Minister Qin Gang’s New Year’s Video Message to Diplomatic Missions in China

Minister Qin Gang’s New Year’s Video Message to Diplomatic Missions in China

Your Excellencies Ambassadors,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Representatives of International Organizations,

Friends,

As a Chinese poem reads, “Plum blossoms in winter signal the arrival of spring for all things.” The Spring Festival is just around the corner. On behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, I would like to convey to you, your families and your colleagues our sincere greetings and best wishes for the Chinese New Year. 

The year 2022 was truly eventful for both China and the world. The once-in-a-century pandemic was compounded by the rise of geopolitical conflict. Decades of gains in global development were eroded. Food and energy security were disrupted. Some country engaged in hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices, stoked ideological and bloc confrontation, and pushed the world to the edge of division and conflict. On the other hand, it is encouraging to see that people in all countries demonstrated a stronger desire for peace, development and cooperation, a firmer resolve to uphold independence and seek strength in unity, and greater determination to create a better future with joint efforts. Given the shared aspiration of the people and the prevailing trend of the times, the future of humankind will be promising.

In 2022, the Communist Party of China (CPC) successfully convened its 20th National Congress. It drew up an ambitious blueprint for advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, set out China’s foreign policy goal of safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, and reaffirmed China’s commitment to building a community with a shared future for mankind. With a global vision and a strong sense of responsibility, China’s diplomacy made new contributions to the noble cause of peace and development for humanity.

Over the past year, China’s head-of-state diplomacy was immensely successful, providing guidance and impetus to greater solidarity and cooperation. The snowflake-shaped cauldron at the Beijing Winter Olympics symbolized the unity of the family of nations. The Global Security Initiative and the Global Development Initiative helped forge stronger global consensus and synergy. The three overseas visits made by President Xi Jinping gathered international support for delivering the vision of a community with a shared future, and steered the ship of global cooperation through heavy seas and toward a bright future.

Over the past year, China’s opening-up and cooperation deepened, providing a strong boost to global recovery. With the expansion of the Belt and Road family, 151 countries and 32 international organizations have joined in this global enterprise to build a belt of prosperity and a road to happiness. The High-level Dialogue on Global Development was successfully held. And the official launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), covering the world’s largest free trade area, created a stronger engine for the global economy. The fifth China International Import Expo attracted a huge turnout. Inbound foreign investment bucked the trend and continued to grow. China, with its door wide open, shared great opportunities with all countries.

Over the past year, China fulfilled its responsibilities for global governance and firmly defended the international order. We pushed for the adoption of the new biodiversity framework and achieved steady progress toward the goals of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, making every effort to protect planet Earth, our common home. We kept to the direction of promoting peace talks in complex crises and contributed the largest share of debt service suspension among G20 countries, making every effort to tackle common challenges. We firmly rejected hegemonism and power politics, and opposed zero-sum mentality and a new Cold War, making every effort to uphold true multilateralism.

In 2022, members of the diplomatic corps worked tirelessly to build bridges of communication and understanding, and strengthened the bond of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the rest of the world. I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to you all.

Friends,

The year 2023 marks the beginning of the full implementation of the guiding principles laid out at the 20th CPC National Congress. The Chinese people are embarking on a new journey with full confidence to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects. We in the diplomatic service will keep to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and stand firmly on the right side of history and on the side of human progress. We will deepen friendship and cooperation with all countries to jointly make new and greater contributions to world peace and prosperity.

In 2023, we look forward to a more peaceful and stable world free from war and conflict. Peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticeable when we benefit from it. But none of us can live without it. Preserving peace requires the concerted efforts of us all. China will remain committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and to the path of peaceful development. China’s development will always be a boost to the force for peace in the world. We call on all countries to pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, resolve conflicts and disputes through negotiation and consultation, and support all efforts that are conducive to peaceful settlement of crises, to light up the world with the sunshine of peace.

In 2023, we look forward to a more united and cooperative world free from fragmentation and confrontation. Humanity sharing a common future is an indisputable reality, and solidarity and cooperation is the only viable path toward a brighter future. China will deepen and expand equal, open and cooperative partnerships, promote coordination and sound interactions among major countries, enhance friendship, mutual trust and convergence of interests with neighboring countries, and strengthen unity and friendship with fellow developing countries. China encourages the international community to foster a collective sense of unity, intensify cooperation as an underlying trend, and reject the outdated Cold War mentality and the pursuit of exclusive circles. We need to pool our wisdom and strength to deliver greater benefits to people across the world.

In 2023, we look forward to a more open and integrated world free from seclusion and isolation. Openness brings progress while seclusion leads to regression. It is impossible to channel the water in the ocean of the world economy back into isolated creeks and lakes. China will remain firm in advancing high-level opening-up and fostering the new development paradigm at a faster pace, continuing to provide the world with new opportunities with its new progress. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by President Xi Jinping. Thanks to the joint efforts of all participants, the BRI has become a sunshine boulevard that connects roads, promotes mutual benefit and brings hearts closer. We wish to work with all parties to review past achievements and draw up the blueprint for a new decade of Belt and Road cooperation.

In 2023, we look forward to a more prosperous world with greater development, free from wider gaps between North and South. It is neither fair nor sustainable if the poor are made poorer while the rich become richer. The fruits of development should benefit more people across countries in a more equitable way. The Chinese path to modernization offers a new option for the modernization of humanity, and China will contribute more ideas and strength to making global development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive. We will continue to support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, promote a global development partnership, and support fellow developing countries in enhancing their own capacity for development. We also hope that developed countries will honor their commitments and meet their responsibilities. No country or individual should be left behind on the journey of common development.

Friends,

We will soon bid farewell to the Year of the Tiger and usher in the Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, rabbit symbolizes kindness, intelligence and vitality, and the Year of the Rabbit is a year of hope. In the new year, we stand ready to work with all of you to take China’s friendship and cooperation with your countries to a new height and write a new chapter of world peace and development and human progress.

Thank you.

尊敬的各位使节、各位代表、各位朋友:

“一枝梅破腊,万象渐回春。”中国传统新春佳节将至,我谨代表中国外交部,向各位驻华使节和代表,以及你们的家人和同事,致以诚挚的问候和新春的祝福!

刚刚过去的2022年,对中国和世界各国都是极不寻常的一年。世纪疫情的阴霾未散,地缘冲突的硝烟又起,全球多年发展成果遭到吞噬,粮食、能源安全受到冲击。个别国家趁机大搞霸权霸道霸凌、煽动意识形态对立和阵营对抗,把世界推向分裂冲突的边缘。令人欣慰的是,各国人民求和平、谋发展、促合作的愿望更加强烈,独立自主、团结自强的意志更加鲜明,并肩携手、共创未来的步伐更加坚定,人心所向、大势所趋决定了人类前途终归光明。

2022年,中共二十大胜利召开,擘画了以中国式现代化全面推进中华民族伟大复兴的宏伟蓝图,也明确了中国始终坚持维护世界和平、促进共同发展的外交政策宗旨,致力于推动构建人类命运共同体。中国外交坚持胸怀天下,勇于担当进取,为人类和平与发展崇高事业作出了新的贡献。

一年来,中国的元首外交精彩纷呈,引领促进团结合作。北京冬奥会一朵雪花,诠释了“天下一家”。安全与发展两大倡议,汇聚起共识合力。习近平主席三次出访,推动命运共同体意识跨越山海、落地生根,指引同舟共济的航程劈波斩浪、驶向未来。

一年来,中国的开放合作持续深化,有力推动全球复苏。“一带一路”大家庭不断扩大,目前已有151个国家、32个国际组织共建繁荣带、幸福路。全球发展高层对话会成功召开,全球最大自贸区《区域全面经济伙伴关系协定》正式启动,世界经济有了更强劲引擎。第五届中国国际进口博览会盛况空前,外资流入逆势增长,敞开大门的中国,同各国分享广阔机遇。

一年来,中国为全球治理担当尽责,坚定维护国际秩序。推动达成新的生物多样性框架,稳步迈向“双碳”目标,全力呵护地球家园。在复杂危机中坚持劝和促谈方向,在二十国集团中贡献最大缓债总额,全力应对共同挑战。坚决反对霸权主义和强权政治,反对零和思维和“新冷战”,全力维护真正的多边主义。

过去这一年,驻华使节和外交官们不辞辛劳,致力于在中国和世界各国之间搭建沟通理解的桥梁,增强互利合作的纽带,在此我向大家表示衷心的感谢!

