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Address by His Excellency, Dr. Sam Nujoma, Founding President of the Republic of Namibia and Father of the Namibian Nation on the occasion of China-Africa Entrepreneurs' Forum



20 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:

It is gratifying for me to participate at this entrepreneurs’ forum aimed at fostering closer business ties between Chinese entrepreneurs and their African counterparts.

I am particularly delighted that the Fourth Roundtable Conference on China-Africa Cooperation has a special focus on building stronger partnerships between Chinese and African entrepreneurs with a view to deepen China-Africa cooperation in commercial and economic matters. Africa and China have the potential to make a meaningful impact on the world economic environment. Africa and China represent a sizeable segment of the world population and command a significant portion of the world Gross Domestic Product.

Africa has enormous natural resources coupled with a relatively fast growing and young population currently totaling almost one billion people as well as an expanding middle class and increasing purchasing power. The continent of Africa has also made significant strides in achieving and maintaining peace and political tranquility to a large degree, thereby creating a favourable environment for investments and commercial activities.

The African Union and various regional economic blocks within the continent were created with a clear purpose of achieving and deepening economic and market integration on the continent in order to achieve deeper unification of the African continent with economic development at the core of this unification.

Through the continental body in the form of the African Union and the roadmap for deeper economic integration within the continent based on regional economic blocks in the form of SADC in Southern Africa, ECOWAS in West Africa, COMESA in East and Central Africa as well as the Magreb Union in North Africa, our continent has made noticeable progress in the unification of the continent and the creation of a single market in Africa.

The primary focus for the African Union and many African countries is to build infrastructure, provide education to our young people and push for significant value addition to our abundant natural resources on the continent.

On the other hand, China represents the second largest and one of the fastest growing economies of the world. China also has the largest population in the world and has advanced significantly in science and technology.

I have no doubts that China-Africa cooperation will generate enormous benefits not only for the two economies but for the world economy as a whole. Africa and China have been enjoying strong bonds of friendship and cooperation for many years and the two have shared common visions and world outlook for several decades. It is of paramount importance that China and Africa focus their cooperation on economic and commercial matters.

The Continent of Africa expects China to continue to be a partner of choice in our economic development particularly in the areas of infrastructure, education, science, technology, research and product development.

China and Africa should create commercially driven partnerships aimed at exploiting and adding value to African resources. China can provide the much needed technology transfer which will enable Africa to industrialise our economies.

The contribution which China has made and continues to make in the provision of education and training of African youths in various study fields is highly commendable. We should continue to strengthen our cooperation in this field.

As Africa pursues the journey towards deeper political unification and economic integration, numerous business opportunities naturally present themselves. Africa is a continent of massive opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs in various fields including mining, energy, agriculture, housing, manufacturing, transport and logistics as well as healthcare and education.

I therefore invite Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the existing excellent political and diplomatic bonds between China and Africa and explore opportunities on the African continent in partnerships with their African counterparts.

I am looking forward to seeing more Chinese investors in Africa to actively participate in Africa’s development journey.

I thank you!


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