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Remark Made by H.E.Mr. Zhang Yiming in the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship Prize Awarding and Textbook Funding Ceremony of St Boniface College

Dear Rev. Bishop Joseph Shikongo;

Ms. Mary Phyllis Yesudas, Principal of St. Boniface College;

Mr. Chen Zusheng, Vice Chairman of Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Namibia and other compatriots;

Teachers, parents, learners and media friends:

Good morning! I am pleased to be invited to come to Rundu again, as the Chief Guest of Honour, to attend the annual Prize-Giving Day of St. Boniface College. I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to Ms. Mary’s warm invitation and kind arrangement.

I knew St. Boniface College from the newspaper and my friends. In July, Principal Ms. Mary visited my embassy. She introduced to me the glorious achievements of St. Boniface, as well as the strict disciplinary requirements and the hard work of teachers and learners, which left a deep impression on me. After that, I was very curious about this college. Today I finally have the opportunity to be here and find out the secret of your success. Feeling the fresh and energetic enthusiasm of learners, I am very excited and believe that you are the rising sun and the hope of the future.

As far as I know, St. Boniface college is the best high school in the country with the enrollment rate as high as 100% sometimes, which is amazing. St. Boniface has strict school rules. For example, learners are not allowed to use mobile phones in school; girls should cut off long hairs; teachers often work overtime on weekends, collecting academic data from the other countries; learners are strict with themselves and study hard. In the year of 2017, learners from your school took the top ten in the country-wide university entrance examination. What a marvelous achievement! As the Chinese saying goes "no pains, no gains", I believe that this honor is attributed to the strict management, the dedicated efforts of teachers and industrious work of learners. China’s Teacher’s Day on 10th September has just passed, and I would like to express my respect and sincere wishes to Ms. Mary and all the teachers here!

Today, I want to make three announcements. First, in order to meet the urgent need of this school, Chinese Embassy has decided to donate N$ 200,000 fund to help the school to buy textbooks. Besides, the Embassy also decides to award Chinese Ambassador Scholarship to excellent learners of this school, to encourage and mobilize all the learners to study harder. What's more, the Embassy would like to award 1 Chinese Government Scholarship annually to the most outstanding graduate from St. Boniface college in the next 3 years.

“Chinese Ambassador Scholarship” was officially set up this year with an aim to encourage learners with best performance to work harder. At present, we have provided scholarships in 11 schools from 4 regions. My trip this time is to award scholarships in 7 schools in Kavango east and west regions as well as Oshikoto Region. In the near future, the scholarship will have full coverage in the 14 regions around the country. The scholarship we can provide is not too much, but it conveys the sincere and profound friendship from Chinese people. I hope that the scholarship program will benefit more learners and then help more families. I hope this program will become a landmark to promote the communication between our two peoples, giving actual benefits to ordinary Namibian people.

At the beginning of this month, the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was successfully concluded with more than 50 African countries gathering together in Beijing to discuss the common development issues. In the keynote speech, H.E. President Xi Jinping announced "five nos" principle and proposed the “eight major initiatives” in regard of China-Africa cooperation. Many measures aim to providing young Africans with more training and job opportunities and opening up more space for their development. We are fully aware that the future of China-Africa relations lies in our young people.

Besides, at the SADC Summit and the FOCAC Beijing Summit, H.E. President Hage Geingob also talked about twice the importance of youth empowerment and how the country should protect and ensure the healthy growth of young people.

Dear learners, you are born in the right time, standing on a high starting point, shouldering the hope of your country and the call of the times, thus, you are bearing important responsibility and you will have a long way to go. As a Chinese saying goes “the best sword is forged through thousands of times sharpening, and the pleasant fragrance of plum blossom comes from endurance of severe cold”. Dear learners, the only way to stand out in the future competition and live up to your own mission and responsibility is to cherish the time and study hard right now.

Knowledge can change one’s fate. There is an ancient fairy tale in China telling that an ordinary fish that jumps over the dragon gate will become a powerful dragon. It means that children from ordinary families can become the pride of the country by way of studying hard.

I sincerely hope that you can live up to the expectations of your family and your country to study hard and become excellent successor of the country's construction. Meanwhile, I hope that you can understand the good will of Chinese friends, pass on the banner of China-Namibia friendship, and inject new momentum into the upgrading of our bilateral friendly relations. May your life be full of excitement and splendor! May China and Namibia friendship last forever!

Thank you!

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