各位朋友,

2023年是我们全面贯彻落实中共二十大精神的开局之年,中国人民正意气风发迈上全面建设社会主义现代化国家新征程。中国外交将以习近平外交思想为指引,坚定站在历史正确的一边、站在人类文明进步的一边,同各国深化友谊、加强合作,共同为世界和平与繁荣作出新的更大贡献。

2023年,我们期待世界更加和平安宁,远离冲突战乱。和平犹如空气和阳光,受益而不觉,失之则难存,需要各国共同维护。中国坚定奉行独立自主的和平外交政策,始终不渝走和平发展道路,中国的发展永远是世界和平力量的增长。我们倡导各国坚持共同、综合、合作、可持续的安全观,通过谈判消弭冲突,通过协商化解争端,支持一切有利于和平解决危机的努力,让和平的阳光照亮世界。

2023年,我们期待世界更加团结合作,摒弃分裂对抗。命运与共是人类社会的客观现实,团结合作是开创未来的人间正道。我们将深化拓展平等、开放、合作的伙伴关系,促进大国协调和良性互动,深化同周边国家友好互信和利益融合,厚植同广大发展中国家的团结友谊,推动国际社会营造团结大家庭、唱响合作主旋律,抛弃冷战旧思维、反对排他“小圈子”,集众智、汇众力,更好造福世界各国人民。

2023年,我们期待世界更加开放融合,打破封闭隔绝。开放带来进步,封闭导致落后,世界经济的大海不可能退回到小河流、小湖泊。中国坚定不移推进高水平对外开放,加快构建新发展格局,将不断以中国新发展为世界提供新机遇。今年是习近平主席提出共建“一带一路”十周年,在各方携手努力下,这一倡议已经成为一条路联通、利融通、心相通的阳光大道。我们愿同各方共同回顾成就、描绘蓝图,开启“一带一路”合作新的十年。

2023年,我们期待世界更加发展繁荣,缩小南北鸿沟。贫者愈贫、富者愈富既不公平也不可持续,要让发展成果更多更公平惠及各国人民。中国式现代化为人类实现现代化提供了新的选择,中国将为促进全球平衡、协调、包容发展贡献更多智慧和力量。我们将继续支持联合国2030年可持续发展议程,推动构建全球发展伙伴关系,支持发展中国家提高自主发展能力,也希望发达国家践行承诺、履行义务,在共同发展的路上不让任何一个国家、任何一个人掉队。

各位朋友,

金虎辞岁去,玉兔迎春来。在中华文化中,兔是善良、智慧、生机的象征。兔年是孕育希望的年份。我们愿同各位使节和代表一道,在新的一年里,推动中国与世界各国的友好合作再上新台阶,为世界和平与发展和人类进步事业谱写新篇章!

谢谢!

President Ramaphosa extends Lunar New Year wishes to Government and people of China

President Ramaphosa extends Lunar New Year wishes to Government and people of China

President Cyril Ramaphosa extends his best wishes to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China on the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year and Annual Spring Festival.

President Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, expressed his wish that the advent of the Year of the Rabbit will indeed endow citizens of the People’s Republic of China with the longevity, peace and prosperity associated with the zodiac sign for the year ahead.

South Africa values the vibrant economic relations and political cooperation that characterise its partnership with the People’s Republic of China.

President Ramaphosa said: “My dear brothers and sisters from China and all Chinese communities around the world: I wish you all a happy Lunar New Year and a prosperous Spring Festival 2023.

“On behalf of the Government and People of South Africa, I wish the Government and the people of China, including here in South Africa, a happy and fulfilling time of goodwill, celebration and friendship, as you renew the bonds between friends or reunite with family during this period.”

“As we enter the New Year, we are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China in 1998.

“In addition, South Africa will succeed China as Chair and host of the next BRICS Summit, during which we hope to receive His Excellency, President Xi Jinping in South Africa. These occasions provide ample cause for celebration.”

China to scrap quarantine requirement for international arrivals

China to scrap quarantine requirement for international arrivals

China will scrap the quarantine requirement for international arrivals starting January 8, 2023, the country’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on Monday.

NHC said passengers traveling to China need to take nucleic acid test within 48 hours before boarding their flights to China, adding that nucleic acid screenings and centralized isolation after arrival will be canceled.

“In light of the international epidemic situation and service capacity, the outbound travel of Chinese citizens will be resumed in an orderly manner,” NHC said.

In addition, NHC noted that China has renamed the novel coronavirus pneumonia as novel coronavirus infection.

China will also downgrade management of the disease from Class A to Class B in accordance with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Disease, starting January 8, the statement added.

The United Nations ECA Fellowship 2023 for young African Professionals. (USD 3,000 Monthly Stipend

The United Nations ECA Fellowship 2023 for young African Professionals. (USD 3,000 Monthly Stipend

The United Nations ECA Fellowship 2023 for young African Professionals. (USD 3,000 Monthly Stipend)

Application Deadline: 26 January 2023 bit.ly/3Gl1ujZ

ECA is the regional arm of the United Nations in Africa. Its mandate is to promote the economic and social development of Africa. ECA’s dual role as a regional arm of the UN, and a part of the regional institutional landscape in Africa, positions it well to make unique contributions to member States’ efforts to address their development challenges.

ECA is inviting applications from qualified young African Professionals in the following thematic areas:

Macroeconomic policy, development planning, Economic Governance & Public Finance;
Industrialization and Economic Diversification Policies;
Regional Integration; Infrastructure and Trade
Private Sector Development & Finance, including Innovative Finance & Capital Markets;
Poverty, Inequality and social policy;
Food systems and food security
Gender equality and women empowerment;
Demographic Dynamics for Development;
Innovation and Technology;
Climate Change & Management of Natural Resources, including Green Economy;

Logisitics

The selected Fellows must be available to travel to the assigned duty station as may be
decided by ECA after the selection process;

The selected Fellows will receive a return air ticket between his/her country of residence and the assigned duty station;

The selected Fellows will receive a one-off settling-in grant of USD 3,000 (for fellows recruited from outside of the duty station) and a monthly stipend of USD 3,000 each for the duration of the fellowship.

Labor Economics and Employment

Communication and strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation;

