China-Gambia cooperation in education advances

On 13 April 2018, a reception for 50 participants of the 2018 China-Gambia bilateral seminars on ICT and media was held at the Chinese Embassy in Bijilo. The full text of the remarks by Chinese Ambassador H.E. ZHANG Jiming is as follows:

Ms. Fatou Njie Hydara, Deputy Permanent Secretary of MOFA,
Ms. Ndey Tapa Sosseh, Special Advisor to the Minister of Information,
Mr. Mucktarr Darboe, Director of Science, Technology and Innovation,
Dear colleagues and friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon! It gives me a great pleasure to host a reception for the participants of the 2018 bilateral seminars on ICT and media. I would congratulate all of you who have been nominated to participate in the seminars in China. I would also thank the colleagues from the MOFA, MOHERST, and Ministry of Information for your commitment and hard work to make this happen.

The two seminars which are going to start soon this month will introduce the development of ICT, Radio and TV industries in China from theory to practice, from macro management to micro operation, and from different perspectives, and aim to promote mutual understanding, exchanges and cooperation between China and The Gambia.

The seminars are the first of its kind in our bilateral cooperation and the first two of six seminars planned for this year. They are tailor-made to meet the needs of The Gambia in areas such as ICT, media, health, agriculture, engineering management, etc.. In total, there would be around 160 Gambian officials and professionals attending these bilateral seminars throughout the year.

These are one of the immediate outcomes of H. E. President Barrow’s successful state visit to China last December, during which Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barrow reached broad consensus, and education and human resources development was identified as one of the priority areas for bilateral cooperation. It is very much in line with Gambia’s National Development Plan (2018-2021), which highlights investing in people and developing human capital as the key driver of social development and economic transformation.

The launching of the first two bilateral seminars on ICT and media showcases the ever expanding and strengthening cooperation between our two countries and China’s strong commitment to support the development of The Gambia. The Year 2018 is witnessing a big leap forward in terms of the scale and type of cooperation in education and human resources development. In addition to the bilateral seminars, China has also offered more than 40 fully-funded government scholarships, for which the due process of selection and nomination is being undertaken by the Gambian side.

What’s more, over 200 short-term training opportunities in the form of seminars and workshops for participants from developing countries are offered to the Gambian government ministries, services, institutes, hospitals and NGOs. These multilateral seminars and workshops cover a wide range of development-related subjects such as poverty alleviation, environment protection, renewable energy, malaria control, rice cultivation, livestock farming, infrastructure development etc..

In comparison with the last year, the number of Gambians going to China this year for scholarship and short-term study could well quadruple and exceed 400. This is nothing short of a great leap forward!
And together, we are leaping higher and farther in the year 2018, the ‘Big Year’ for China-Africa relations, as the Beijing Summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is going to be held late this year. The Chinese and African leaders will gather once again in Beijing to renew their traditional friendship and plan for future cooperation. I’m sure The Gambia will benefit a lot more from FOCAC mechanism and China-Gambia cooperation is scaling higher heights.

Dear colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen,
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. In the short period of 40 years, the Chinese people have blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics through exploration with a pioneering spirit. China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods, and the holder of the largest foreign exchange reserves, and lifted more than 700 million Chinese people out of poverty. The Chinese people have emerged from a life of shortages and poverty and are now enjoying a moderately prosperous life.

The success story of China is hard won through hard working and forging ahead against hardship. China has come a long way, but it still has an arduous journey to make. It has set new goals and mapped out a blueprint for its development in the next thirty years. China will continue to improve itself through reform, China’s door of opening up will only open wider, and China’s integrated development and shared prosperity with the world will only be further intensified as President Xi Jinping emphasized in his keynote address at the Opening of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference four days ago.

This is the time to go to China, for knowledge and skills as well as experience and inspiration. China is vast and diverse. China is dynamic and innovative. China has transformed and is transforming. I have no doubt that through your visit to China, you will gain a lot more with the first-handed knowledge and have better understanding of China, and hopefully you will play your due role in promoting the mutual understanding and friendly relations of our two countries and peoples and contribute to the development of The Gambia.
I wish you a safe and sound journey and a very pleasant and rewarding time in China! Enjoy yourselves here today!
Thank you!

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