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STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. SAM NUJOMA, FOUNDING PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA AND FATHER OF THE NAMIBIAN NATION, ON THE OCCASION OF THE FOURTH ROUNDTABLE CONFERENCE ON CHINAAFRICA COOPERATION
2013/11/28

UNDER THE THEME “A SHARED COMMON DESTINY BASED ON A WIN-WIN COOPERATION”

WANNING CITY OF HAINAN PROVINCE

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

20-21 NOVEMBER 2013

Your Excellencies, Former State Leaders of the People’s Republic of China;

Your Excellencies, Former African Heads of State and Government;

Honourable Ji Peiding, President of the Association of Former Diplomats of China (AFDC) and Former Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China;

Honourable Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China;

Honourable Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China

Honourable Governor of Hainan Province;

Your Worship the Mayor of Wanning City;

Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Distinguished Invited Delegates;

Members of the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am delighted and honoured for the invitation extended to me to attend the Fourth Roundtable Conference on China-Africa Cooperation here in the Southern Province of Hainan.

I would therefore like to first and foremost express my appreciation and sincere gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to me and my delegation by the Government of the People’s Republic of China since our arrival in this beautiful City of Wanning.

Secondly, allow me to thank the Government and the people of the People’s Republic of China for hosting this important and timely Roundtable Conference on China-Africa Cooperation under the theme “A Shared Common Destiny based on a Win-win Cooperation”.

The bond of friendship and solidarity between Namibia and the People’s Republic of China comes a long way during the days of our protracted armed liberation struggle and continued to be cemented and consolidated after our independence in 1990.

Allow me therefore to use this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the political, diplomatic, moral and material support rendered to the Namibian people during the difficult years of our struggle for national liberation under the leadership of SWAPO.

Similarly, the friendship between China and Africa dates back to ancient times and the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two sides has opened up a new era in which we have witnessed major developments in our ties.

A retrospective assessment of the development of this relationship shows that it went from simple partnership to strategic partnership and more recently to comprehensive strategic partnership since the beginning of the Roundtable Conference on China-Africa Cooperation in 2010.

Indeed, since its inception three years ago, the Roundtable Conference on China-Africa Cooperation has grown into an important platform for people-to-people and business cooperation and exchanges between China and Africa.

China has become Africa’s largest trading partner and Africa has also become the second-largest market and fourth-largest investment destination of China.

In addition, trade between China and Africa has increased from 10 billion US dollars in 2000 to more than 160 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, and the volume last year is estimated to have exceeded 200 billion U.S. dollars.

Furthermore, China is the largest developing country, while Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Returns on investment in Africa have been the highest in the world for the past 20 years, and it is projected that 12 of the 20 fastest-growing national economies over the next 5 years will be in Africa.

Moreover, six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are on the African continent which also has a fast growing and youngest population, more than 50 percent of which is below the age of 35.

Against this background, this Fourth Roundtable Conference, held under the theme “a shared common destiny based on a win-win cooperation”, is in line with the trend of the development of China-Africa relations and we are convinced that it will make positive contribution to further deepening China-Africa cooperation and promoting China-Africa friendship.

Therefore the strengthening of cooperation between our two sides is not only mutually beneficial for our respective developments, but also of great significance for world peace and development.

Director of Ceremonies;

The time has come for us to give practical meaning to the concept of South-South Cooperation through the strengthening of economic and business ties between China and Africa. The continent of Africa is very rich in minerals and other natural resources which can be used to expand and transform the economies of African countries into industrialized economies. China-Africa cooperation should therefore be used to create partnerships between Chinese and African businesses aimed at adding value to African natural resources in Africa and create employment opportunities on the continent. China has the required technology and expertise to play a significant role in the development and industrialization of the African economies.

To further strengthen and promote the growth of China-Africa cooperation in future, we should remain strategic partners and enable closer high level exchanges and enhance mutual trust based on a win-win cooperation.

In addition, we should further expand and improve trade, scale up investment and facilitate major cooperation in infrastructure development, communication, agriculture and human resources.

Furthermore, we should explore cooperation in other areas such as education, science and technology as well as culture to enrich the content of our comprehensive strategic partnership.

Director of Ceremonies;

Namibia highly values the continued support of the People’s Republic of China to our country in the different areas of economic development. Our country is also highly impressed by the Chinese technological advancements in various areas of economic development, especially in industrial, manufacturing and value addition to your natural resources.

In this regard, our two Governments have signed milestone bilateral agreements in the areas of social and economic development, commerce and tourism and we are grateful for the financial assistance granted to the Namibian Government by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

We strongly believe that these agreements and the financial assistance granted to Namibia will add more impetus to the acceleration of economic growth and development in our country.

As a young developing nation, our country is eager to learn more from the Chinese experiences so that we can manufacture and add value to our natural resources and accelerate the industrialization of our national economy, thereby eradicating poverty, diseases and ignorance.

It is my sincere hope that our Governments and peoples will continue to explore various avenues in which we could cooperate and strengthen ties in the spirit of South-South cooperation and work towards the promotion of commercial trade and cooperation between our two friendly countries for a shared common destiny based on a win-win cooperation.

In conclusion, allow me to register my sincere appreciation and a vote of thanks to the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Association of Former Diplomats of China (AFDC) as well as all those who were involved in the strenuous efforts and hard work to ensure that this Fourth Roundtable Conference is a resounding success.

I look forward to fruitful discussions as we mark another historic milestone in the annals of China-Africa friendship based on a win-win cooperation.

Long Live the China-Africa Cooperation!

Long Live the People’s Republic of China!

I thank you.

 

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