United Nations
CORE VALUES: INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONALISM, RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
ECA Fellowship Programme for Young African Professionals (Multiple positions at multiple duty stations)
Call for Applications, 2023 Cohort of Fellows
Application deadline: 26 January 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Addis Ababa time
Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships:
ECA is the regional arm of the United Nations in Africa. Its mandate is to promote the economic and social development of Africa. ECA’s dual role as a regional arm of the UN, and a part of the regional institutional landscape in Africa, positions it well to make unique contributions to member States’ efforts to address their development challenges. ECA has five sub-regional offices plus African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, (IDEP) across the Continent through which it supports regional development priorities and agenda and African countries in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
ECA’s mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.
The mission is guided by the five strategic directions of the institution, which are; advancing ECA’s position as a premier knowledge institution in supporting evidence based policy making,; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, human, physical and social assets for transforming Africa; promoting regional integration and addressing transboundary issues and challenges,; advocating Africa’s position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.
As a foremost knowledge policy institution in Africa, ECA seeks to engage bright young Africans for skills and capacity development, training and mentorship through a fellowship programme within ECA’s work programme. This fellowship initiative is in line with the Commission’s effort to assist member States develop their capacities in economic and social policy research, development, implementation, analysis, governance, and monitoring and evaluation. The fellowship aims at developing a new crop of young African intellectuals with strong policy making knowledge and capacity in supporting African countries in the process of economic and social transformation and development.
ECA is hereby inviting applications from qualified young African Professionals in the following thematic areas:
Macroeconomic policy, development planning, Economic Governance & Public Finance;
Industrialization and Economic Diversification Policies;
Regional Integration; Infrastructure and Trade
Private Sector Development & Finance, including Innovative Finance & Capital Markets;
Poverty, Inequality and social policy;
Food systems and food security
Gender equality and women empowerment;
Demographic Dynamics for Development;
Innovation and Technology;
Climate Change &Management of Natural Resources, including Green Economy;
Labor Economics and Employment
Communication and strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation;
This Fellowship programme aims to provide practical, on-the-job experience to the young professionals in their early and middle career in the academy, public sector or international development in providing them exposure and learning in a multicultural environment of the UN and contribute to the work of ECA. It will also provide the candidates with the opportunity to familiarize with the Commission’s broad programmes and services to member States and subregional bodies in addressing economic and social dimensions of Africa’s development priorities. This should expectedly improve their skills, capacity and intellectual ability.
Responsibilities:
Within delegated authority, the Fellows will be responsible for the following duties:
The Fellow(s) will agree to a work programme in the area of economic and social development defined mutually with the receiving/mentoring Division, Sub-Regional Office or Centre. The fellow(s) will contribute to the work of the Division, Sub-Regional Office or Centre by carrying out research, analytical studies, drafting reports and supporting other activities, as directed.
Assignments within the areas of focus may include, but are not limited to, collecting, evaluating, interpreting, and analyzing economic, social and political development issues in the focus areas. The fellow(s) will also contribute to technical and policy reports, briefing notes, and support in the organization and servicing of expert group meetings, workshops, and seminars; and fulfil various other administrative tasks for the effective delivery of the activities. The fellow(s) will be required to prepare a research paper and make presentation on it in the course of their fellowship.
Competencies:
Professionalism: In-depth knowledge and understanding of socio-economic and political development issues; conceptual and strategic ability to analyze and evaluate critical matters pertaining to socio-economic and political issues in Africa including ability to translate development-related data/information into policy relevant analyses; ability to undertake research with limited supervision; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed. Ability to present
high-level papers to peers and stakeholders, both at the institutional, regional and international level, both orally and in writing, in a clear, concise style.
Team work: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds and respect for diversity.
Qualifications:
Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree or doctorate or their equivalents) in economics, development studies, political economy, international affairs, political and social sciences, , peace and human security, public administration, law, minerals and natural resources, engineering, and related field is required.
Experience: Academic research or academic work related to the focus thematic areas is required. Experience in research/analytical work in socio-economic and political development, natural resource management/law, regional integration, infrastructure development, governance, peace and related areas in the context of Africa, either in the academia, private, public or civil society organizations, is an advantage.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the fellowship advertised, fluency in either language is required and working knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
Special Notice
This call is open only to nationals of the Economic Commission for Africa member States.
Candidates must submit their Administrative Profiles (APs) and the following documents as PDF attachments:
 UN Administrative Profile (AP)* in PDF format, including a motivation statement (cover letter) within the AP (to be submitted as an attachment to email submission).
 *The UN AP (Administrative Profile) can be created by signing up for an account at: https://inspira.un.org
 Applicants should refer to the Annex of this document on https://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/HR/How%20to%20Create%20an%20Administrative%20Profile_English.pdf which contains detailed step-by-step instructions about how to create an AP within the Inspira system and generate a PDF of the document which must be attached to your email submission;
 There is no Job Opening for this Fellowship within the Inspira system. The instructions referenced above detail how applicants can create a draft AP (not tied to any published Job Opening) within Inspira, and save the draft AP as a PDF for inclusion as an attachment to the applicant’s email submission;
 The motivation statement is created as part of the online AP creation process in Inspira, and will be visible towards the end of the AP PDF under the heading “Motivation Statement for this Application”;
 If after reviewing the information above, you are still unable to generate the AP in the indicated PDF format, you may email: Bilen Kassahun at kassahunb@un.org for technical support. Please plan your time and attempt to create the draft AP well in advance so that you have sufficient time to seek technical support, if needed.
 A research proposal of not less than 1,000 words (in candidate’s preferred thematic area listed above) Candidate must clearly indicate the thematic area of choice at the top of the research proposal document
 Copies of all advanced-level academic degrees obtained (e.g., doctorate and/ or master’s degree(s). As an advanced-level degree is required for the fellowship, first-level (bachelor’s) degrees and certificates should NOT be submitted
 Copy of applicant’s national passport (information page only); if you hold multiple nationalities, the passport provided should be that of an ECA member State),and;
 Three letters of reference/recommendation
An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its recruitment. Qualified female candidates and young scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
Conditions of Fellowship
The following conditions will apply:

  1. The candidate applying for this fellowship programme must be 35 years of age or below, at the time of the application;
  2. The candidate must be a national of a member State of the Economic Commission for Africa;
  3. The candidate must have graduated before 1 October 2022 from either a master’s degree or doctorate degree programme, or equivalent;
  4. The candidate should have interest in one or more of the identified thematic areas;
  5. The selected candidate will work on a predefined project, designed to contribute to specific aspects of the work programme of the mentoring Division, Sub-Regional Office or ECA Centres, and contribute to other activities;
  6. The selected candidate should participate in national, regional or international meetings as assigned for exposure;
  7. The selected candidate should submit and present at a seminar a peer reviewed research paper at the end of the assignment; and
  8. The selected candidate will be part of an alumni association of ECA Fellows and member of practicing international development “community of practice”.
    Logistics
  9. The selected Fellows must be available to travel to the assigned duty station as may be decided by ECA after the selection process;
  10. The selected Fellows will receive a return air ticket between his/her country of residence and the assigned duty station;
  11. The selected Fellows will receive a one-off settling-in grant of USD 3,000 (for fellows recruited from outside of the duty station) and a monthly stipend of USD 3,000 each for the duration of the fellowship. Note that the final month stipend will only be paid upon submission of:
     A peer-reviewed fellowship research paper,
     A comprehensive fellowship report, an approved final performance evaluation of the fellow,
     A completed fellowship programme evaluation form and
     An exit boarding pass or immigration stamp showing that the fellow has departed the duty station and returned back to his/her home country, where both are not the same, at the end of the fellowship programme.
  12. The fellowship program is for six months but may be extended for a maximum of another six months.
    Application deadline: 26 January 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Addis Ababa time
    ALL SUBMISSIONS TO BE EMAILED TO:
    Email Address:
    RecruitmentPPost@un.org
    Subject Line:
    ECA Fellowship for Young African Professionals, 2023
NMG, Huawei partner to tackle lack of jobs

NMG, Huawei partner to tackle lack of jobs

The Nation Media Group (NMG) and Huawei yesterday launched a job fair that will see 10,000 Kenyans trained annually.

The fair also celebrated the digital training of 2,500 youth under the Huawei DigiTruck project over the past three years.

Bringing together the Federation of Kenya Employers and the National Employment Authority, among others, the fair initiated discussions on how employers can bridge the unemployment gap in the country as over five million youths remain jobless. Kenya’s unemployment rate stands at 5.7 per cent, higher than the 2.7 per cent East African average.

Acknowledging the significance of the initiative, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that while opportunities for employment are limited, many graduates do not have the skills required in the job market.

“This job fair is an important link between job seekers, job creators and potential employers or incubators of ideas,” said the DP.

He explained that young people need to take advantage of digital technology to benefit from more than 230 million jobs projected to be created in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of digitisation.

“These jobs will require ICT skills. An estimated $130 million investment opportunities lies in digital skills in Africa,” said Mr Gachagua.

NMG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephen Gitagama said the partnership aims to promote sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work.

“With an estimated 900,000 Kenyan youth entering the job market annually, the situation is not projected to improve, except with targeted efforts and initiatives from the government as well as private sector players.

“ This partnership has come to drive policy discussions on gainful employment across sectors, encourage companies, organisations and institutions to offer jobs/internships to alleviate unemployment, and to mentor, inspire and empower young talents,” he said.

Mr Gitagama added that NMG will continue to create awareness on job opportunities for the youth, as well as share information about career development and networking, and impart the skills required in the job market.

“The Nation Media Group commits to continue partnering with other like-minded institutions like Huawei, government ministries and departments and associations, with the aim of transforming the society it serves,” said Mr Gitagama.

Huawei Kenya Deputy Chief Executive Officer Steven Zhang said his company is committed to connecting Kenya, and that it will continue to contribute to the country by building digital infrastructure, digitising government and businesses, and providing jobs and internships.

“Huawei directly and indirectly employs over 102,000 people and we train several thousand each year. We are a global lead in ICT, and we commit to sharing our knowledge and building capacity amongst Kenyans … Huawei is also keen to support the President’s dream of creating a digital super highway,” said Mr Zhang.

