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China-Africa Educational Cooperation Fruitful
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Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is on an eight-country African tour, has said that cooperation between China and Cameroon and Liberia in education has been fruitful during his meetings with the leaders of the two African countries.


The two are not the only African countries that have seen fruitful cooperation with China in education.


In 50 years, China has forged cooperative relations in education with 50 African countries. This cooperation has expanded from an initial simple exchange of students to the current multi-level educational cooperation, covering various fields and taking many different forms, according to Li Baoping, secretary-general of China's African History Academy.


Li said in an academic article that from 1956 to 2006, 18,000 African youths got the Chinese government's sponsorship to study in China.


From 1956 to the end of 2003, China sent 523 teachers to 35 African countries, who gave courses in more than 10 subjects and specialized fields, which included science, engineering, agriculture, arts and physical training, in order to help African countries develop the weaker disciplines, train technological talents, and develop middle school and university education.


From 1995 to 2003, China administered 43 sessions of the "Advanced Education and Scientific Research Program" in 21 African countries, and under the program, 21 comparatively advanced laboratories in biology, micro-biology, computer science, physics, analytical chemistry, food refreshment and processing were set up in universities in those countries.


China's Zhejiang Agricultural University, which has been merged into Zhejiang University, has sent 12 teachers to work in Cameroon. After eight years of hard work, an advanced microbiology laboratory was set up in the No. 1 University of Yaounde, in which China invested 2 million yuan (about US$286,000).


Besides, microbiology courses have been offered, and a good many graduate students are being enrolled and trained. Up to now, a total of 39 candidates have completed their Masters dissertations or doctoral theses, and have started working in relevant fields.


Holding specialized seminars and training programs have also been an important part of the China-Africa educational cooperation. By the end of 2003, 18 specialized seminars were held in 14 colleges, universities and scientific research institutions, entrusted by the Chinese Ministry of Education.


The educational cooperation between China and African countries were brought to a new high at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held last November.


"China will train 15,000 African professionals, send 100 senior agricultural experts to Africa, and set up 10 special agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa over the next three years," Hu said at the summit.


He also said that China will dispatch 300 youth volunteers to Africa, build 100 rural schools there, and increase the number of Chinese government scholarships to African students from the current 2,000 per year to 4,000 per year by 2009.


China will honor the pledges it made at the Sino-African Forum, the Ministry of Commerce said a day before President Hu set off on the African tour to Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and the Seychelles.


(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2007)

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