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Remarks by H.E. Mr. Zhang Yiming at the Official Commissioning of Operation SIDA DI/GOAN in Kunene Region
(9:00 17th May, Kanmanjab)

Your Excellency Dr. Hage G Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and the First Lady Monica Geingos;

Hon. Ministers, distinguished guests and Hon. Governor Marius Sheya;

Good morning!

I am very honored to be invited to attend the Official Commissioning of Operation SIDA DI/GOAN Program initiated by the Hon. Marius Sheya, Governor of Kunene Region.

The 100,000N$ cash donation from Chinese Embassy is a kind wish to provide better environment for the learners as much as we can and to support Kunene’s basic education. Last year, I visited Kunene Region to award "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship" to some outstanding learners. I was very much impressed by the youngest dynamic governor in Namibia Hon. Sheya who presented a book named The Governance of China written by H.E. President Xi Jinping to a brilliant learner during his speech at the ceremony. The SIDA DI/GOAN Program is a refection of his visionary, proactive leadership and his excellent quality of caring for the people. I believe that people with insights should not be hesitate to render him strong support.

With a vast territory, Kunene’s land area ranks the second largest among all the 14 regions in the country and the landforms varies a lot. It is home to Himba people and has unique natural and cultural resources, which mount its advantage to develop tourism industry. In recent years, we can see more and more foreign tourists including Chinese tourists visiting Kunene. On the other hand, Kunene is a sparsely populated region with limited water resources and inconvenient transportation network. Compared with other regions, Kunene faces more challenges in economic and social development. The above characteristics of Kunene are very similar to those of northwestern provinces in China, such as Xinjiang and Gansu. These provinces have made great efforts in recent years and has scored remarkable achievements, some of which can even compete with coastal developed provinces. Therefore, I strongly believe that through unremitting efforts, Kunene Region can also realize their dream of development and prosperity.

Comrade Deng Xiaoping, chief engineer of China's modernization, once said: Poverty is not socialism. Over decades, under the leadership of Chinese Communist Party, Chinese people has stood up, get rich and become prosperous. One of our most important development experience is to firmly stick to socialism with Chinese characteristics, which means we can mobilize as more resources as we can to do big and most-needed things. The less-developed provinces, according to their different local conditions, spare no efforts to promote development, bring benefits to people and try their best to achieve common development and common prosperity. This coincides with the philosophy of Harambee Prosperous Plan.

Today, that President can make it to attend this commissioning ceremony clearly shows his strong support to Kunene Region, his sincere care for education and high emphasis on the future of the country. Similarly, China always attaches great importance to education. "Rejuvenating the country through science and education" is one of our fundamental national policies. Namibia also pays much attention to the development of young people. Because we all know that the young generation is the hope of our country. We cannot emphasize the importance to educate them and create sound growth environment for them too much.

As an old friend, good brother and sincere partner of Namibia, China is obliged to go hand in hand with Namibia in the field of education in order to build a community of shared future. Chairman Mao Zedong High school in Otjomuise district is a lively reflection of it. Since I assumed my post in Namibia, our Embassy has launched “Chinese Ambassador Scholarship”, which covers 35 schools from all regions, directly benefiting more than 600 learners. We hope that this project can help open the door for outstanding Namibian learners to China. What’s more, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and Chinese Embassy, in cooperation with the First Lady’s One Economy Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, launched Panda Pack project in Namibia successfully. Last year, 10,000 schoolbags with stationery and painting books were handed over to learners from 13 schools of five regions, including 3 schools from Kunene Region.

Further than that, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation plans to raise more fund from ordinary Chinese people online to donate 40,000 fully-equipped “Panda Pack” schoolbags for Namibian learners before September this year . I believe that, in the future, more and more children could wear a brand-new schoolbag, which embodies the deep friendship between our two country. There is a well-known saying in China that "we can bear all the pains, but we cannot let our children to".

Currently, Namibia is experiencing a severe drought challenge. The President has announced state emergency on that. As a sincere friend, Chinese government and people would like to offer genuine support within our beyond, including urgent food assistance as well as digging boreholes to help relieving droughts. In addition, in order to support the local young people, enhance our agriculture cooperation and help create job opportunities, the Chinese Embassy has decided to construct and donate a modern vegetable greenhouse in Kunene within this year.

China and Namibia’s friendship dates back to Namibia’s liberation struggle time. Last year, our bilateral relationship was elevated to comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership during H.E. President Hage Geingob’s state visit to China. This is the highest level of China’s foreign relations, from which we can know how intimate and close our two countries are. Young people are the future of the nation. I sincerely hope that our all-weather friendship can be carried forward in the hands of the young generation and continuously benefits our two peoples!

Viva China-Namibia friendship.

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