Bridging the China-Africa knowledge gap


Students from Yu Chun Keung Memorial College in Hong Kong visit the embassy where they met Li Xuhang (center), the counselor. [Photo by Liu Hongjie/China Daily]


Chinese secondary school students have been on a six-day study tour in Kenya to understand the existing Sino-Kenyan relationship.


The trip, from July 3-8, saw 10 students from Yu Chun Keung Memorial College take the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway from the coastal city to the capital city. There, they visited the University of Nairobi Confucius institute, Chinese Embassy and later Chinese companies operating in the country. The students were accompanied by two teachers and an assistant vice-principal.


According to Li Xuhang, the counselor of the Chinese embassy, a candid relationship between nations is the bedrock of political and economic engagements. "Chinese and Kenyan people, and the African people as a whole, cherish people-to-people exchanges, particularly among the younger generations. This can lay a sound foundation for long-term and solid cooperation in other fields," he said.


The Assistant Vice-Principal Chau Wang Fai Henry said the trip has changed the teenagers perceptions about Africa. Moreover, since they have heard about China's growing international relations, the visit offered front-row information about its importance and the benefits accrued by the two peoples, he said. "The Belt and Road Initiative is also an important topic in their academic program and they have finally had a chance to witness its reach," he added.


The students were chosen according to their academic competency and social activities. "We give students from modest families opportunities to take such international travels," said the deputy principal.


Thomas Gi says his perceptions about Kenya have been reversed. [Photo by Liu Hongjie/ China Daily]


Bubbly Thomas Gi said his perceptions of Kenya had been reversed when he realized that the east African country is relatively developed with strong, spirited people who are determined to transform their lives. "What is also amazing is how there is a strong effort by Kenyan and Chinese companies to adhere to green development by building bridges across the national park to conserve the environment," he said.


He noted the impression given about the Sino-African relationship by international media back home is distorted and the exchanges have numerous benefits.


His colleague Eian Sze noted that the country is stable and secure. "A lot of myths are demystified by these trips," he said.


Most of their questions centered on education levels, economic growth and technological opportunities that exist for their Kenyan counterparts.


This is the second trip under the Hong Kong Youth "New Runway" program. The first group from Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School visited Kenya in March this year.


Ambassador Sun Baohong meets with the students. [Photo by Liu Hongjie/China Daily]


(China Daily)

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