N$1 billion for Chinese-aided road

270 Namibian jobs to be created
Yolanda Nel
Through a Chinese aided grant, Namibia received approximately N$1 billion for phase 2B of the Windhoek airport road project which officially commenced on Monday.
This project will see a 4-lane dual carriageway expressway of 21.3km being constructed, and that includes a 20-meter bridge, 45 culverts and three intersections.
According to Yang Jun, Charge d’Affairs of the Chinese Embassy, this project will help improve passage of transport to and from Windhoek, and contribute to the development of Namibia at large. “In the last few years, China has become the largest source of foreign direct investment and serves as the top market for Namibian exports,” he said.
Jun said that this project is categorized as the Local Implementation Model, while other Chinese-aided projects in Africa used to be implemented wholly and exclusively by Chinese companies. “Through this new implementation model, the Namibian side will benefit more from Chinese aid,” he said.
At the groundbreaking, Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa, said that the appointment of a Chinese contractor was a requirement in the agreement between the two governments. However, he emphasized that all construction material would be purchased in Namibia, “thus the money will stay in the country”.
According to Mutorwa, this project will give ample opportunities for supplying and subcontracting of specialized works for local small and medium enterprises and subcontractors. “This road is a huge investment which will significantly contribute to the socio-economic growth of our country and it will serve many generations to come.”
Mutorwa said that about 270 jobs will be created for Namibians during the construction period and local subcontractors on the project will be exposed to technological advancements through skills transfer which can result in positive economic growth.
The contractor for this phase of the road is the Namibian registered Chinese company, Zhong Mei Engineering Group, with VKE Namibia Consulting Engineers as consultants under the supervision of the Roads Authority. The project will be overseen and audited by a third-party Chinese management company that was not named.