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.