Mr Geoffrey Kaituko, the Principal Secretary for Labour and Skills Development said that close to 1.4 million Kenyans enter the labour market every year. In 2021 alone, the total jobs created were 926,000.

“This shows that every year our economy is unable to generate adequate jobs for participants in the labour market. It is a challenge that the government has accepted and will rise to,” he said.

FULL SPEECH: Ruto’s Jamhuri Day remarks

FULL SPEECH: Ruto’s Jamhuri Day remarks

1. We come together on this 59th Jamhuri Day to celebrate our freedom.

2. It is the first national day celebration dedicated to a theme that is relevant to our national aspirations. Our futuristic theme today revolves around Technology and Innovation. The promise of innovation is to enable us connect, innovate and inspire.

3. As we enter the sixth decade of independence, we can proudly cite many achievements and impressive progress made through our own consistent efforts as evidence that our freedom struggle was neither an empty political adventure nor a reaction born of idle resentment.

4. We gather as a nation to commune with our forefathers, who were long suffering innocent victims of imperial plunder and colonial oppression, yet also heroic defenders of our inalienable sovereignty and valiant fighters for our freedom. On Jamhuri Day, we celebrate the moment when Kenya proclaimed itself a free democratic republic. It is also a time to reflect deeply on the founding aspirations of our nation.

5. It is time to re-dedicate ourselves to the fundamental commitment binding three generations of our people. First, we must interrogate, with honesty and courage, whether we have been true and worthy heirs of our forefathers proud heritage. Second, we must have a candid discussion whether we have behaved well towards one another, and the extent to which we have been mindful of justice, dignity and freedom in our time. Third, we have to evaluate our desire, ability and determination to be faithful trustees of future generations.

6. By all human indicators, we have made admirable progress. 82 per cent of our people know how to read and write. Any of them has fairly substantial levels of education, with skills and professional qualifications to make Kenya truly self-reliant in every sector. Life expectancy has risen significantly, and we have eradicated polio, and other diseases which, in the old times, decimated our people by their thousands. More children born in Kenya today live to see their fifth birthday than ever before, and the rate continues to increase at very encouraging figures. We have 32,594 primary schools, 10,482 secondary schools, 12 national polytechnics,259 technical and vocational education and training institutions and 87 universities. Our country is more secure, with adequate numbers of personnel in our disciplined services.

7. Traditional security threats are under control, with the government making huge strides to eliminate banditry, cattle rustling and urban crime. Our neighbourhood may be rough, but we live in peace and fraternity with all our neighbours, and play our role as a member of the regional and international community. The Kenya Defence Forces continue to demonstrate, through their professionalism, commitment to solidarity, and commitment to humanitarianism.

Ladies and gentlemen

8. Beyond our borders, Kenyan professionals have excelled consistently for decades, enabling organisations abroad achieve their objectives and actualising their career goals in the process. The data on remittances is an object of deep fascination, and not just because we are proud of the Kenyan Diaspora for remitting over Ksh400billion annually. Remittances are also a reliable indicator of the value of professional contribution and impact of the knowledge, skill and passion of Kenyans abroad. Our diaspora comprises our best envoys and demonstrate for everyone to see what we are capable of. By extension, they show to the world how and why a country of meagre natural resource endowments punches above its weight. My administration will work towards making our diaspora remittances reach a trillion shillings. The State Department of Diaspora Affairs has this target to achieve.

9. We are in a situation of unprecedented uncertainty, with many, complex and interconnected threats arrayed against our shared aspirations.

10. In the midst of this daunting urgency, complexity and threat, we remain ever mindful of our mandate as the stewards of the wellbeing of our present generation, and the trustees of our future. We have a duty to forge the way forward with courage, diligence, unity and imagination. As I stated in the beginning, the challenges that the founding leaders of our republic confronted on the first Jamhuri Day were as urgent, as daunting and as complex for their time, as the ones we now face.

11. Mindful of this solemn obligation to do right while laying the foundation of a flourishing nation for future generations, I have pursued several interventions since I took office, nearly three months ago, with the urgency, zeal and and focus that the moment demands.

12. On my first day in office, I appointed four Court of Appeal and two Environment and Land Court judges and, just last week, 20 judges of the High Court. We have also escalated the actualisation of the Judiciary Fund that will increase the allocation of resources to match the needs of enhancing access to justice throughout Kenya.

13. On my first day in office, I also executed the necessary instrument to actualise the financial independence of the National Police Service in the realisation that this is the substantive enabler of genuine institutional independence. The operational independence of the police is necessary for its efficiency, professionalism and accountability.

14. Since then, we have engaged to successfully re-orient policing operations from a heavy and illegitimate reliance on illegal and extra-judicial interventions, which frequently entail such intolerable violations as abduction, torture, disappearance and murder.

15. There is now consensus that a new policing paradigm is at hand, and it is possible to achieve a high level of security for our citizens and also observe their rights and freedoms to the greatest extent. I, therefore, commend the entire national police service, from the constable on the beat to the Inspector-General, for the enthusiasm with which they have embraced the changes and enhanced our general security through increased vigilance and improved relationships with citizens and their communities. Before the end of the year, I will be appointing a taskforce to review the terms of the police service.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

16. A dramatic revolution is quietly underway, which is transforming the ‘who’, as well as ‘how, of participating in enterprise for rapid socio-economic growth. The bottom-up framework proposes to include everyone, from the smallest possible business unit run by individuals of modest means, to our celebrated captains of industry.

17. I engaged three fintech institutions on the way forward in making mobile loans more affordable. As a result, there was a drastic reduction in the interest charged on the Fuliza service, signaling a new era of affordable credit for borrowers.

18. I also engaged lenders on the need to liberate more than 4 million borrowers from the prejudice arising from being blacklisted under the Credit Reference Bureau framework, which arbitrarily paralyses their business prospects. We have secured an agreement with the lenders to abandon this punitive approach, and to shift to a credit scoring system which incorporates incentives for both lender and borrower.

19. Perhaps more profound was the launch on November 30 of the Hustler Fund, an innovative revolving fund combining credit and savings, to support and empower many Kenyans access affordable credit. The fund is available on digital platforms and accessible to individuals on their own. As of this morning – the 13th day since the launch – the Fund had disbursed Ksh7.5 billion. At the same time, 15.4 million Kenyans had registered for the fund. Before the expiry of the 14-day repayment period, Ksh 1.1 billion has since been repaid and nearly Ksh400 million mobilised in savings . It is clear under this programme, that Kenyans have found a platform to save. Clearly, Kenyans know the value of borrowing and paying contrary to the rhetoric of sceptics. By all accounts, this is revolutionary.

Ladies and Gentlemen

20. The rains are finally here. Our farmers are now ready to give Kenya a bumper harvest, improve food supply and drive down the price of food, the single biggest driver of the cost of living. They will achieve these goals using affordable fertiliser and certified seeds. Jamhuri Day Speech 2022‘Connect, Innovate, Inspire’

21. The government, working with the private sector, has engaged suppliers to import300,000 metric tonnes (6 million bags) of fertilizer. A consignment of two million bags has already landed at the port of Mombasa, and the remaining 4 million will arrive in the first week of January in time for the long rains. Government will continue to subsidise the price of fertilizer and farmers will buy at Ksh3,500 a bag.

22. Our firm commitment to restore the former glory of our cotton producing regions is the reason behind the government’s interventions to revamp the textile and apparel industries, and revive cotton farming by providing high-yielding, disease and pest-resistant hybrid varieties to farmers. We are determined to bring back the forgotten smiles of cotton farmers. This will inject billions of shillings to arouse the sleeping giant of Kenya’s industrial and agricultural competitiveness.

23. The time has also come for us to liberate our agricultural production from dependence on rainfall patterns and vulnerability to drought and the effects of climate change. We must produce food throughout the year. We have identified100 dams in various parts of the country to double the land under irrigation from the current 670,000 acres, and progressively increase it to 3 million acres.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

24. Our interventions to uplift the well-being of all Kenyans by transforming production is underpinned by a sound and innovative policy framework, efficient infrastructure and climate-change mitigation mechanisms.

25. We continue our push to intensify national connectivity through road, rail and fibre-optic infrastructure to support production and innovation in every part of the country. We are finalising a framework for centralisation of resources to deal with all stalled infrastructure projects.

