Hunan creating goodwill by sharing its resources with Africa
Released on:2019-06-29 Views:
Central China province strengthens bonds by providing agricultural, educational and medical expertise to less-developed nations
As the host province of the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and as a rising economic power in Central China, Hunan is lending its intelligence to aid Africa's development.
As Hunan has gathered strength in sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, medical care and education, it is willing to share its experience with countries in Africa.
One of the leading Chinese agricultural scientists in Hunan, Yuan Longping, who is known as the "father of hybrid rice", said his wish is to benefit the entire world with better and more varieties of hybrid rice.
Africa is one of the regions to benefit from the research achievements of Hunan's agricultural scientists, including Yuan.
In Madagascar, the paddy rice field is a part of its national emblem. It shows the people's fondness for the crop, which has been in the country for nearly 2,000 years.
It is a custom in Madagascar that rice ear is the best present to give a guest visiting a household.
Researchers from the Hunan Academy of Agricultural Sciences presented their best gift to the country by sharing their research results in hybrid rice.
During the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006, the Chinese government promised to develop 10 agricultural demonstration centers in Africa.
Based on its international strength in the research and development of hybrid rice, the Hunan Academy of Agricultural Sciences was assigned to build a hybrid rice demonstration center in Madagascar.
The project was launched in 2007, the first of the 10 centers pledged by China.
Despite its long history in rice farming, Madagascar had suffered from insufficient grain supply for many years. This was because of limited output of regular rice varieties.
The Hunan academy cooperated with a rice seedling company - Yuan's Seeds - in the province to cultivate high-quality and high-output hybrid rice seeds for the country.
Zhang Lijun, general manager of the Madagascar branch of Yuan's, has been engaged in developing rice seeds for the country for more than 10 years.
Zhang said Yuan's established its branch in Madagascar in 2010. It founded a hybrid rice research center there in 2012.
Seed cultivation has been conducted in both China and Madagascar. Currently, the output of seed growing in the African country can reach about 400 metric tons a year. China exports another 390 tons to Madagascar annually.
As a result, 35,000 hectares of hybrid rice have been added to the country over the past decade, which means an increase of 104,900 tons of grains in total.
Boasting several nationally renowned hospitals and medical research and education institutions, Hunan is using its expertise in the medical sector to safeguard the health of African people.
Hunan's initiative to aid is also made possible thanks to a group of devoted medical practitioners. They are experienced, distinguished in their fields and true to their values. Departing from their loved ones in their home province, they went to Africa to serve the needy as doctors.
Sierra Leone is a West African country that attracts millions of tourists every year because of its picturesque landscapes. However, it is also on the United Nations' list of least-developed countries, especially in medical care.
China has offered medical assistance to the country since 1972. According to an agreement signed between the governments of China and Sierra Leone that year, Hunan was assigned to take charge of medical assistance in the country. The province sent its first medical task force to Sierra Leone in 1973.
In the 1970s, diseases like malaria were rampant in Sierra Leone because of poor sanitary conditions. The situation was worsened by a lack of medical professionals, medicines and equipment.
In only 20 days, the Chinese team built their first hospital in the country, bringing hopes to the locals with their devotion, professionalism, as well as China-made medicines and equipment.
In 1985, Hunan dispatched a medical team to Zimbabwe. The number of long-term medical team members in the two countries reached 438 and temporary mission members amounted to 157.
In total, they have served more than 800,000 patients in the countries and conducted more than 200,000 operations.
The China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital in the nation's capital city of Freetown is the outcome of the two countries' medical cooperation. The hospital was built and operated with the help of Hunan's medical institutions and professionals.
Li Jindong, a doctor from the renowned Xiangya Hospital in Changsha, capital city of Hunan, is the leader of the 20th medical assistance team from China.
He and his team members have been in the hospital for a year, according to a report on Changsha Evening News. They have served more than 34,000 local patients and conducted about 350 operations.
Li said his team launched a two-month-long training program for the nurses in the hospital in March. The hospital has only five local doctors, including the hospital president, and 86 nurses.
"Most of the medical services are provided by the nurses because of the lack of doctors," Li said. He added the training program can make the nurses more professional and versatile to serve patients.
In 2018, Hunan's Xiangya Hospital was commissioned by the National Health Commission of China to upgrade the hospital. It aims to make it a demonstrative hospital in West Africa.
Hunan is now dispatching the 21st medical assistance team to Sierra Leone and the 17th team to Zimbabwe.
Hunan is also sharing its development experience with Africa through education and training programs.
Hunan-based China South Publishing and Media Group kicked off an education assistance program in South Sudan in January 2017. This was China's first educational assistance program in foreign countries.
South Sudan is a young country founded in 2011. After years of wars, the country saw education as an important part of its reconstruction.
However, the limited government expenditure was a bottleneck to the sector. The country's authorities expected help from the international community.
The China South Publishing and Media Group sees the program an important corporate social responsibility initiative.
The program covers areas such as education planning, teacher training, publication of textbooks and education-related information and communications technologies.
According to Gong Shuguang, chairman of China South Publishing and Media Group, the lack of textbooks is a pressing challenge in the newly founded country.
To solve the problem, the company established a textbook compiling team in cooperation with experts and educational officials in South Sudan.
In September 2018, about 1.3 million textbooks published by the company, ranging from mathematics and English to science, were distributed in local schools ahead of the new semester.
The training of teachers, managers and technological support personnel is an important part of the company's South Sudan program. To date the company has trained more than 200 people.
The government and people of South Sudan highly praised the program. The South Sudanese ambassador to China, John Andruga Duku, said the company's program is a "tailored initiative" for South Sudan.
"China's Hunan is now a familiar name in our country because of the program. We are grateful to the Hunan people," the ambassador said.
From Left: Du Jiahao, Party secretary of Hunan province, delivers a speech at the ongoing ChinaAfrica Economic and Trade Expo. Artists from Uganda perform at the expo. Members of Hunan’s 18th medical assistance mission to Sierra Leone pose for a photo with local residents. Photos provided to China Daily
Residents in a village in Uganda now have access to clean water, thanks to a water supply project built by a company from Hunan. Provided to China Dail
From left: A stadium built in Senegal by a construction company from Hunan. Agricultural researchers from Hunan on a fieldstudy trip at a rice farm in Madagascar. Photos provided to China Daily