Geingob considers Chinese loans … as World bank frustrates Namibia’s access to grant funding

03 Apr 2018 15:20pm

President Hage Geingob who is on a state visit to China to strengthen bilateral relations between Namibia and its all-weather friend has disclosed that he will consider taking loans from China.

The president did indicate that it remains regrettable that Namibia is disadvantaged by income classification of the World Bank and cannot easily access grant funding and concessional loans. 

 He said even for concessional loans, Namibia is always subjected to scrutiny for conditions other than the effective interest of cost of the loan.

 Said the president in his speech in Shanghai, “We have the duty to growth and promote our local businesses and industries. Therefore, if we can access loans from China or any other country of financial institution, on good terms that are aligned to our developmental objectives we will consider it.”

He highlighted on key sectorial areas where Namibia is facing difficulties but which should provide opportunities for investment.

He said there are challenges in some sectors such as energy and water supply security, railway infrastructure and information communications technology that presents lucrative investment opportunities.

Geingob invited the Chinese business community to invest in areas such as agricultural modernization and food production to stem hunger poverty and vocational technical training to address high youth unemployment.

He indicated that investment and trade must be balanced, inclusive and sustainable. 

“One key principle of the China-Namibia relationship is that of “win-win”. As you are exchanging views on potential trade and investment opportunities, the focus should not be on winning at the expense of the other.”

“Such approach may generate more profit for one Party in the short-term, but will certainly not be sustainable long-term. Therefore, for trade and investment to grow and remain sustainable, it must also be shared,” said the president. 

He said that one of the important outcomes of  his state visit had been the elevation of Namibia-China relations to the highest level of ‘Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership’.

As described the visit as reaching out “to our international friends to assist us in the second phase of our struggle, against poverty and inequality, so that Namibia can realize inclusive growth and shared prosperity, in this lifetime.”