26. To combat effects of climate change, we have commenced our plan to grow 15billion trees on 11 million hectares in every part of Kenya by 2030. Our objective is to increase the national tree cover from the current 12 per cent to 30 per cent over that period. This programme will be implemented through the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with county governments and many other stakeholders, local and foreign. Working with the County government of Nairobi, we will recruit at least 11,000 young people to grow a minimum 1.5 million trees in the city’s open and public spaces as part of the big dream of greening the city of Nairobi.

27. I have also directed the Ministry of Interior to ensure that all Regional Commissioners, County Commissioners, Deputy County Commissioners, Assistant County Commissioners, Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs and Nyumba Kumi officials, mobilize the public drive for National Tree Planting Culture. The exercise will be coordinated at locational level and cascaded downwards. 

28. Every Chief shall dedicate at least one day per week for a public Baraza cum tree planting drive in which the public will be mobilised to plant and grow at least3,000 trees weekly, within their respective locations. This weekly deliverable will be a shared responsibility among the Chief, his/her assistant Chiefs and Nyumba Kumi officials. Each Assistant County Commissioner, Deputy County Commissioner, County Commissioner and Regional Commissioner shall file monthly returns on these targets to the Ministry of Interior

29. Free seedlings will be provided to the public through Chiefs, schools and other public institutions by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

30. The cost of housing is a heavy burden to the majority of Kenyans and is the major factor driving the proliferation of slums. We are committed to make housing more affordable, enable more Kenyans live in safe and dignified homes and create millions of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

31. Through our programme to increase the supply of affordable housing at the rate of 200,000 new units every year, we will lower the cost of living for urban dwellers, make the dream of home ownership possible for the majority of Kenyans with units available at monthly installments of between Ksh2,500 and Ksh10,000.

32. This programme will generate millions of jobs for all categories of workers and thousands of SMEs as suppliers.

33. We will be intentional about job creation in our economy. The Kenya Industrial Estates will provide intensive coaching and mentorship to 100,000 entrepreneurs and provide information and networking opportunities to 250,000 youth.

34. The Kenya Revenue Authority is now implementing our new tax administration policy, which has seen manufacturing firms earlier shut down over tax disputes, reopened, injecting much needed revenue to the economy and returning thousands of workers to their jobs. We urge all Kenyans to continue supporting our efforts by paying taxes.

Ladies and Gentlemen

35. We undertook to review the Competency-Based Curriculum following the concerns of many stakeholders, especially parents and teachers. As you know, we set up the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform to engage stakeholders, report and recommend measures to be taken.

36. In fulfilment of our undertaking to increase teacher to learner ratio in our primary and secondary schools, the government has embarked on the single largest recruitment of teachers in independent Kenya by providing resources to the Teachers Service Commission to recruit 30,000 teachers.

37. Our determination to live as one indivisible national family cannot be compromised. Our pursuit of inclusion is irrevocable. We must continue to resolve injustices of a historical character that have unfairly relegated people to the margins of statelessness when their inalienable rights of citizenship are guaranteed under the Constitution. The government of Kenya has commenced the process to confer citizenship to the Pemba people living in Kilifi County.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

38. We are proud of Kenya’s consistent record of leadership to advance the cause of peace, cohesion, security and stability in our region. Under various regional and continental frameworks, and with the support of international partners, we are deploying our position as a regional anchor State for the benefit of our neighbours and region.

39. My predecessor, President Uhuru Kenyatta, working under the aegis of the African Union is engaged in mediation efforts to restore peace and stability in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and, under the EAC initiative, to restore normalcy in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

40. Our interests are nested in a dense network of reciprocal diplomacy, which helps our agenda to attract investments, forge partnerships and create markets for our exports and employment of our youth locally and overseas.

41. In the past 3 months, we have aggressively sustained our pursuit of mutually beneficial endeavour with friends and partners all over the world. We have engaged productively with EAC member States, the governments of South Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Qatar, Germany and South Korea, to scale up bilateral ties and to explore avenues for collaboration in multilateral fora. We have forged agreements on mobilising investments and financing in a wide variety of sectors. We will continue to engage the international community as we implement our plan.

Ladies and Gentlemen

42. It is time to innovate our way into the future. It is for this reason that, on this Jamhuri Day, we as a nation are staking our claim by rallying Kenyans to begin the work of designing a world much richer, safer and freer than we have known.

43. Innovation is frequently associated with technology, and we must avoid the pitfalls of viewing technology and innovation as pre-occupations with things at the expense of people. The most consequential breakthroughs in technological innovations have greatly enhanced human well-being.

44. The platform which supports all the transactions on the Hustler Fund was developed locally, and has opened up access to affordable credit, liberated millions of hustlers from the vicious grip of shylocks and other predatory lenders, and enabled Kenyans of all walks of life to mobilise savings.

45. This revolutionary technology is a continuation of Kenya’s illustrious tradition in pioneering innovation in the financial technology sector.

46. Among the Innovation Week’s champions are the winners of the 2022 Hult Prize, EcoBana, from St Paul’s University, who employed the concept of green and circular economy to produce biodegradable sanitary pads from banana fibre. I have asked the Ministry of Education to work with these young innovators on the delivery of our pledge to provide sanitary pads for schools.

47. The Kenya Innovation Week attracted large global technology firms, whose senior leaders made their way to Kenya to witness first hand the magnitude of the innovative potential of the Silicon Savannah. We have agreed on partnerships to support local organisations in providing opportunities for young Kenyans to acquire training and skills on the various aspects of digital productivity.

48. We are also exploring ways of making the benefits of monetisation of online activity available to Kenyan content creators on more platforms. I have spoken directly to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, to monetise content for our digital entrepreneurs that will exponentially multiply incomes and create employment opportunities for others. I am impressed and encouraged by the power of monetisation and remote jobs. This is the way to the future.

49. If I was not a State officer, I wonder what the content on my small Facebook page, with 2.3 million followers, would earn me daily.

50. As we have all witnessed today from the performances that have given us thrilling entertainment, our creative sector is ready with thousands of highly talented and promising youth waiting to seize opportunities to stream high quality content for monetisation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

51. My administration recognizes sports and the arts as a mega industry that can employ millions of our youth and help grow our economy. This is why we have moved with speed to get our football back, to protect Kenya’s proud athletics pedigree from doping, and to streamline collection and distribution of royalties to our artists.

52. Through the revolutionary ‘TALANTA HELA’ Plan, we will rebuild and monetise our sports and creatives industry. As part of this plan, I have accepted to champion a grassroots football development program that will see national government work with county governments to invest heavily in youth football. Arrangements are at an advanced stage to launch a Bottom-up football tournament to be contested byunder-19 teams from all 47 Counties. We will work with our governors for each County to build a team right from the ward level.

53. This is the first step in our Football Vision 2030 where we target to see Harambee Stars play at the 2030 World Cup and Kenya host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations. Together, let us build Kenyan football Bottom-up, from the grassroots of our villages to the grand stage of the World Cup.

54. We are ready to take our place as the digital workforce of the world. Our commitments, under the Digital Superhighway component of our Plan, were intended for this specific purpose.

55. To underscore our intent, we are today unveiling several cohorts of graduates whose training was supported under arrangements between the government and the private sector. Safaricom re-trained a number of university and TVET graduates to meet the digital industry needs in software engineering and data science.

56. Also graduating today are the Presidential Digital Talent Programme, a class of talented youth selected by the Information and Communication Technology Authority for training through internship. Additionally, it is a big day for the beneficiaries of the Kenya Commercial Bank Tujiajiri Programme. Finally, the Google Hustler Academy, who underwent an intensive and interactive training programme, are ready to begin their journey in a world of work and opportunity that is now familiar territory.

57. I now request all these graduates, present today, to rise.

58. Fortune rewards the bold. I congratulate the young people who followed their curiosity and passion to explore new ideas and possibilities, and are now at the threshold of a new chapter in their lives and careers. I can say that through this disruptive graduation, you have now been granted the power to create, connect, innovate and inspire. I wish you success and God’s blessings. Congratulations and you can now take your seats.

59. We also congratulate 29 year old, Nelly Cheboi, the founder of Techlit Africa who this morning was declared the CNN hero of the year, for her work in creating  computer labs for Kenyan children to access the opportunities in the digital world. Congratulations Nelly for connecting and Inspiring thousands of Kenyan children.

