1st Africa-China-World Bank Education Partnership Forum: Higher Education, Science and Technology Held

  • Written by Tan Yudong, Photo by Yang Tianpeng
  • Published: 2017-07-11
  • 2286

On the morning of July 10, the first Africa-China-World Bank Education Partnership Forum, jointly organized by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the World Bank and the Shanghai Jiaotong University, was held at the International Conference Center of Yanqi Lake Campus of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, in order to deepen the cooperation and exchanges between the Chinese Academy of Sciences, African universities and scientific research institutions, cooperate to cultivate scientific and technological talents and promote scientific capacity building in African countries. The theme of this forum is: development and innovation of higher education, cultivation of talents and the transformation of scientific and technological achievements and cooperation between China and Africa. Bai Chunli, President of both Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences, attended this forum and delivered speeches.

More than 160 people attended the forum, including around 87 African representatives. These attendees include leaders from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs(SAFEA), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant ministries, specialist of the World Bank; nearly 100 university presidents, leaders of scientific research institutions, entrepreneurs from African countries; and university presidents from China, leaders of research institutions, scholars and professors, entrepreneurs and African students in China.

In the speech, President Bai mentioned, in the recent years, African countries have significant achievement and improvement in science, education as well as innovation ability. As China’s largest scientific research institution, scientific research, higher education and strategic advice and consultation are the three major functions of Chinese Academic of Sciences. CAS plays a very important role in China’s scientific research, innovation and higher education, attaches great importance to the partnership with Africa. In response to the national strategy of “The Belt & Road”, CAS implemented the action plan of “The Belt & Road” Initiative in 2016: CAS set up 9 overseas research and education centers ; carried out the CAS “international-outreach program” including the Chinese Academy of Sciences – the Third World Academy of Sciences president fellowship, supported more than 800 doctoral students to study in China; at the same time established 5 CAS-TWAS Centers of Excellence ,created ICTP-AP together with UNISCO and carried out South-South cooperation and North-South cooperation.

Bai Chunli pointed out that the Chinese Academy of Sciences will continue to promote cooperation and exchanges in science and technology between China and Africa, hoping to strengthen cooperation with partners including the World Bank, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, and the Third World Academy of Sciences for common commitment to support developing countries and Africa.

Deputy Director General Wang Song from State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs said that this seminar provides a good chance for the science and education workers of China and Africa to communicate with each other. The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs has always attached significance to China-Africa exchanges and cooperation in education, science, culture and health, supported both Chinese and African universities and research institutes to do exploration and research, introduced African experts for policy consulting and cooperative research, and built China-Africa cooperation and exchange platform in Chinese universities to carry out scientific research innovation and personnel training.

Liang Xiaoyan, education specialist from World Bank mentioned in her speech that the African continent is experiencing rapid growth while facing challenges. The World Bank has launched plans like the Africa Center for Excellence and others in higher education and technological upgrading fields. The World Bank are willing to help build platform for the collaboration development of the science and technology in Africa. She believes that China's development experience can be a very valuable reference for African countries.

Senior advisor of Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Senegal and Executive Director of PASET (Partnership for Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology) said on the ceremony: Africa has rich natural resources but its economy development are making small progress, Africa countries need to learn from the successful experience from the BRICs, She also pointed out that to promote the scientific culture in African population, improve quality higher education, inspire technology innovation and commercialize scientific research are the urgent tasks for African countries.

Cao Jinghua, director of the International Cooperation Bureau of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, made a special report "Open Chinese Academy of Sciences" on the opening ceremony to the conference guests. Vice President Wu Yue Liang, Su Gang, also shared experiences with the guests on the practice of innovation and experiences of management and steering of higher education.

Directors of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture also attended the opening ceremony.

On the opening ceremony, Vice President Wu Yueliang signed Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Sciences together with the Association of African Universities, the Inter University Council for East Africa and Partnership for Applied science in Engineering and Technology.

In the afternoon, the delegates visited the Museum of Development of Nuclear Power and Man-made Satellite Lab, the graduate education exhibition of UCAS and Yanqi Lake campus.

In the next two days, the discussion will focus on four themes in four sub-venues:
1. Agriculture, renewable energy, information and communication technology, medical, railway and other cutting-edge science and technology
2. Innovation and technology transfer;
3. University governance and education management;
4. Discussion on the cooperation model between government, education and training institutions and enterprises

During the meeting, delegates will also visit the Lenovo Group, Sugon Information Industry Co. Ltd. and Tidelion, an eco-friendly agricultural enterprise.

The next three days of the forum will be hosted by Shanghai Jiaotong University in Shanghai.

After 30 years of reform and opening up, China has promoted the development of science and technology through the reform of higher education, which has greatly stimulated the development of education, society and economy. China's scientific research institutions, universities and enterprises in the agricultural, renewable energy, health care, life sciences, information technology and other cutting-edge technology has made significant worldwide progress. Africa is rich in natural and human resources and on the rise of industrialization, human resources construction is the key for the comprehensive development of Africa. At present, China-Africa relations have risen to comprehensive strategic partnership. The success of the forum will deepen the understanding between China and African countries in terms of higher education management and scientific research, and will promote exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and provided new opportunities for common development and common prosperity.