13 February 2013

Namibia: Friendship Trees Are Growing

Windhoek — The Africa-China 'friendship' trees that were planted almost two years ago at the Highline Secondary School in Katutura, as a symbol of cementing relations between Africa and China, are growing well, a teacher at the school says.

A total of 23 friendship trees were planted in May 2011. The trees were planted during the first ever Africa-China Young Leaders' Forum, where over 100 youth leaders from China and 17 African countries convened in Windhoek to deliberate on investment opportunities in Namibia. Other deliberations were on the historical roots and the understanding of Africa-China relations, as well as putting Africa-China relations "into context" following the theme 'friendship, development and cooperation'.

Further deliberations were on Africa-China trade and investment relations as well as the role of the media in shaping Africa-China relations. Since the 'friendship trees' were planted, an additional 34 trees were planted at the school. "The trees are growing well.

Three died out but we replaced them," says Mathias Damian Omalu, a teacher at the school. He adds that the trees died because during school holidays there was no one to water and care for the trees.

However, that would be a thing of the past as the trees are currently being irrigated. This means that whoever will guard the school during the holidays, would only be required to open the tap and the plants will be watered compared to watering them manually, Omalu explains.

Asked on what the 'friendship' trees signify, Omalu says: "Its stands for solidified relationships between the countries involved. If any of the trees dies out the relationship dies out," adding that discussions are on cards to create exchange programmes between learners at the school and sister schools in China. Africa and China enjoy bilateral relations.

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