Chinese technology helps Africa pursue quality development


Burundi, an East African country known as the “heart of Africa,” boasts favorable conditions for rice production thanks to its tropical climate with abundant rainfall, but Burundians have long been suffering from food shortage for the low yield of rice.

To help address the agricultural challenge in the country, China has sent five batches of senior experts under bilateral technical cooperation programs since August 2009. To conduct research and trials, the Chinese experts made field trips in all 15 rice-growing provinces in Burundi and successfully selected and introduced eight varieties of rice seed suitable to the local weather and environment.

Thanks to their efforts, poor yields or the threat of total crop failure caused by rice plague in mountainous areas becomes a thing of yesteryear.

Furthermore, as a leading country in the digital innovation industry, China has also been providing technical support for Africa’s digital economy development in terms of e-commerce, digital infrastructure, mobile application and payment, helping the continent unleash its great potential in agriculture and gain access to a broader global market.

Through cross-border e-commerce platforms, coffee from Ethiopia, chili sauce from Rwanda, black tea from Kenya, chocolate from Ghana and cashew nuts from Tanzania found their way to Chinese consumers. And Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Kilimall, Alibaba and KiKUU have also managed to hit the African market.

To facilitate the flow of more quality goods from Africa into China, a live-stream shopping carnival will be held at the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in June in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, on the theme of “common development for a shared future.”

In February, the China-Africa economic and trade digitalization service base was unveiled in Changsha, aiming to build digital and information capabilities in China-Africa economic and trade cooperation. Meanwhile, it will also help African countries build more comprehensive and efficient payment systems.

With its rapid urbanization and huge demographic dividend, Africa has a broad market prospect for the digital economy.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted traditional trade and investment activities but otherwise facilitate the growth of the digital economy, it is of great significance for Africa to tap the digital economy’s potential to drive economic growth and strengthen global connections.

Chinese technology has empowered African countries to enhance the fight against poverty and contributed immensely to development. Cavince Adhere, a Kenyan International Relations scholar, said that China’s use of technology to help targeted poverty alleviation is an inspiration for developing countries.

Additionally, talent cultivation plays a significant role in economic development. To this end, China helps build up vocational education in Africa in an effort to improve Africa’s capacity building.

China has helped set up the Luban Workshop, which has effectively enhanced African countries’ capacity for independent development and played an important role in promoting social stability.

Africa’s first Luban Workshop was launched in Djibouti in 2019. Considering Djibouti’s transportation needs, the Luban Workshop offered training in the fields of rail transport operation and management with a view to helping build a local talent pool for the railway industry.

The workshop in Djibouti, as well as about a dozen others, set up in Africa over the years, has helped upgrade facilities and provided state-of-the-art technology and training for the host country.

As more qualified workers have mastered modern technologies and more advanced technologies from China are now being utilized in Africa, Sino-African cooperation has maintained its dynamic momentum and is even rising to a higher level.

Chinese tech giant Huawei and Botswana’s Debswana have jointly unveiled a 5G-oriented smart diamond mine project; Chinese and Ugandan companies have announced the East African country’s first 5G digital cement factory project; a science and technology center from the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences has been inaugurated in the Republic of Congo.

The projects have shown that China-Africa cooperation has kept pace with the times and continues to deepen and expand with the empowerment of emerging technologies.

Since China put forward the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith in its ties with Africa a decade ago, the world’s largest developing country and the continent with the most developing countries in the world together uphold the spirit of peace, development, cooperation and win-win results, heading toward the high-quality practical cooperation.

Media Responsibility: Lessons from African Counterparts for Sri Lanka


Recently, one of the state-run daily newspapers in Sri Lanka printed and circulated a picture of a deceased man who allegedly committed suicide in his rented room, on its front page. Although this newspaper does not have a significant demand in the market, it has been circulated in many schools, public libraries, and other state and private institutions at public expense. Therefore, by default, it carries a social responsibility. In its prime, readers bought it to learn something new and valuable for life, but now it has turned into a collection of rants from whoever is at the top.

The newspaper portrayed the young man as heavily involved in “Aragalaya,” which they identified as an act of treachery. This portrayal was nothing but an attempt to propagate pathetic political propaganda of whoever is in power. The feeble behaviour of the editor of this newspaper proves that he is deeply obsessed with dead bodies of whomever they can portray as anti-government or anti-state.

Unfortunately, the state authority has once again shown indifference to such inhuman actions, and the editor does not seem to feel guilty or accountable for himself. If this had occurred in any other country, not only would the editor have been immediately dismissed from his position which he attained through political patronage, but also been held accountable under the country’s laws.

It is deeply concerning that manufacturing shock and trauma among the general public through crime reporting has become a trend in Sri Lanka. This is not just limited to state-run newspapers but also certain private media outfits, which plant shocks and sorrows through their reporting by exhibiting dead bodies and the tears of their loved ones. This practice needs to stop immediately.

It is time for journalists in every media house, as well as social media superstars who often portray themselves as true social reformists, to reassess their conduct and implement appropriate ethical standards. The media has a responsibility to report truthfully and objectively, without using human tragedy and suffering to manipulate public opinion for political gain. It is high time for Sri Lanka’s media to realize this and uphold the dignity and respect for human life and privacy.

The recent tragic incident in Kenya demonstrates how journalism and reporting can be carried out with a greater degree of social responsibility. The tragedy that occurred at the Good News International Church, where hundreds of people starved to death due to the cult leader Paul Mackenzie’s false promises, is a stark reminder of the importance of responsible reporting. When the exhumation process started, the government and other officials strictly advised all media outlets to adhere to higher degrees of norms and ethics in their reporting. They were advised not to display dead bodies of their fellow men and women, and the areas were declared crime scenes.

It is remarkable to observe that most media channels in Kenya followed these general ethical principles in reporting on this shocking event. This is a valuable lesson for fellow editors and journalists in Sri Lanka. It is time to stop selling sorrows and dead bodies of our fellow men and women, no matter what caused their death. Sri Lanka may be the only country that telecasts dead bodies during times when most households are having dinner. It is a barbaric media practice that needs to stop immediately.

Furthermore, it is important not to provide any CCTV footage to telecast on media on crime scenes as it can have an extremely negative impact on the general public. Footages of this nature should be retained by law enforcement agencies, who can use them to prevent future occurrences and increase public awareness. Allowing media channels to broadcast such footage with the sole aim of increasing ratings or printing it to sensationalize and cause trauma only highlights our society’s lack of ethical standards.