Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Namibia News Update: Government Condemns US Blockade of Cuba; Joint Publishing Venture With China

Namibia Calls for End to Cuba’s Blockade

by John Ekongo
21 July 2009

WINDHOEK – The Namibian Government has condemned the United States economic blockade on Cuba and has come out strongly in support of the lifting of the economic sanctions imposed on the Republic of Cuba since 1959.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba urged the international community to denounce the sanctions, saying they are hampering the growth and prosperity of the island nation.

At the same time, he also reaffirmed his government’s support for Cuba’s call for the release of five Cuban citizens incarcerated on espionage charges in the United States since 1998.

President Pohamba was speaking at the State banquet in honour of the visiting Army General and President of the Councils of State and of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Raúl Castro.

Castro was in Namibia on a two-day State visit, which ended yesterday.

“The people of Cuba have weathered many storms and challenges despite externally imposed hardships,” he said, emphasizing that in the spirit of true solidarity, the government of Cuba welcomed and supported thousands of exiled Namibians to study at Cuban educational institutions.

“These Namibians are today making tremendous contributions to our nation building and the development of our society,” he added.

Pohamba also saluted the role played by the Cuban internationalist forces in the liberation of Southern Africa in general and singled out Namibia in particular – making reference to the battle of Cuito Canavale, under the leadership of commandeer Leopoldo Cintras Frias and the overall support displayed by Fidel Castro as Commandeer-in-Chief.

Frias was also part of the Cuban leader’s delegation to Namibia.

“The sacrifice and commitment of the Cuban internationalist forces in Africa to help their brothers and sisters in their just cause for freedom and sovereignty will always be remembered by the present and future generations,” he added.

Through these selfless sacrifices, Pohamba said, unbreakable bonds of solidarity and friendship have been created.

During his visit, the Cuban president also paid a courtesy call on the Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma, yesterday morning and visited the Heroes’ Acre, where he laid a wreath before he and his delegation left for Angola yesterday.

Joint Venture Book Published

by Jonathan Sam
21 July 2009

WINDHOEK – Two Namibian and Chinese publishing companies recently jointly launched a book with the biggest print run ever in Namibia.

A record 20 000 copies of the book titled, Prevention and Treatment of Tropical Diseases, were printed by the Zhejiang Publishing United Group, China, in collaboration with Macmillan Education Namibia Publishers.

The printing of the manual was initiated by a group of Chinese medical doctors, who had been working in Africa for more than 13 years. In the course of their work on the continent they had found many examples of Africans not knowing how to deal with tropical diseases. This led them to compile a manual on the subject before approaching a publishing house to consider publication of the manual in book form.

The book was then published with the assistance of the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek with Macmillan as the Namibian publishers responsible for marketing the publication in Namibia.

The book has been published in three languages, English, Chinese and French, of which 5 000 will be distributed in the commercial market and the remainder distributed to clinics, hospitals, schools and libraries.

According to Tong Jian, president of the Chinese publishers, the publication of the book is a first exploratory effort to see how the book will be accepted. He said he hoped it will develop into something bigger.

Peter Reiner, MD of Macmillan, said the Chinese were prompted to print the book because they wanted to give something back to the people they worked with. They started with the French edition.

“Initially we were a bit skeptical about the idea, but it soon became clear that such a publication had potential and we decided to cooperate with the Chinese company. We edited the text and fixed the language to bring it on a level for our people to understand. We also contributed to the contents by editing the language and including Namibian illustrations and photos, while the Chinese were responsible for the layout. To us, our contribution was a goodwill gesture to a large extent,” said Reiner.

He said 5 000 copies would be distributed in the SADC region.

His company, together with the Chinese, will carefully monitor how the book is received and distributed before deciding on the next plan of action.

“If it is received well by the public the publishers would attempt to make a second edition more relevant. Right now the book is aimed at the man in the street and not only for doctors. That is the reason why we scaled down the language level,” Reiner said.

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Namibia, Ren Xiaoping, says in the preface to the book that it explains, in both text and picture illustrations, the relationship between health and the unique African natural environments and people’s living habits. It introduces the common diseases in Africa, health problems of women and children and accidental injuries.

It teaches people how to prevent these diseases and accidents and how to cope with them.

“It is believed that this book will be a convenient companion for African people, as well as for those foreigners who travel, work or reside in Africa,” Xiaoping says.

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