Malian leaders visit joint ventures in Namibia
WINDHOEK, 21 March (Xinhua) – H.E. President Hage Geingob took his Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita for a visit to two major projects under construction in Namibia over the weekend.
The Husab Mine, which is under construction, is jointly owned by the China General Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) and other Chinese partners with 90% of its share, and the Namibian government-owned Epangelo Mining with the remaining 10%.
Located in the western-central Erongo region, the mine currently has about 4,500 temporary workers, mostly women, and 1,300 permanent employees.
During their visit to Husab Mine on Saturday, the two leaders were briefed about progress of the construction work before being taken to see the two mining pits.
Geingob said he wanted Keita to learn the development at the mine, and let him see “if there are investment opportunities in Namibia”.
Keita said he would take the message back to his people on “how Namibia has developed so that they can also do the same. He said the investment by the Chinese company was impressive, describing Husab Mine as “a win-win situation for China and Namibia”.
“We also have good cooperation with the Chinese government and seeing what they have done here motivates me. I think we might also invite them to start a uranium mine in Mali,” Keita said.
Mali also has uranium deposits with mining exports being the third largest exports of the West African country.
Keita also said the mine would help Namibian workers gain skills through training. “Skills training is crucial for our people and in the case of Namibia, such trained employees will contribute to the economic growth of the country,” he said.
Keita arrived in Namibia last week for a state visit. In August 2015, Geingob brought Zambian President Edgar Lungu to Husab Mine for a visit. The two leaders on Sunday visited the tanker jetty in the western port town of Walvis Bay, which is being built by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
The project of the 1.7 km-long tanker jetty is put at US$360 million and is the first phase of Namibia’s national fuel storage facility. The jetty consists of two 60,000 deadweight tonnage berths with a lifespan of 35 years. The storage facility also includes onshore facilities, pipelines and a tank farm expected to store about 75 million litres of oil.
The presidents also toured the construction site of the container terminal. The construction work on the container terminal started in May 2014, while the work on the jetty started in March last year.
Namibian Ports Authority chief executive officer, Bisey Uirab, said the jetty and the container terminal would be completed by the end of 2017. “We take pride in these projects as they are major developments for Namibia,” Uirab said.
Meanwhile, Geingob said he would be excited to inaugurate the projects when they are completed.