60. As promised, everyone present in this stadium today will get a free scholarship on global entrepreneurship and innovation from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. It is now time to keep the promise. There is a QR Code near you. Scan and access the scholarship now. A 16 unit course that would have cost you Ksh 100,000, is now accessible to you for free, courtesy of the Innovation Jamhuri.

61. I also appreciate the firms and organisations which have stepped forward to support our vision to make Kenya the Hotbed of Innovation. We will continue to do our part and make such partnerships bigger in future, and you are always welcome to be part of Kenya’s journey to greatness. As part of this endeavour, Konza has started the distribution of 23,000 virtual desktops to TVETS to enable students exploit remote job opportunities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

62. We are committed to support young Kenyans in re-establishing this country as the republic of ideas and the home of innovation. Through a dedicated Start-up Fund, government will support the most innovative ideas each year to scale up into viable enterprises and commercial brands that will provide employment and drive economic growth.

63. The government will work with our academia to establish the Kenya Open University within the next one year. I urge our scholars and intellectuals to play their part in democratising education, and open the way for anyone and everyone to quench their thirst for knowledge, education and training.

64. In line with the new focus of our National Celebrations, Embu County will host the2023 Madaraka Day celebrations, under the theme of Universal Healthcare.

65. In conclusion, it is our time to make a contribution that will define Kenya for posterity as the envy of nations and a country that we, our children and their children will be proud to call home. We also have a task of preparing the nation for its future by equipping and empowering our youth to take charge as leaders in a brave new world through innovation.

66. Let us, therefore, rally and join our efforts in the timeless spirit of Harambee to exploit the opportunities at hand and hasten our progress into the future.

Thank you and God Bless You.

China a dependable partner for Africa to advance commerce under the AfCFTA

China a dependable partner for Africa to advance commerce under the AfCFTA

China is today the single biggest trading partner with African countries. Geographically, China might be smaller that Africa, Europe or North America. But in terms of population, it’s the most populous nation of 1.3billion people almost the same population as the African continent. So in a way China is by its own right a continent.

Now African countries want to trade more with each other on the continent, and questions have been asked; will this hurt or benefit big trading partners like China?

Chinese officials have publically said that, China is wholly supportive of the AfCFTA, seeing it as a ‘win-win’ solution and arguing that free trade and multilateralism are key foundations to the global system. In November 2020, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi assured African that his government will provide cash assistance and capacity-building training to AfCFTA secretariat.”

The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area of a single market for goods and services of almost 1.3 billion people across Africa that enables deepening economic integration of Africa. It was established in 2018 by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The trade area could have a combined gross domestic product of around $3.4 trillion, but achieving its full potential depends on significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures across African signatory nations.Th world bank report 2020, estimated that by 2035, real income gains from full implementation of the agreement could be 7 percent, or nearly $450bn.

The AfCFTA aims to reduce tariffs among members and covers policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade.

Rwanda was selected   among countries to kick start trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) framework in a pilot phase that also involves six other countries, namely; Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius and Tanzania.

Recently, RwandAir, put in place a preferential freight tariff for Rwanda exporters under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA, according to media reports. The promotional offer gives Rwanda exporters a low pay of $1.4 per Kilogramme is aimed to motivate the business community to leverage AfCFTA- one of the 13 flagship projects of Agenda 2063 in Africa. It should be noted that in August, 2022 RwandAir had increased airfreight fee on a kilogramme of fresh produce from $1.8 to $2.

So the future of AfCFTA can only be looked at in the mirror of other regional integrations ambitions that came before it. Its liberalized trade regime will, hopefully; gradually lead to an integrated continental market with tariffs phased out on 97% of tariff lines within 10-13 year. This means we expect a fully-fledged AfCTA, between the year 2031 and 2034.

Africa’s traditional trading destination.

Africa export and import patterns have in past been dictated by their former colonial masters, religious and other western historical links. China is a new entrant in this mix and has no historical baggage in Africa.

So let us face the facts; it is not likely that Europe, major colonial powers and Christianity exporters to Africa, nor North America, a successor to European Influence in Africa are going to applaud ACFTA.  It is like children’s seesaw, one can only go up when one goes down and vice versa. The higher Africa goes up the lower the west goes down. On the other hand China and Africa, at least for the moment, don’t have to be on the seesaw.

What will be the linkage between the intra-Africa CFTA and China?

The focus on intra-African links is expected to involve China in two main areas: trade and the building of infrastructure to facilitate trade.

Infrastructure

AfCFTA is not going to be implemented by White color business people. The men in suits and neck ties, and the women in high heels, flying in Boeing and Airbuses.  It will only be successful through young men in jeans, truck suits and women in Kitenges. These will require adequate roads and railway.  Infrastructure; which will be necessary for the implementation the reduction; and latter total removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

The former colonial masters did not build these roads and railways for the purpose of intra African trade. They built a few and they are not about to do so today. Particularly, the western so called “democratic models”, will not facilitate that. Neither Democrats nor Republican will win votes by promising to build Infrastructure in Africa, the same goes for Europe political parties. On the other hand, china is already dealing with Africa on infrastructure development under the Forum for Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

China is already the highest investor in African infrastructure, and so Beijing is un-doubted going to play a key role in projects to set up transport corridors that will support African, intra African trade, and industrialization. This is already happening through “The Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) framework. Africans are not naïve, they don’t see China as a God sent messiah, China has its own interests, what we shall be looking for is a Win –Win partnership.

Potential for trade partnership instead of tensions

The AfCFTA is designed to boost trade amongst African partners. Skeptics argue that, this could be the very reason that is likely to cause friction between Africa and China under AfCFTA , which is the continent’s single-largest trading partner.

Some commentators have accused China’s role as the world’s factory, producing cheap products as being the cause that has stunted the development of African manufacturing and supply chains.

With AfCFTA, Africa will take into account the rules of origin. So contrary to prophets of doom, African will not import cheap “Chinese clothes” and make shirts and pants to export to the neighbours. Countries with vast unutilized land like Zambia, DRC and Tanzania, will grow cotton, or even invite Chinese, and other experts to make clothes for export under AfCFTA.  Countries that traditionally practice animal husbandry, like Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Senegal etc. will invite china to process the hides and skins to produce, leather and leather products. This is what will qualify for rules of origin.

For the AfCFTA to succeed we don’t need bureaucracies. We don’t need American Congress, European parliament, or British House of Commons, to act. We need a partner with whom once we come out of the negotiation room, and the deal has been agreed upon the implementation starts immediately.

Author: Hanane Thamik is currently a Ph.D. scholar at the School of Information Management, Wuhan University, simultaneously a member of the Morocco-China Friendship Exchange Association, the author of China Today ,the former author of CGTN Africa, Africa-China Review, and the Canadian magazine ( Etats de splendeur ). She was chosen as Morocco’s youth representative for the Belt and Road initiative by the Moroccan embassy in China, the Arab youth participant in the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum 2020, and the Ambassador of Wuhan City to the world by Changjiang Weekly Magazine, and the Moroccan Youth Representative 2020 (FOCAC, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs). She also won the awards of the Belt and Road Tourism ambassador 2019, the Outstanding African Student in China 2018, the Cultural Achievement Award by UNESCO, the Wuhan University Outstanding International Students award 2019 and 2021, the Maotai scholarship “Excellent academic performance and outstanding overall performance 2019 and 2021,” the outstanding individual among international students fighting novel coronavirus pneumonia 2020, the only Moroccan winner of the essay contest named “experience China -our anti-epidemic story” 2020 (China Scholarship Council), the Chinese Government Outstanding International Student in China 2020 ( China Scholarship Council ),  the winner of the 5th “My Beautiful Encounter with China” essay contest for international students in China, and recently the first prize of the competition of the 37th Chu Cai Composition Competition. She was one of the successful 54 young people worldwide who has been selected to participate in a training program organized by the United Nations in Switzerland in 2019. She has also more than 20 publications among them the United Nations Geneva 2019 report, Peking University 5000-mile reports 2020 and 2021 which were handed to high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Beijing, and her most recent SCI paper, “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Sustainable Development in Electronic Markets,” which received attention from many experts across the world and was posted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on its official website.

Why Xi deserved another term to realize China modernization

Why Xi deserved another term to realize China modernization

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) ended on 22nd of october after a week of discussions on the way forward for China’s present and future aspirations.   It was not surprising that president Xi Jinping was re-elected general secretary of the 20th Central Committee of the CPC. Xi truly deserved it because of the remarkable progress and miraculous achievements realized by China since he became the president on March 14, 2013.

