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Chinese firm continues to boost Namibia's economy while training locals

(Xinhua)    09:35, February 27, 2020

WINDHOEK, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Choosing a career as a young man was very difficult for 21-year-old Namibian Festus Haulonjaba who is now a seasoned electrician at the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

The international Chinese state-owned company changed his life six years ago when they offered him an opportunity to build a career and receive training in electricity installation.

Taking a leap of faith, the young man agreed thus beginning his successful journey which has seen him lift his family out of poverty.

"Working for China Harbour Engineering Company has changed my life, I have learnt so much. I had no idea what to do with my life before they took me on board. They gave me power to elevate myself. Instead of giving me fish, they taught me how to fish. They have given me a skill that I will use for the rest of my life," Haulonjaba said.

CHEC has not only directly impacted the lives of ordinary locals in Namibia but it has also helped grow the country's economy.

The company specializes in large-scale construction projects such as the building of harbors, railways, and bridges.

It was in 2013 awarded the 260 million U.S. dollars contract to expand the port of Walvis Bay which has this day helped Namibia inch a step further towards realizing the country's plan of becoming the leading logistics hub in Africa.

The container terminal was commissioned last year.

The container terminal has now increased Namibia's port assets to 7.6 billion Namibian dollars (510 million U.S. dollars).

According to Feng Yuanfei, manager of CHEC Namibia company, CHEC maintains a sense of social responsibility meant to improve lives of locals.

"... these projects hold tremendous benefits for Namibia including employment of over 2000 Namibians on projects, transferred skills to 770 through local qualified training organizations and on the job training," Feng said.

According to him, the company has donated a total of 5 million Namibian dollars to help develop education and poverty alleviation.

"We have supported local economic development through the contracting of Namibian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to provide essential goods and services to the projects as well as contribute to environmental protection," Feng said.

According to Namibian port authority Namport, statistics show on the job training of over 700 previously disadvantaged Namibian employees by CHEC, where close to 500 received full-training in areas such as plumbing, piling, marine work, steel fixing, and riggers.

Another young local who is a part of these statistics is 32 year old Johannes Shitwomunhu who was employed at CHEC as a general worker but is now a marine.

"I started as a general worker but later received training as a marine then they trained me on how to operate a boat," Shitwomunhu said.

The young man is now a holder of a certificate in water and electricity installation and well as boat driving.

Through the many projects that CHEC is a part of in Namibia, the company continues to help grow Namibia's economy while transforming people's lives.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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