The 3 days Africa–China Relations Symposium has ended at the Africa Young Voices (AYV) Conference Room in Freetown.

The Symposium started on 7th and ended on 9th September, 2022, attracting a total of 380 participants including invited participants, planning committee, Chinese Embassy, AYV, facilitators, group facilitators, rapporteurs, China/Africa experts from (SL, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, China).

At the opening session, keynote addresses were delivered by the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang and Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information & Communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray.

During sessions, ECOWAS Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis made statement, which was followed by online statement via Zoom from Mr. Charles Onunaiju, Director, Center for China Studies, Nigeria on the ‘History of Africa-China Cooperation’.

China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries.

The shared past experiences and similar aims and goals have brought China and Africa in general and created a partnership with mutual benefits for both parties and Sierra Leone has benefited significantly from the growing relationship with China.

The symposium was meant to highlight the long-standing cooperation between China and Sierra Leone under the China/Africa cooperation. The successes, challenges and recommendations were the basis for discussion during the symposium.
The symposium provides a forum for the discussion of key issues relating to China/Sierra Leone Cooperation and thoughts aimed at improving the existing cooperation and partnership.
Its key objectives included understanding the history of the China-Africa relations; how is China contributing to development of Africa; understanding the current relationship between China and Africa including fruits and challenges of cooperation (Sierra Leone as a case study); made practicable suggestions and new ideas to enhance a mutually beneficial relationship between China and Africa, especially Sierra Leone; challenges in the cooperation between China and Africa; and innovative and practicable ideas and suggestions to strengthen a mutually beneficial Sino-African relationship; promoting China-Africa Culture; case study: How to further improve Sierra Leone-China relationship.

The symposium also deliberate on these questions from theoretical and empirical approaches including political and economic aspects of Africa-China engagement; Chinese investments and industries in Africa; China’s role in infrastructure building; knowledge and innovation transfer in China and Africa; natural resource contentions and people; governance, development models and policy learning; people to people engagements; perceptions and attitudes towards Africans in China and Chinese in Africa; cultural exchanges between China and Africa; migration trends and experiences; human development and well-being; health and well-being (e.g. China’s role in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa); and educational partnerships: experiences of people involved.

Credit: AYV