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Remarks by H.E. Zhang Yiming at the Handover Ceremony of the Donation to One Economy Foundation
2021/03/26

Madame Monica Geingos, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  Good Morning!

  First of all, I would like to warmly welcome the First Lady of Namibia, Madame Monica Geingos, to the embassy to attend the donation ceremony, during which the Chinese Embassy and Swakop Uranium will donate 1 million Namibian dollars to the One Economy Foundation #BeFree Project. Today is the first working day for us in the Embassy in the new year of OX. We choose this day for donation exhibits our care and high lighting for the youth empowerment in Namibia.

  On the first day after the ending of stage 2 of the state of emergency against the pandemic, Madame Geingos came to our Embassy and briefed me about the significance of #BeFree Project. After that, I was entrusted by Madame Peng Liyuan, the first lady of China, to handover a batch of supplies to One Economy Foundation, with the aim of helping children, young people and women to fight COVID-19. I'm very pleased to hear that the donated goods has been distributed to youth-led organizations, shelters for GBV survivors, HIV teen clubs, out of school youth and young entrepreneurs. I quite appreciate the leadership and execution efficiency of Madame Geingos.

  Both the first ladies of China and Namibia are committed to education and empowerment of women and youth. Their selflessness, generosity, fraternity and dedication moved many people. In recent years, the One Economy Foundation established by Madame Geingos has actively contributed to Namibia’s poverty reduction and women empowerment. The #BeFree Project, which aims at substantially alleviating youth unemployment and extreme poverty due to the lack of work skills, plays an important role in the development of the youth. We are glad to give support to #BeFree in that cause.

  In recent years, not only the Chinese Embassy, enterprises and Chinese community in Namibia , but also the Chinese NGOs and charities have contributed to children and youth’s welfare in Namibia. What we saw in the short video just now is just a microcosm. To name a few, the Amitofo Care Center (ACC) is located in Okahandja. It was set up by good Samaritans from Taiwan, China. More than a dozen volunteers from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR work there are caring for the orphans and impoverished dropout students. They provide free formal basic education and accommodation. They teach the children Chinese, arts, Kongfu and other featured courses, establishing a bridge of cultural exchange between China and Africa. The enrollment of the school has reached 160, and some students can read more than 300 Chinese characters. Professor Zeng Xiaodong from Beijing Normal University, the wife of a diplomat in our Embassy, has raised funds to set up “One Room Children Center” and science projects for girls after she had visited the slums of Havana, with the purpose of helping the children and the youth improve their knowledge and skills. As I know, the project has gained support from UNESCO. It is welcomed that the One Economy Foundation could support it as well. What’s more, during the pandemic, the Chinese Embassy donated anti-pandemic material, necessities and teaching facilities worth hundreds of thousands Namibian dollars to Namibian communities and schools, which bear the care the concern of the Chinese government and people for the health and development rights of Namibian youth, and embodies the profound friendship between our two people since even before the establishment of diplomatic relations 30 years ago.

  The pandemic is still raging across the world, but the friendship between China and Namibia has been continuously consolidated and sublimated in combating COVID-19 with solidarity. President Hage Geingob of Namibia was one of the first foreign leaders sending message of condolences to President Xi Jinping and the first sub-Saharan African head of state to have made a phone call with President Xi. Since the first confirmed case emerged in Namibia ,the Chinese government, enterprises, NGOs and community in Namibia have provided the earliest, fastest, most practical and effective support to Namibia. These “first “and “most” are vivid portrayals of sincere interaction and mutual assistance of our two countries in face of suffering and difficulties.

  The virus respects no boundaries and we are all in the course of fighting it. Solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon in the combat against the COVID-19. In order to implement President Xi Jinping’s solemn commitment at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 last June, which says that once the development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit. China,despite difficulties including limitation of production capacity, has decided to give priority to 53 developing countries including Namibia to acquire Chinese vaccines. A few days ago, the first batch of vaccine assistance arrived in Equatorial and Zimbabwe. China will deliver more vaccines to other countries in the coming days. The Chinese government has decided to donate Namibia 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, at Namibia’s request, and listed Namibia among the priority countries for purchasing Chinese vaccines. This fully reflects the high level bilateral relations between our two countries. Nowadays, the two sides are coordinating closely to deliver the vaccine to Namibia as early as possible. I hope it could help Namibia overcome the pandemic soon and make a tangible contribution to the construction of a global community of health.

  Dear friends,

  I would like to take this opportunity to express my admiration to President Geingob and the First Lady for their long-term care and support for China-Namibia relations. In the past three and half years since I arrived Namibia, I have witnessed the rapid development of China-Namibia relation. During President Geingob’s first state visit to China, the relationship between the two countries has been promoted to comprehensive strategic partnership. The two heads of state have spearheaded the healthy and rapid development of bilateral relation through exchanging letters and phone calls. The achievements in developing the relations between the two countries are the result of the hard work of President Xi and President Geingob, and reflect the profound friendship between them. On the First day of the Year of Ox, President Geingob sent a letter to President Xi Jinping, congratulating President Xi and 1.4 billion Chinese people on the Chinese Lunar New Year. He wishes to draw inspiration and courage from the ox, to continue working harder to get the world in movement against for the prosperity of our shared humanity. Madame Geingos also sent me an ebullient message, what they did is extraordinarily special among African state leaders.

  2021 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, the China-Namibia relations will continue to stride forward on the basis of the 30 years of development. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Namibia in areas such as fighting against COVID-19 and promoting youth development. I hope the young people will become the mainstay of promoting the China-Namibia comprehensive strategic partnership in the future. China will continue to support Namibia’s sustainable economic and social development as a reliable partner!

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