The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Namibia (UNAM) will host the first seminar that examines the nature of international relations within the framework of bilateral relations with China.
UNAM will collaborate with the Embassy of China, under the Joint Research Exchange programme of the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and host the conference under the theme: ‘The path to success: China-Africa development models’ on 14 October, at the Safari hotel, Windhoek.
The Economist spoke to Chairperson, Faculty Research and Publication, Simon Lumbu who said, the seminar will present a platform for analysis of relations between the two countries.
“The seminar will provide opportunities for identifying gaps in the existing relationships, that can be improved to better cooperation, trade and development between the countries involved,” he said.
According to Lumbu, there will be a delegation of scholars from China, accompanied by a former ambassador of China to Namibia. The scholars will present their perspective on the nature – China-Africa relations, with specific focus on Namibia.
On the part of Africa, there will be at least three international scholars: from South Africa and Zimbabwe, who will present their perspectives from the African point of view.
“We are convinced that Namibia and Africa, like China, have a success story to tell, from which China can also learn. The same is also true of China, from whom Namibia and Africa can learn. The last few years have seen an increase in relations between China and Africa. On the one hand, China, being one of the world’s emerging economies, has been praised for adopting a development model that has transformed its economy,” he said.
Lumbu said the seminar is set to benefit both Namibia and China.
“Namibia-China relations are continually on the upward trend in the political and economic sector, there are opportunities in other sectors, such as education, agriculture, health, etc, that could be explored. In principle, we can all learn from the seminar.”
“The path to success can be determined by the common understanding of the development models,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lumbu said an invitation for participation has been extended to scholars, politicians, economists, international relations practitioners, development agencies and non-governmental organisations in Namibia to share nuanced perspectives on the nature of China-Africa relations, with a specific focus on Namibia.
The seminar is funded by the Joint Research Exchange Programme of FOCAC, which aims at facilitating academic exchange to enhance trade between China and Africa and it will be open to the public and participation free of charge.