 Xi Jinping’s New Age of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics highlight four characteristics: The theory of character of inheritance and innovation, Centering on people’s value concept, rock-solid political concentration, the essence of realistic and practical, the concept of Community of human destiny. This philosophy that makes Xi Jinping thought, has been the magic bullet behind China’s political stability, unity, development and a foreign policy that envisages a shared future for mankind. The continuity of Xi Jinping as the general secretary of the CPC is of great significance in the consistency and smooth governance of the party, towards Chinese modernization.

In February 2021, Xi announced that China had scored a “complete victory” in its fight against poverty. Since the launch of the reform and opening up in the late 1970s, nearly 800 million impoverished rural residents were lifted out of poverty. China, the most populous country in the world with more than 1.4 billion people made history and became the envy of every developing nation, wondering how the Chinese leaders managed to do it in less than a generation. This was no mean achievement; it was miraculous.  By doing so, again, China contributed more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction.

During the fight against poverty, China took five measures, including boosting the economy to provide more job opportunities, relocating poor people from inhospitable areas, compensating for economic losses associated with reducing ecological damage, improving education in impoverished areas, and providing subsistence allowances for those unable to shake off poverty through their own efforts alone. These are lessons which many countries in the developing world can learn from China.

China’s success in poverty alleviation proved that the problem of poverty, in essence, is how the people should be treated, because the people-centered philosophy is the fundamental driving force behind this cause, which president Xi and the CPC put forward. As in a football team, the winning captain does not easily get changed for the sake of changing. The captain is retained to keep winning. This is the reason why the CPC delegates decided to re-elect Xi Jinping as the general secretary of the party to continue the development path towards national rejuvenation.

The Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) has been embraced by the international community as a public good and cooperation platform spreading connectivity, infrastructure development, investments, industrialization, trade, tourism, technological and capital fund transfer to spur economic growth, transformation and shared prosperity and common future for mankind. Xi has proven to be a leader with a global outlook rather than looking at the development and prosperity of China in isolation or with ambitions to out compete other countries.

Launched in 2013, BRI is a centerpiece of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy providing opportunities for shared development and investment initiatives across the world without discrimination. Xi has emerged as a defender of globalisation.

President Xi Jinping‘s leadership has witnessed a technological revolution that has created immense impact on the Chinese society.   China has made significant strides in Artificial Intelligence (AI), making outstanding contributions to AI globally. Scientific research and innovation, has been president Xi Jinping’s deliberate efforts in the journey towards China’s modernization.

 Xi instigated a campaign that cracked down on corruption disciplining over one million officials, reaffirmed China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, and also made environmental protection a priority. When I visited China in the summer of 2019, I could see the blue skies of Beijing almost seven days a week. I was told that this was not possible a few years before, as industrial pollution kept a constant smog on the horizon of China’s capital city.  Again as I travelled across many cities of China, I could see trees planted in many areas that were empty before, making the environment green and protected.

At the opening session of the 20th National Congress, Xi stressed further modernizing of national defense and the military, with enhanced   Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) capability in safeguarding the country’s security.

Xi said, achieving the goals for the centenary of the PLA in 2027 and more quickly elevating the people’s armed forces to world-class standards are strategic tasks for building a modern socialist country in all respects. China’s military capability is for national security as well as promoting global peace and security through peacekeeping engagements.

During the 20th National Congress, Xi stressed that China plays a crucial role in the reform and development of the global governance system. He said that China will pursue a vision of global governance featuring shared growth through collaboration. Under his leadership, China has promoted common values of democracy, peace, justice, fairness and freedom. China has consistently supported multilateralism and has been persistent in calling for a world order devoid of bullies and confrontation. China under Xi, advocates for peaceful co-existence and mutual respect. 

The governance of China and its development are hinged on people-centered philosophy. “Everything is for the people and everything depends on the people.” Xi Jinping was re-elected the party’s general secretary because of the confidence the Chinese people have in him because his action and achievements speak for themselves. They want him to continue leading the party to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Where there is a will there is a way.

Author: Hanane Thamik is currently a Ph.D. scholar at the School of Information Management, Wuhan University, simultaneously a member of the Morocco-China Friendship Exchange Association, the author of China Today ,the former author of CGTN Africa, Africa-China Review, and the Canadian magazine ( Etats de splendeur ). She was chosen as Morocco’s youth representative for the Belt and Road initiative by the Moroccan embassy in China, the Arab youth participant in the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum 2020, and the Ambassador of Wuhan City to the world by Changjiang Weekly Magazine, and the Moroccan Youth Representative 2020 (FOCAC, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs). She also won the awards of the Belt and Road Tourism ambassador 2019, the Outstanding African Student in China 2018, the Cultural Achievement Award by UNESCO, the Wuhan University Outstanding International Students award 2019 and 2021, the Maotai scholarship “Excellent academic performance and outstanding overall performance 2019 and 2021,” the outstanding individual among international students fighting novel coronavirus pneumonia 2020, the only Moroccan winner of the essay contest named “experience China -our anti-epidemic story” 2020 (China Scholarship Council), the Chinese Government Outstanding International Student in China 2020 ( China Scholarship Council ),  the winner of the 5th “My Beautiful Encounter with China” essay contest for international students in China, and recently the first prize of the competition of the 37th Chu Cai Composition Competition. She was one of the successful 54 young people worldwide who has been selected to participate in a training program organized by the United Nations in Switzerland in 2019. She has also more than 20 publications among them the United Nations Geneva 2019 report, Peking University 5000-mile reports 2020 and 2021 which were handed to high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Beijing, and her most recent SCI paper, “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Sustainable Development in Electronic Markets,” which received attention from many experts across the world and was posted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on its official website.

Path towards modernization: responsibilities of young leaders of the CPC and African political parties

Path towards modernization: responsibilities of young leaders of the CPC and African political parties

Your Excellency, LIU Jianchao, Minister of the IDCPC, other leaders of IDCPC present, leaders of African political parties, Chinese experts, young leaders of the CPC and African political parties, brothers and sisters, friends – it is a great pleasure to participate in the China-Africa Thematic Briefing on the Twentieth National Congress of the CPC and the Sixth China-Africa Young Leaders’ Forum under the theme of Path towards modernization: responsibilities of young leaders of the CPC and African political parties.

Kindly allow me first to associate myself with the congratulatory messages from the Secretary General of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Honourable Veronica Maina and the Party Leader and President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Dr William Ruto in congratulating the CPC for the complete success of the 20th National Congress and the re-election of General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Having read through the Report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC presented by General Secretary Xi, I would like to highlight six key points in seeking to identify paths to modernization which African political parties can adapt to and young leaders of the CPC and African political parties can be emboldened to carry forward.

Firstly, it is important to uphold the unified overall leadership of our respective parties. Over the past five years, the CPC has continued to strengthen the overall leadership of the Party and the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee. As the cornerstone of the ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee lends great wisdom and foresight in governance.

The second notable point is the high importance attached to implementing a people-centred philosophy of development.The CPC has worked continuously to ensure people’s access to childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing, and social assistance, thus bringing about an all-around improvement in people’s lives.

The philosophy of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), is that everyone in Kenya matters and through the Party, Kenyans of all walks of life have the opportunity to contribute to nation building and to better their lives and the lives of future generations. The vision of the Party is to realise an equitably empowered Kenyan society anchored on a bottom-up economic model that promotes equal opportunities, shared prosperity and improved economic welfare. A central plank of the UDA manifesto has been job creation, especially for the youth. Bottom up economics is about investing the limited capital available where it will create the most jobs – at the bottom of the pyramid.

Bottom Up Economic model is also in line with my third notable point, which is the Chinese modernization of common prosperity for all in order to meet the people’s aspirations for a better life. Achieving common prosperity is a defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics as the CPC embarks on the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country.

By improving the system of lifelong vocational training and improving the system for creating jobs by encouraging business start-ups, provides a sustainable path to modernization ensuring both long term inclusive economic growth and equity.

