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Director of Institute of African Policies of Kenya Made an Exchange in China-Africa Institute


On April 22, 2019, Professor Peter Kagwanja, Director and Chief Executive of Institute of African Policies of Kenya, made an exchange in China-Africa Institute and Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and made a keynote speech entitled “African Diplomacy and China-Africa Relations”.  Professor Peter Kagwanja was the first foreign scholar to be invited to make the speech in China-Africa Institute.
 
Professor Peter Kagwanja focused on the following points of view: From modern history until the cold war in the 20th century, Africa was at the bottom of international power for a long time and Africa’s development was suppressed; The experience of rapid economic development in East Asia, especially in China, is worth learning from; About China-Africa relations, the criticism and misunderstanding of China-Africa relations by the West and a few uninformed African media are misleading and not in line with the reality of China-Africa relations.  Since the foundation of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2000, China-Africa relations has witnessed positive development, bringing tangible benefits to the both sides.  China-Africa cooperation plays an important role in promoting the South-South cooperation.  There are 54 countries on the African continent, including more than 30 most undeveloped countries.  China’s investment in Africa has changed the investment pattern of great powers in Africa. China has become Africa's most important investment partner.  70 percent of China’s investment is focused on infrastructure construction which African countries urgently need to develop.  China’s Belt and Road Initiative is achieving synergy with Africa’s Agenda 2063.  In Kenya, the railway from Nairobi to Mombasa will eventually link Africa’s Indian and Atlantic coasts.  The Belt and Road Initiative is in line with President Kenyatta's four pillars of Kenya’s development: food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and welfare and health care.   At present, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway has played an important role in Kenya’s economic development, and real estate and other economic belts along the railway are taking shape.

After the keynote speech, Chinese scholars had an active interaction with Professor Kagwanja on the issues about China-Africa relations.  Professor Kagwanja especially suggested that some major newspapers and other media in Kenya often hold biased views and when studying the Kenyan issues or China-Kenya relations, Chinese scholars should carefully quote the views from these media in order to avoid being misled.  Regarding the misunderstanding of China-Africa relations by African media and academic circles, Professor Kagwanja believed that China and Africa should further enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges, especially academic exchanges.  The establishment of China-Africa Institute is conducive to promoting people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Africa.
 
This exchange activity was co-organized by China-Africa Institute and Innovation Project Group “Studies on Ethnic Issues and African Development” of IWAAS.  Li Xinfeng, Deputy Director of IWAAS, hosted the meeting.  More than fifty scholars and graduate students of IWAAS presented and participated in the interaction.


Copyright: Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, CASS

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