Forging relations between China and Africa

AFRICAN journalists on a study tour in China pose in a group photo with their counterparts at the China Daily in Beijing. Sixth right (front row) is Theopista Nsanzugwanko of Habari Leo. ( Photo by a Correspondent)


BILATERAL relations between China and Africa have been improving day by day and the two sides have significantly featured in the Chinese media in a different and special way today than was in the past.

If one looks at the media in China, they will see more and more positive news about Africa, covering various sectors, and how China is focused on helping this continent.

Journalists in China and Africa have had an opportunity of sharing experiences, as the former uses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the “China Africa Press Center cultural programmes,” which has been implemented in three years from 2014 to cement good relations.

This year, journalists from 27 African countries are in China to participate in the programme for 10 months, which began in February 2017. This week reporters visited various Chinese media for the purpose of seeing their work performance, and information access.

They were invited to contribute to the media while staying in China. The goal is to get ample time and space and give the citizens of Africa facts about China and vice versa. China has a large number of media outlets including 3,240 Television stations, 643 Radio stations.

The country has more than 800 newspapers, with a larger number owned by the government of the ruling Communist Party. These are free to write any news in accordance with their strategies but must be the truth with adherence to the ethics of journalism.

In a recent tour of African writers, the journalists were able to visit China Investment Magazine, Global Times (Online Media) China International Publishing Group, China Daily, CCTV or CGTN and later China Radio International, all of them own websites, through which people may learn a lot more about China.

The visit, in addition to learning how production, distribution, and especially on China and African countries, the reporters were invited to contribute in the Chinese media.

In a newsletter issued every month on Africa by China Investment Magazine the media has invited journalists to share with China various aspects of life, even when they return home in Africa.

At the Global Times, the owners of the media network of, the Director, Shan Chengbiao says it was founded in as recent as 2007 and confirmed by the Media Council. contains reliance on land over 150 and broadcast news from both sides of the world by using Chinese language and English. He says only 1 to 2 percent of Africans who visit the site have plans to strengthen relations with various stakeholders including finding writers to improve relations.

The ‘Beijing Review’ which is published once a week in English was established in 1958. It distributes more than 70,000 copies and has two more branches of the headquarters one of which is in the United States and another in South Africa.

Assistant Editor of the journal Beijing Review, China, Africa, Yanshuo says the Government does not interfere with provision of information as long as what is provided is reliable and without bias.

He welcomed the writers there was no reason for fear in writing because the paper is owned by the Government. Apart from the use of Chinese language, the media have been publishing in different languages including English and French.

The strategy is to go beyond to add multiple languages to reach most Africans. He explained that the purpose of the magazine is to ensure they provide information about China and make Africa better understand what is going on in the country, openly describe the different areas.

Information is transmitted in South Africa, Malawi, Kenya and elsewhere. He invited journalists to share their writing in the magazine to increase the scope of obtaining information.

At the office of the country’s most popular newspaper, ‘China Daily,’ Deputy Director of the Department of international news, Su Chiang says to ensure more cooperation with African countries, they have their branch in Nairobi and also expect to open branches in other countries.

He says they have a paper known as “Teens Magazine” for students to learn English, which started in 1993 and to date they publish more than two million copies.

The team wants to write the story about Africa by using their current branch in Kenya, and to access information from other countries like Nigeria, South Africa, and others in order to ensure they are using social networks to provide information for Africa and China.

The journalists also visited Chinese Television Station Global Television Network (CGTN) which was launched in 2016 and the International Cen tre for the country’s National Television Broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

Director of Department of English language CGTN, Li Bin said the station has access to information from more than 70 countries, and a 24-hour news in English and other languages.

The station also broadcasts in Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese. They also have a branch in the city of Nairobi in Kenya but with the journalists providing news from South Africa, Sudan, Egypt.

There are efforts to expand to other countries in order to have mixed news. He invited the journalists in Africa to provide information in Arabic and French languages saying they need information on the communities of those countries.

He also explained that the television has partnerships with various TV stations broadcasting African news including news agency in Kenya (KBC) but they have no problems in collaborating with the private media for Kenya also conspires with the CTN, which is a tool for personal information.

He made it clear that in collaboration with the media in Africa, they have tried as much as possible to overcome technological challenges to ensure they get news in time and of good quality.

China Radio International (CRI) which is one of the biggest institutions of journalism in China was established on December 3, 1941. This too, is owned by the Chinese Government.

Reporters visited various departments. CRI has been using this station to broadcast networks for a language of Swahili, French, English, Arabic, Portuguese and Hausa.

They have been involving journalists in Africa to write different storied and was on the process of opening a branch in East Africa in order to promote Kiswahili Language.

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