Beijing, China – Twenty nine African journalists have begun a 10-month development and media studies in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China.
Report by Alpha Daffae Senkpeni,[email protected]
The training topics include China’s political, cultural, media and economic studies amongst others.
Other activities will include touring China, covering major political activities at the National People’s Congress and other major events like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economic summit slated for September this year.
The development studies and media exchange is being organized by Renmin University of China (RUC) based in the capital, Beijing. The program is also part of the Asian nation’s efforts in strengthening its relations with the African continent and other neighboring countries in Asia.
It is also part of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) program organized and initiated under the watch of the PRC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This year is the third CAPC program and participants are highly optimistic and are in high spirit for the 10 months activities.
Counselor Liu Yutong, Chief of the Public Diplomacy Division at the Information Department of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the journalists before recalling the impact of the international political shocks of 2016 including Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, the election of businessman Donald Trump as President of the United States and the continuous global economic turbulent.
Yutong said these factors are affecting new and emerging economic powers in the world. Despite the shocks, he said China maintains its economic growth while the political situation in the country remains stable unlike other world powers like the U.S and the United Kingdom.
The Chinese diplomat emphasized that his country’s policy reform has helped maintain economic growth for over a decade.
He hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping for opening the economic bridge in the country which he described as fundamental to the development of China.
He later admonished the journalists to tour the country and understand the cultural and economic diversities in order to have a more balance view about China.
China, the most populous nation and second strongest economy in the world, is currently transforming its economic successes into improving international relations across the world with massive interest in collaborating with African countries to ensure the continent achieve economic progress as well.
Speaking earlier, Professor Yi Zhihong, Vice President for International Studies and Alumni Development at the Renmin University of China, welcomed the students into the program and said he believes the diversity of the class of 48 students (journalists) brings a new experience to the professors and students alike.
RUC, is China’s highest rated university that specializes in humanities and social studies, and in 2013, the university’s school of journalism, humanities and social science was rated number one in China by the country’s Ministry of Education. Currently, there are 64 African students studying at Renmin University.
One African journalist each was selected from Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Serra Leone, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Togo, Mauritania, Egypt, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda, Botswana, Burundi, South Africa, Senegal, Gabon, South Sudan, Sudan, Congo Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
These African journalists have joined 15 other journalists from South Asia and Southeast Asia as well as four other journalists from Pakistan.