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Opportunities for China-Africa Education Cooperation
Post Time: 13/09/2018


On the afternoon of September 3, the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held at the Great Hall of the People. Chinese and African leaders gathered in Beijing for talks on how to work together toward an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. The Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University (IASZNU) also focused on the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit and published a series of articles.     

Reference News, Global Times, Guangming Daily, and Zhejiang Daily published articles on the summit, including Dean Liu Hongwu’s “Strategic Value and Significance of Sino-African Cooperation” and “The Logic and Mission of Chinas Foreign Aid”; Doctor Hodan Osman Abdi’s “The Expectations of African Friends”; Doctor Liu Qinghai’s “The Path for a Higher Level of China-Africa Cooperation”; Doctor Xu Wei’s “Build an Even Stronger Community with Shared Future”; and Professor Wang Heng’s “China and Africa Need Each Other to Intensify the Exchange of Experiences and Mutual Learning”.

On September 2, right before the Beijing Summit, Mvuh Zouliatou, a Cameroonian Ph.D. candidate at IASZNU, published “The Belt and Road Initiative: New Development Opportunities for China-Africa Education Cooperation” on China Pictorial, reviewing the history of and looking forward the future of Sino-African education cooperation. The full text reads as follows:


The Belt and Road Initiative: New Development Opportunities for China-Africa Education Cooperation


       In the past five years, the Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, has gained increasing attention worldwide. Acclaimed as “the project of the century,” the Belt and Road Initiative presents opportunities to create wealth and promote economic development around the world. Launched in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Initiative involves infrastructure projects with total investments estimated at US$5 trillion, spanning more than 60 nations and regions across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Opening to all nations, the Initiative is a call for the integration into a cohesive economic sphere through infrastructure building, investment and trade connectivity, market building potential, and creation of job opportunities.

       In 2015, during the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged US$60 billion for African development support, which include sectors such as health, security, infrastructure, and education. As knowledge and skills have been key issues for Africa to cooperate with her partners, human capacity building and education have become an essential component in China-Africa cooperation. The history of China-Africa cooperation in education traced back to 1956 when China established diplomatic relations with Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, and Cameroon. And the modern-day educational cooperation and exchanges between China and Africa were highlighted with The Declaration of 2000, a cooperation program for Africa and China in social and economic development, which also included education and human resource development. With the establishment of FOCAC in 2000, China has upgraded investments in the education field in Africa. Since the 2006 Beijing Summit of FOCAC, the number of scholarships that China provides for Africa has grown rapidly. The massive participation of African countries to this year’s Beijing Summit of FOCAC held from September 3 to 4 is another proof of great importance China and Africa attach to their cooperation.

       In the implementation framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, education serves as a spearhead of connectivity in the sense that education is an essential tool to make people become more informed about each other and break misunderstandings. In the Education Action Plan for the Belt and Road Initiative, issued in 2016 by the China’s Ministry of Education, there has been a call to expand cooperation in people-to-people exchanges, to cultivate talent for creating a bright future for all countries along the routes. The wide and bright prospect of education cooperation between China and Africa, through the Belt and Road Initiative, will continue to deepen knowledge shared by China and Africa. The theme of the forthcoming FOCAC Beijing Summit — China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-win Cooperation — is very relevant to aspirations of both partners to build stronger cooperation. The results of in-depth discussion from this year’s summit are expected to contribute enormously and bring more light for common development of education in Africa and China.


       The author is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University. (Translated by Jin Haiqiong, edited by Xiamara Hohman)


Full text:

“The Belt and Road Initiative: New Development Opportunities for China-Africa Education Cooperation”


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