As the world is now concerned about whether a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 on the African continent could cause more damage given poor healthcare systems there, Namibia’s Ambassador to China said that this is indeed a time when international cooperation is needed more than ever.

Ambassador Elia Kaiyamo stressed that China has been a great friend to the global community by sharing its experience, resources and expertise to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Namibia sincerely welcomes international efforts spearheaded by the WHO for the international community to pool resources to set up a global trust fund to fight COVID-19.

It is just “unfortunate” that some major players, for reasons only known to themselves, have decided to boycott this noble initiative, Kaiyamo said.

The diplomat said they have received 1,000 test kits donated by the Jack Ma Foundation to improve the country’s testing capabilities.

This is “a clear demonstration of China’s benevolence and understanding of harmonious co-existence which will assist in Namibia’s fight against the novel coronavirus,” he said.

As for the impact of the pandemic on Belt and Road projects in Nambia, the Ambassador said the challenges are temporary.

The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is a mammoth task through which China is working hard to share its prosperity with the global community, he said.

Investments from China in areas like transport and logistics have the potential to alleviate poverty and create job opportunities for the youthful population in many sectors including agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, he added.

Kaiyamo noted that the developmental problems could be solved through building a cultural bridge to strengthen people to people exchanges.