Understanding Africa: Chinese Receive “My Africa Stories” Competition Prizes
Contributions submitted cover topics on China-Africa cooperation including healthcare, industrialisation and agricultural modernisation.
Some Chinese people living in Africa have received symbolic cheques and gifts like flight tickets to travel to an African country and hotel accommodation. Recipients were ordinary Chinese and volunteers from the Confucius Institute such as soldiers, educationists, manual workers selected from over one thousand competitors in “My Africa Stories” Online Competition.
During a colourful award ceremony in Beijing recently, attended by African diplomatic missions in China and Chinese leaders among others, participants listened to some audio and video works about Africa that were submitted by the winners. “When I first arrived… Ethiopia a few years ago, I thought my arrival would definitely bring about tremendous changes to the local community.
However, after having lived here for some time, I found myself being the subject of change. The conscientious colleagues, hard-working workers and innocent children of Ethiopia so generously offered me help and kindness.
Their love for life, trust in others, and their understanding of happiness had profound impacts on me,” excerpts from “Chinese Sunshine of Hansun in Ethiopian Primeval Coffee Forest.
Through multiple forms including words, pictures and videos, the works showcase the touching stories about friendly exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese people and the African people. Each embodies the passion for China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and demonstrates the commitment to building a community with a shared future between the Chinese and African people.
Some tell stories of the villagers of South Sudan leaving precious drinking water to Chinese peacekeepers, Chinese and African medical works dedicating themselves to the health of the Africa people, China and Africa jointly developing high-yield quality rice through agricultural technology cooperation, and Chinese teachers and African students forging close bonds through the Confucius Institute.
The competition sprung from the desire to broaden understanding of Africa to many Chinese children who read about Africa from text books and had many questions about Africa.
They asked questions like “Why is the Sahara Desert so large?” “Why is the climate so different from ours?” “In future we will organise other competitions to broaden understanding of Africa to our children and also Africa to tell their own story of China because our cooperation is going deeper,” a member of the jury said.
Statistics from online sources showed that the works attracted 900,000 hits on the internet and nearly 250,000 people voted on them.