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New Era Newspaper Friday April 6, 2018

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8 EDITORIAL Friday, April 6 2018| NEW ERA 208 0318 Why China matters to us Africa’s growing heavy leaning towards the East has irked some in the West. A lot has been said in the Western media, which often paint China as a monster of some sorts that must be shunned by all and sundry. President Hage Geingob, while on a state visit to that country last week, had to declare, and rightly so, that China is not colonising Africa. His pronouncement grabbed headlines the world over, with some portraying them in a somewhat negative light. It goes without saying that the relationship between China and Africa has been steadily getting closer. This has created major discomfort in the international community who raised the question of whether China’s involvement amounts to “neocolonialism” or “the purchasing of friends.” But the same critics seldom use, if at all, the same phrases to describe France’s hold onto Francophone countries in West and North Africa, Britain’s intimate involvement in Zimbabwean politics during Robert Mugabe’s rule, or the fact that America has military camps dotted across the continent, under the guise of her Africom strategy. China’s approach has been to remain in the domain of economic diplomacy, and not involve herself in the domestic affairs of sovereign African states. The infrastructure that China has built in Africa is one of the main factors for her popularity in African nations. Amid the increase in new harbours, roads, airports and railways in particular, has been a massive bonus not only for the governments of the countries on the receiving end of loans, but also for the people of those countries. The current crop of Africa leaders must simply tread carefully not to overcommit to foreign financial assistance and leave future generations in a fix of bondage. Also, China’s industrialisation drive has been behind much of Africa’s success in commodity trade. This has helped cement the love between the two sides. China sucker-punched her global rivals when she started knocking on African doors, which for long have been guarded by Western hawks. For far too long, the continent was a turf for Western exploitation – first by Europe and now by both Europe and North America. China’s inward push into Africa is tempering the Western hegemony on the continent, to the chagrin of many a global capital. True, China too is in Africa for its own interest – just like the West. But the difference lies in the approach and a sense of respect that China displays towards Africa. With the current approach and attitude, it is hard, for instance, to imagine President Geingob being invited for a state visit to the USA, London or Paris. In getting invited to Beijing – which of course has its own ends it seeks to achieve – there’s a sense of not only affection but respect too. In 2007, Hu Jintao, another Chinese president, paid a State visit to Windhoek. When such courtesy is extended, it is up to African nations to maintain their position during negotiations for bilateral deals. While we commend China’s approach and involvement in Africa, we should not lose sight of that country’s broader national interests, which drives that involvement. As Yun Sun, a non-resident fellow at Africa Growth Initiative writes, politically, China seeks Africa’s support for her “One China” policy and for its foreign policy agendas in multilateral forums such as the United Nations. Economically, Africa is seen primarily as a source of natural resources and market opportunities to fuel China’s domestic growth. From a security standpoint, the rising presence of Chinese commercial interests in Africa has led to growing security challenges for China, as the safety of Chinese investments and personnel come under threats due to political instability and criminal activities on the ground. China also sees an underlying ideological interest in Africa, as the success of the “China model” in nondemocratic African countries offers indirect support for China’s own political ideology and offers evidence that Western democratic ideals are not universal. So long, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Mama Winnie Mdikizela- Mandela was a very strong, sincere, no-nonsense woman. I remember her mothering me, giving advice when she believed one needed it. She was highly intelligent with a razorblade sharpness. I always felt so proud having her as a good and enduring friend. I was the driver of both Winnie and Nelson Mandela from 20 March 1990 until 22 March 1990 during Namibia’s independence celebrations in Windhoek. Late former President Mandela had just been set free from Victor Verster Prison. Again, I felt so proud. Our car took forever to get from point A to point B, as Namibians were so excited to see the Mandelas. Namibians touched the car, sang and danced with joy. The ANC delegation experienced Namibia’s warmth and hospitality. Mama Winnie showed how touched she felt by such overwhelming happiness . She was full of compliments. When the Mandelas arrived late at what is now called the Hage Geingob rugby stadium, the packed-to-capacity stadium stood up like one person, singing freedom songs, being overexcited getting to see them. Mama Winnie and her daughter Zindzi travelled to Windhoek in September 2006 to be with me and my family at the funeral of my late mother. It was special. Namibia’s Father of the Nation, retired Cde President Dr Sam S. Nujoma hosted Mama Winnie, also known in South Africa as “Mother of the Nation”, at his home in Windhoek on the eve of my mother’s funeral. It was indeed special, if not historic. I wish Mama we Sizwe, Cde Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to rest in peace. You have served your nation well. Hamba Kahle Mama Winnie. A Luta Continua! Udo Froese Making Okahandja the ‘Garden Town’ again Firstly, we want to thank our Municipality of Okahandja for cleaning up our town and river on a regularly basis. Also, thank you for the tenders to clean up Nau-Aib and R5 camp. They can save a lot of money if every resident will be proud of their town and kept it clean. It is just a pity to see how some residents still don’t care at all. Even for a penalty of N50 (see photo) or in the river (see photo) the culprits don’t care. We also try to encourage visitors to keep Okahandja clean and put posters on the trees but some already have been demolished. We are glad to read about our honourable Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta, that the ministry will fine the culprits by law, but it won’t be so easy to find them. It is therefore important to create awareness among all. It will also help to decrease the use of plastic bags. In spite of that, we are thankful for Lewcor, Colas, businessmen and other companies that are busy tarring our streets. We hope that our central main street will be next. We also want to thank TransNamib for cutting down the trees next to the railway line. To restore our name as “Garden Town” every resident should be proud of their environment. Koos Okahandja

Friday, April 6 2018 | NEW ERA 9 Carlos Kambaekwa Mbidi: Rukoro is no longer NFA employee It has been quite a hectic week for domestic football with accusations and counter-accusations flying thick and fast between the top administrators of the beautiful game in the country. The widely publicised feud between the Namibia Football Association (NFA) President, Frans Mbidi, and the association’s secretary-general, Barry Rukoro, has led to calls this week for the former to step down, or face a vote interview with Sports Editor, Carlos Kambaekwa, would however have Carlos Kambaekwa (CK): Mr Mbidi, the NFA Executive is planning to move a motion of unfolding saga? Frans Mbidi (FM): [Laughs] That’s a joke. There is an element of misinterpretation about that clause CK: convene meetings as per Article 34 (1) of NFA statutes stating that the Executive Committee shall meet FM: to convene meetings but the me otherwise. CK: handling of Rukoro’s contract among the executive members discussions over the renewal of the contract… FM: of the Association since his contract has come full circle on the 31 st of have failed to brief members of the executive about the outcome of position on the FIFA Council, during the FIFA Congress in FM: practices – such involvement that was it. CK: the Women’s FIFA Football initial travelling arrangements, class without the approval of the to the association suffering losses FM: CK: used NFA funds to campaign for positions on COSAFA, CAF and FIFA executive committees, with the association coughing up the bills for air tickets, allowances and accommodation on these foreign trips, amounting to a violation FM: trips were of great benefit to objective was to foster closer links CK: allowance from funds FIFA claimed that NFA was directed go towards the expenses of the putting under pressure the NFA Secretariat to transfer the full personal account while NFA takes FM: to each member association the 6 th for the support of match football. CK: It’s said that d r a w n allowances for various assignments, d e m a n d i n g NFA to take care for assignments CAF, COSAFA and of having drawn double FM: practice with all travelling members CK: FM: South Africa on the invitation of the South African Football Association was to foster closer links with member states, plotting for the downfall of Issa -Frans Mbidi

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167