning!

It is my great pleasure to be here at Kunene Region to attend this Ceremony of Chinese Ambassador Scholarship and Panda Pack Distribution.

Although Kunene is a region with distance from Windhoek, and with some disadvantages in development, it has never been a blind spot for China-Namibia friendship. In my view, today’s ceremony is a vivid example of this friendship.

Over the past one year, since I took office as the Chinese Ambassador to Namibia in August last year, I have visited all 14 regions of Namibia. I was warmly welcomed by local Namibian friends at every place I visited, which fully demonstrated the in-depth friendship between our two countries. This friendship was originated in the 1960s and has grown from strength to strength for decades.

This year is another fruitful year for China-Namibia relations. During the State Visit to China in March, President Hage Geingob and Chinese President Xi Jinping, elevated our bilateral relations to Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership. In September, President Geingob visited China for the second time and participated in the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. During the summit, President Xi Jinping announced the "Eight Major Initiatives". In the field of education cooperation, China has decided to provide 50,000 Chinese governmental scholarships, 50,000 training opportunities for Africa in the next three years, and will invite 2,000 African youths to visit China to promote youth exchanges.

You may ask, why is China so committed in supporting education in Africa? The answer lies in the friendship and brotherhood between China and Africa. China always cherishes this friendship, and is always willing to help our African brothers and sisters by our best, while realizing our own development. Education is so indispensable to the future of any country. I fully believe that supporting Africa's education is the true support for the future of this promising continent!

Although Namibia is a relatively developed country in Africa with a high proportion of the national budget distributed in education, there are severe challenges ahead of the development of education. During my visit to Namibia’s 14 regions, I have recognized that some regions, cities, towns, are still lack of sufficient educational resources and facilities. Sometimes, I came cross with some out-of-school children, when I stared at their eyes, I felt very anxious and worried. Therefore, I negotiated with my colleagues in the Embassy and decided to set up the "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship", as well as coordinate the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation to conduct this Panda Pack Project, through which we hope to offer our assistance in the development of education in Namibia.

These Panda Packs are purchased by a Chinese civil non-profit organization, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, in use of funds raised from ordinary Chinese people through Alibaba charity website. Similar distribution activities have been held in a couple of countries around Asia and Africa. In the Southern Africa, Namibia is the first beneficiary. Kunene is very lucky to be among 4 regions benefitted from this project.

The Chinese Ambassador Scholarship was officially launched at the beginning of this year and will be expanded to nearly 30 schools in all 14 regions. More than 400 students from 24 schools in 9 regions have benefited from the scholarship so far. The scholarship aims at encouraging students to study hard and strive to be better, I wish them could become the mainstay of Namibia’s national development and inheritors of China-Namibia friendship.

Both the Panda Pack Project and the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship are carrying the profound friendship and the best wishes of the Chinese government and people. Dear learners, I trust you can feel the sincere expectations from your Chinese uncles and aunts for your unlimited future.

Chinese people often use the saying "education can change fate" to encourage themselves to keep learning and strive to be the best, while Namibians are also saying "Education is the key to development". They share the same connotation.

Dear learners, some of you may have some frustrations in your study, some of you may be depressed for some difficulties in your living condition. But you must believe that all those setbacks are temporary, you are so vibrant and full of potential that a bright future is just in your own hands.

And once again, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Hon. Governor Sheya, for your attendance, and I believe, together, we can make Kunene a great region in terms of education.

Thank you!

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