Leveraging Experiences in China to Foster sustainable Development in Africa
Since the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, more and more African students come to Zhejiang Normal University for further education. In order to encourage African students studying in China to grasp the opportunity of studying abroad, overcome cultural differences, language barriers and so on，the first African Students Forum of Zhejiang Normal University was held by the Institute of African Studies, the International Department of Culture and Education and the International Institute of Culture and Education. It is hoped that foreign students from African countries will combine their professional knowledge and life experience gained during their stay in China to make more contribution on the development of their countries.
Everyone needs to succeed in whatever angle of life. There is a popular phrase which states “A person’s success will be measured in terms of his/her neighboring success too”. Its implication is that you will be considered as developed, whether economically, cognitively or socially by looking at your impacts to the society or your neighboring person. This is the reason the late first president of Tanzania once said “We are not free unless other African countries are free too”. With this idea, the university and few African scholars have a lot of ideas to share with us.
Prof. Wang Hui
Dean of College of International Education at ZJNU Deputy Secretary General of Language Policy and Planing Research Association of Chinese Language Society
Prof. Liu Hongwu
Distinguished Professor of "Chang Jiang Scholar Program"
Director of Institute of African Studiesat ZJNU
Theme: Studying in Africa Launched My Three Decades Long Career
Dr. Diallo Yoro
Senior Researcher at IASZNU
Former First Counsellor of Mali Embassy in China
Theme: On a Life of Scholarship Across Africa, Europe and China
Dr. Micheal Ehizuelen
Executive Directorof Center for Nigerian Studies at IASZNU
Theme: Development Potentials of the Richest Continent in the World
Dr. Hodan Osman Abdi
Director of Centerfor East Africa Studies at IASZNU
Adviser to the President of Somalia
Theme: After 13 years of Scholarship and Work in China, This is What I Learned
In 25th December 2018, Zhejiang Normal University held a conference with the above written title (Leveraging Experiences in China to Foster sustainable Development in Africa). Although the title seemed to target African students, but almost all the international students, from other continents were impressed with the conference’s theme and attended it. We had great speakers from different parts of Africa and China, who delivered their speeches tremendously.
Prof. Wang Hui (Dean of College of International Education) and Prof Liu Hongwu (Director of Institute of African Studies). The two talented Professors gave a wonderful introductory speech and proved the way Africa have a plenty of opportunities to flourish itself. With the title “Studying in Africa launched my three decade long career”, Prof. Liu Hongwu appreciated various strategies and plans that African countries have and advised to utilize effectively the present opportunities such as good universities and the present of natural resources to achieve our common goals as Africans
Dr. Michael Ehizuelen (Executive director of center for Nigerian studies at IASZNU) and Dr. Dialo Yolo (Senior researcher at IASZNU) and Dr. Hodan Osman Abdi (Director of centre for East African Studies at IASZNU) had the speeches themed “Development potentials of the richest continent in the world” and “On a life of scholarship across Africa, Europe and China” as well as “After 13 years of scholarship and work in China, this is what I learned” respectively.
Few Chinese youths also shared their experience of living in Tanzania and Ghana and emphasized that the way Africa is perceived by majority of those who are outside Africa, is quite different from the reality. Africa is as beautiful as other continent although their much emphasis was how every African can use his/her potentials to clear out the remaining challenges such as insecurity and lack of morals which are currently facing the world, Africa being part of it.
There were also performances from African groups of students as well as Chinese students. It was a pleasure to celebrate the Christmas with such a wonderful gathering and performances from well organized Chinese and African students.
Some of the insights from their speeches and the conference in general
Africa cannot develop unless every person identifies his/her potential to the country. Development of the continent starts with the development of individual countries and whoever African student who goes abroad for studies, his/her main intention should be to use his educational outcomes to change Africa. We should not wait until we get billions of money to start projects, we can start with whatever we have to start whatever projects which will aim to change the life of African people, country and as the result the continent will change too.
With every person you meet in your lifetime, you have something to learn from him/her. We have to take our diversity as power to move forward, and not as a source of inferiority and superiority sense. Learning culture from a person close to you is one of the ways toward a harmonized and happy life. The speakers emphasized that we have a lot to offer to our continent.