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Guangdong - win-win partnership for Sino-Africa cooperation
Update: 2018-09-03     Source: newsgd.com

Forming part of Guangzhou’s new central axis, Tianhe district is unquestionable the city’s new ‘downtown’. As a collection of the state-of-the-art CBD, modern integrated shopping malls and famous landmarks, the district is one of the most popular places for young people and expats to hang out in Guangzhou.

“I’m Wale, Nice to meet you all”, he greeted the journalists with a smile. “Here is my calling card, and I know it’s a Chinese tradition to hand calling card with both hands to show respect.” He said handing us his cards carefully with both hands.

Wale Oloko, the Consul-General of Nigeria in Guangzhou (Photo: Steven Yuen)

Wale Oloko, the Consul-General of Nigeria in Guangzhou (Photo: Steven Yuen)

Wale Oloko, the Consul-General of Nigeria in Guangzhou, is well versed in Chinese culture after living in Guangzhou for just one year.

Sino-Africa cooperation in 2 ways

Since the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative, the cooperative activity between Africa and Guangdong has significantly increased, injectting new vitality into Sino-Africa cooperation.

According to Mr. Oloko, the Sino-Africa relationship can be described in two ways, the software and the hardware.

Mr. Oloko thinks the Sino-Africa relationship can be described in two ways. (Photo: Steven Yuen)

Mr. Oloko thinks the Sino-Africa relationship can be described in two ways. (Photo: Steven Yuen)

“Africa has a lot of resources while China has the technology to find those resources, so it complements each other in terms of hardware," Mr. Oloko said, “For example, We have oil and natural gas in Nigeria and many other countries in Africa, and China has the technology to help them to find the resources. That’s why since the opening-up in China, more African companies and consulates can be seen in Guangzhou than anywhere else.”

"The software is people to people exchanges, cultural development and tourism. I’d like to recommend Chinese visiting Africa to see the wildlife, and to get to know about Africa. A lot of Africans also now come to China for business, tourism and for education. Many African students in China major in engineering, information technology, Chinese language and literature and chemistry. This a reflection of the success of both the opening-up and the friendly Sino-Africa cooperation."

“I expect Nigerians to come here, to understand the culture of Chinese people, understand their laws, their expectations, and to interact with people here. Understanding the Chinese language will also help them to do business and hold activities in China.”

Guangdong to be the flag bearer for Sino-Africa cooperation

With more Africans and African consulates in Guangzhou than any other place, in China, Guangdong embraces a great number of businessmen, students and tourists from Africa.

Mr. Oloko believes that Guangdong Province is one of the most important regions for China-Africa relationship to develop.

Tianxiu Builiding, landmark for African in Guangzhou.

Tianxiu Builiding, landmark for African in Guangzhou.

“With the Belt & Road Initiatives, there are more Guangdong-based companies in Africa. You can see many made-in-Guangdong products on the streets of Nigeria like Huawei, ZTE, Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor and more,” Mr. Oloko picked up the cellphone on the desk and showed it to us, “I myself use a Huawei Phone.”

The same is true of China, an increasing number of Africans have been seen in Guangdong to buy furniture, ceramics, tiles, home products and the building materials from Foshan, Shunde, Dongguan.

“Africans like the Made-in-Guangdong products so much because they can find more Africans here than in any other places, and you have more people who can speak English and know how to do business transactions. Also, there are a lot of direct flights from Africa to Guangzhou, so it’s convenient for them to come here.”

A new round of Sino-Africa cooperation advanced by the Belt & Road Initiative has given birth to some emerging fields of cooperation in terms of infrastructure, medicine, technology and E-commerce.

“People go online to buy things. So before they come to China, you already know what they want, and you can simply order them. That’s E-commerce, and it is what they want.” The Africa Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Nigeria Registered Company Owners has now been set up in Guangdong, further demonstrating that Guangdong is of great importance in China-Africa cooperation.

Guangzhou-A city full of surprises

Over the past year in Guangzhou, Mr. Oloko has already travelled widely around the city and got immersed in local culture new and old through watching Chinese films and Cantonese Opera.

“Last December, Guangzhou hosted the Fortune Global Forum. A lot of people came from different parts of the world. We were surprised to see such a beautiful place with such a large population. It is a big city accommodating more than 10 million people.”

The 2017 Fortune Global Forum was held in Guangzhou.

“Guangzhou is a big city with a good layout,” Mr. Oloko recalled this was his first impression when he arrived in Guangzhou.

The heart of the cooperation is to facilitate development in Africa. That is why Guangdong has to play a role and to talk with various African consulates, so as to lead the improvements across the African continent. A lot of investors from Guangdong are workinng hard to help Africa. Chinese companies have helped Africa in terms of agriculture, technology and medical care, whilst also boosting their own trade revenue: true win-win cooperation.

“Guangzhou is a marvelous, fantastic and dynamic city with a massive airport, beautiful environment and friendly people. It is really surprising that Guangzhou has so much.”

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