The fourth notable point is Advancing Whole-Process People’s Democracy. Complementing the Bottom Up Economic Model, Whole-Process People’s Democracy offers viable solutions in building a ‘Bottom Up Democratic Governance Model’. Through the UDA grassroots Party institutions of County Congresses, Constituency Congress, Ward Congress and Polling Centre Members Committee, we can expand democratic channels, and diversify the forms of democracy. This model is similar and in line with people’s congresses at all levels in China which are formed through democratic elections, responsible to the people, and subject to their oversight.

The fifth notable point is the great new project of party building. As a relatively new Party, the UDA is on course to consolidate its gains in the recent general elections by building strong Party structures and establishing complete country wide scope. In a similar vein to the CPC’s great project of party building, UDA can also endeavour to strengthen the ideals and convictions of its Party members, see that they are committed to the Party’s purpose, and resolve the fundamental question of the worldview, outlook on life, and values they should embrace.

Of critical importance is the need for training and selecting promising young Party officials and encouraging young officials to work and gain experience in local communities and areas where conditions can test their resolve and provide practical assignments as an important part of their training. In addition, Party building should also include strengthening the Party organizations, keeping a clear focus on the primary level, using Party building initiatives to propel rural revitalization and intensifying Party-building efforts in urban communities.

The last notable point is maintaining a global vision. In that regard it is important that we build synergy between the Chinese path to modernization and the African path to modernization as envisaged in the African Union Agenda 2063.  

The Seven Aspirations of AU Agenda 2063 include a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development as well as an integrated continent, political united, based on the idea of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s renaissance. Pan Africanism reflects a range of political views. At a basic level, ‘it is a belief that African peoples, both on the African continent and in the Diaspora, share not merely a common history but a common destiny’. In the course of re-imagining Pan-Africanism, the re-owned Pan Africanist Issa Shivji has argued that ‘we should reconstruct it as an ideology of the working people, as an ideology of social emancipation and, therefore, inextricably embedded in the struggle of the working people.’ It is time to champion a ‘Pan Africanism in the New Era’.

Through small-scale pilot programs it is time to establish agriculture value chains and agro industrial parks across the continent as special economic zones whilst harnessing the African free trade area and promoting further African Union economic integration. It is time to reconstruct the Pan African agenda by promoting an African Union – Caribbean Community trade agreement and a Pan African diaspora strategy for attracting high level talent back to the continent. It is time to demand a collective seat on the United Nations Security Council as well as renegotiating the rules of the World Trade Organization. It is time to reconstruct globalization through soft power diplomacy in the promotion of a shared peace and prosperity and in doing so reduce the disparity of wealth and income inequality.

In addition, China has put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and it stands ready to work with the international community to put these two initiatives into action in building a human community with a shared future as the way forward for all the world’s peoples. China is committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting and assisting other developing countries in accelerating development. Furthermore, through solidarity and cooperation we can promote greater democracy in international relations, and work to make global governance fairer and more equitable as well as safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core.

By striving in unity to pursue the above, the young leaders of today have a critical role to play. In a televised address to the nation on the 21st August 2021, UDA Party leader and now the 5th President of Republic of Kenya following the recent general election, H.E President William Ruto stated:

‘Today, I call on every young person in our country to step forward, stand up to be counted, summon their energy, talent and knowledge to imagine, fashion and create a new Kenya. I urge the young people of our country to refuse to be sidelined, to resist being marginalized but to assume their rightful place in the national discourse. Your place at the center of the national discourse is your right. Do not wait to be invited; it is your place. Your future, and that of our nation, is anchored on your readiness to assume your rightful position. Now henceforth, we must build an alliance of all Kenyans with our young people at the core so that we can tap into our creativity, talents, energy to fashion the new Kenya where success is not based on who you know but how hard you work, a Kenya where nobody is left behind’.

In the concluding remarks in delivering the Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi stated, and I quote;


Young people: You should steadfastly follow the Party and its guidance, aim high but stay grounded, and dare to think big and take action but make sure you can deliver. You should strive to be the new era’s great young generation, a generation with ideals, a sense of responsibility, grit, and dedication. As you endeavour to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects, your youth and vitality will bloom in full splendour”. End of quote

With these few remarks, I call on my fellow young leaders to be the torch bearers in lighting the path to modernization, harness the spirit of China Africa friendship and strive together in unity in building a China Africa community of shared future in the New Era.

As the year draws to an end, allow me to wish you all a peaceful, prosperous and a healthy New Year.

Long live Kenya China friendship!
Long live China Africa solidarity!
Long live the Communist Party of China!
Xie Xie dajia.


Edwin Mwenda
Foreign Affairs Advisor
United Democratic Alliance

BUILDING THE BLCU OF BOTSWANA

BUILDING THE BLCU OF BOTSWANA

Photo Credit: Screenshot of one of Nikita’s Chinese tutorials posted on her official Facebook page

The year 2020 is one that most people will remember for a number of reasons; from the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic to major anti-racism protests across the globe. But Nikita Rathane, from Botswana, will also remember 2020 as the year when she decided to put aside doubts and fears to formally embark on the journey of building the International Language Hub; an institution that she hopes will become the BLCU of Botswana.

BLCU stands for Beijing Language and Culture University. According to the university’s website, it is “China’s No.1 Chinese language learning university for foreigners.” But for Nikita, BLCU is much more than that.

Where it all started

She was still in high school when Nikita first became interested in Chinese culture. “Prior to learning Chinese, I had seen a lot of Chinese people coming to Botswana. And they were actually building my senior school. I would see them there doing some construction and I always wanted to speak to them, but I could not. So I got interested in their culture,” she recalls.

When she completed high school in 2014, Nikita decided to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in Chinese Studies at the University of Botswana. Her outstanding academic and cultural performances resulted in her admission to Beijing Language and Culture University four years later.

For Nikita, who is now in the final stage of her Master’s program, studying at BLCU has been a life-changing experience. “BLCU is a mini United Nations as we call it, mini lián hé guó. And I can tell you right now, no one can ever take the experience I have had there from me. I have seen how beautiful the world can be when people understand each other,” she says.

It is from her experience of the “mini United Nations” that the idea of starting the International Language Hub was born. “In Botswana, we don’t have a language university. Although I knew that for a long time, it didn’t bother me until I went to Beijing Language and Culture University,” she explains.

The early steps

Currently, Nikita and her small team offer a variety of services. These include online language classes and tutorials, translation and procurement services, as well as the Optimize Your Language Skills Program where they train people on how to leverage their language skills to earn money. “We are also looking at going beyond just teaching languages. We are teaching cultures. We are teaching people about how to run businesses using cross-cultural communication skills,” she emphasizes.

Photo Credit: Nikita’s official Facebook page

So far, the International Language Hub has gained traction among business people, students, and parents who want their kids to learn Chinese. “Most of the Batswana who are interested in learning Chinese are actually people who are in business dealing with Chinese people day-to-day. So they understand why they need Chinese,” Nikita explains. “There are students who are currently in China and they are doing the one-year preparatory course, where they just learn the language. We help them basically with tutorials. They are taught in their school and they come to us basically for some help because there are students who are actually going through some cultural shocks. Just living in China is not easy. So we come and help you deal with the cultural shock. It’s not only teaching the language but it is also consulting. That is a consultancy service that we have. We bridge the cultural barriers for them,” she adds.

A big vision

“Actually I envision the Hub as a University. A language University,” Nikita says when asked about where she sees the International Language Hub in 10 years. According to her, the Hub will become like BLCU; an institution that brings people together through language and culture. “In the future I am looking forward to having international students coming specifically to Botswana not to learn Setswana only, not to learn Chinese only, not to learn French only. I see them come to Botswana to experience the culture of Botswana and to experience other countries’ cultures while being in Botswana. I have realized that it’s actually possible to create a different world inside a specific country,” she says.

As she works to bring to life the institution that she envisions, Nikita is hopeful about what the future holds. “We already have the Botswana International University of Science and Technology. As the name suggests, it focuses on sciences and technologies like the one in Beijing. And we have the University of Botswana, which has been doing an exceptional job. There are many majors there, language included. But I think that in this country we need a language university and I would be very honored to be the pioneer of that.”

About the author:

Gaelle Ayamou is a journalist, a communications specialist, and a researcher. She writes about startups and Africa-China relations. She also enjoys creating visual content about communication, education, as well as women and youth empowerment in Africa. Her research has mainly focused on media representations of Africa, Africa-China media relations, as well as the use of AI in journalism and communication and its ethical implications.