Chinese and African scientific communities will train young science and engineering talents in agricultural technologies, veterinary medicine, wastewater treatment, environmental protection and food security, according to academics and professionals from both sides.
The remarks were made on Friday at the opening of the Chinese Center of the African Academy of Sciences in Beijing, where nine new Chinese fellows from the institution were welcomed. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the African Academy of Sciences was founded in 1985 and is the continent’s highest academic institution.
African Academy of Sciences President Felix Dakora said at the opening ceremony of the center, organized by the academy and the Beijing Global Talent Exchange Association, that China and Africa share a long and rich history of cooperation in many fields. international policy to scientific development.
The scientific communities of both regions have created innovations that have catapulted the development of their towns, he said.
“It is great to have Chinese colleagues as interns at the academy,” said Dakora. “We greatly value your contribution.”
The establishment of a Chinese branch of the academy will promote cooperation and enable the African scientific community to carry out its visions and missions more effectively with its Chinese counterparts, he said.
Many African students come to China for postgraduate studies and training, Dakora added. He encouraged young Africans to take advantage of scholarships and opportunities to study in China, thereby strengthening the foundations of China-Africa relations.
Jia Yinsuo, president of the academy’s China branch, said the academy signed five cooperation agreements on Friday with Chinese companies, universities and research institutions, covering everything from wastewater management to food security.
Li Fengting, a professor of environmental sciences at Tongji University, said that many African students who come to study in China end up becoming politicians and researchers in their countries.
“Talent training is a very significant and important commitment to China-Africa cooperation,” he said.
Kang Le, a renowned entomologist and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said his team often works with African colleagues to collect and study insects in Africa, which could lead to discoveries to control pests and protect food security for both regions.
Yang Huanming, president of biotech BGI Group, said scientific evidence suggests Africa is the origin of the human race, and the continent holds a treasure trove of genetic information critical to anthropology and human genome research.
However, one of the main obstacles to China-Africa scientific cooperation is the uneven development of African nations, he said. In some relatively developed African countries, scientific cooperation is easier, but not so much for the least developed countries.
Therefore, Yang said it is important that future research collaborations and professional training programs are conducted locally in Africa, rather than taking projects and staff outside the continent. This would ensure that the research would be best suited to the local environment and support local people.
Jin Shuanggen, a professor of information technology at Henan University of Technology, said China has many information technology assets, such as the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, that can contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development.
One of the limiting factors to Africa’s economic growth is a lack of infrastructure, but China’s remote sensing and satellite technologies can provide accurate and up-to-date data for navigation, urban planning, precision agriculture, weather forecasting, pollution monitoring and disaster mitigation. , he said.
“Information technology and digital infrastructure are areas where China and Africa can have great potential for cooperation,” he said.