In recent years, the Africa continent’s engagement with China has progressively grown with different African countries engaging China in diverse spheres. To further build understanding on communication between Africa and China in maters culture, industrial collaboration, and economic development, the programme Look to the East is broadcasting on StarTimes Guide Channel.
The programme seeks to demystify the culture between Africa and China. In the series, a lady from Sierra Leone, Maria Kargbo, is known to the Chinese public for being a finalist in the CCTV Avenue of Stars 2007.
She was also the double winner of the Best Talent and Best Fashion awards at Miss World 2009. At the Miss World finals, she also brought the Chinese Sichuan Opera masterpiece, Bianlian (traditional facial mask change), to the world stage.
The programme also illustrates the industrial collaborations. Africa is an integral part of international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. 44 African countries and the African Union Commission have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China, accounting for about one-third of the total.
A significant number of projects such as railways and highways have been successfully implemented, bringing significant changes to Africa’s economic and social development. China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years and one of the major sources of investment in Africa.
Talking about the economic growth, from 2016 to 2019, more than 50 million poor people in Chinese rural areas shook off poverty. The per capita net income of the poor rose from 3,416 yuan ($510.9) in 2015 to 9,808 yuan ($1,466.8) in 2019, an average annual growth of 30.2 percent.
In the programme some practical samples of getting rid of poverty with the right guide of the ruling party are presented vividly such as the planting of coffee beans in Yunnan province.
It’s quite amazing that inside a tiny coffee bean lies a story of economic development. Previously the Rwandan Ambassador has helped to sell over one ton of coffee to China on a live show; surely there must be more opportunities for Africa to grab starting with the coffee trade.