Sunday 11 April 2021
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From Namibia to China with poverty

The Namibian delegation that departed to China this week amid a wave of public outcry has a huge responsibility on its shoulders as far as the future of Namibia is concerned.
The rhetoric from government regarding the trip is promising, and so are some of the names of delegates that form part of the delegation.
But as we all know, China is a different ball game when it comes to sitting on the negotiation table, the superpower’s acumen when it comes to carving out favourable terms during negotiations is unheralded.
Namibia’s love for China has dispelled the saying “Namibia is an enemy to none and a friend to all” in fact we are “An enemy to none and a friend to China first, then the rest”.
The country’s one-dimensional growth is partly due government’s decision to follow China blindly and ignoring other growth modalities.
The lack of diversification in the economy is another aspect that needs to be tackled.
Why is it that China as a global economic superpower has lifted 800 million out of poverty, yet it cannot help us do the same to our small population?
The answer can only be one of two things, either we do not ask for the correct assistance or China simply does not want to help us.
On the global political, economic and arenas, Namibia can be likened to a blue-eyed child in the house that is loved by everyone. From the US, Cuba, Russia, UK, China, Brazil, Canada, Sweden, Finland, the two Korean states-the love for Namibia is evident.
In the past we sent our navy officers to Brazil for training and it helped to professionalise our forces in that regard. I am using this example to point out that multi-sectoral growth is possible if we use our global connections to develop Namibia.
So instead of making China our one-stop shop for development, why not use our advantage and good relations with almost all 193-UN member states to push for diversified development by adopting different growth models?
You could emulate Russia and Cuba for their prowess in the medical field, Germany for its strong skill-set in vocational training, Finland can teach us how to run a government effectively and in a sustainable manner and UK and US for their business acumen, just to mention a few.
We are one of the few countries that receives love worldwide, so why don’t we join hands with different nations in the areas they are thriving in and develop that concept to fit the Namibian needs? This will bring out the diversified growth we are yearning for.
The single China approach is not sustainable.
China is one of the countries that has robbed this country of billions in taxpayers money, so why this undying love for China?
It’s not a secret that there is a lot we can learn from China in terms of infrastructure development, but if our relationship with China is not sweet on both ends than it is tantamount to abuse.
Like in a marriage between two people, both parties must be happy.
China has made so much money in Namibia but investors from the Asian superpower have not invested much in Namibia. And by investor, I am not talking about the Chinese who queue to buy tender documents to compete with our local contractors.
It’s a pity when it’s a Chinese they are called investors but our own contractors are called tenderpreneurs. Real Chinese investors can be counted on two hands, many are purely surviving on state contracts and ship out the money after completing the job at hand.
I have high hopes for this China trip because it can be a game-changer for us as a country. I also have faith in the delegation because I believe their patriotism to Namibia will be their navigating tool as they chart Namibia’s future.
We wish them well.

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