China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) has today hosted a luncheon in honour of foreign African journalists camped in Beijing.
CPDA Vice Chairman Lu Fengding, who led his delegation to the Casa Brasil restaurant in Beijing this afternoon, told the foreign scribes that his association was in a mission to help cement the existing relationship between China and the African continent.
Mr. Lu, who is a former Chinese diplomat, said African journalists have been strategically chosen to undertake an international training in China in line with the country’s focus on African countries.
Ten (10) journalists drawn from 10 African countries are scheduled to undergo a one year training course in international cultural research, entrepreneurship and international diplomacy.
The African journalists are drawn from Rwanda, Kenya, Sudan, Egypt, Cameroun, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Mr. Lu said although his organisation has in the past held short courses for journalists, this is the first time to host a longer training programme for international news writers as CPDA is a new non -governmental organisation established in 2012.
He said with the successful hosting of this international training, CPDA will next year continue with a similar programme specifically for African journalists.
The CPDA Vice Chairman was China’s ambassador to Gambia, Australia, Micronesia, Nigeria and Sweden where he retired on the same position in 2008.
CPDA is working with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the quest to promote cultural exchange and public diplomacy between China and Africa.
And China-Africa Media Course Coordinator Xiaomei Zhou, who is also a Chinese Foreign Affairs ministry staffer, said the training of African journalists on exchange programme is an ongoing project which will be in full swing after the completion of the office block building scheduled to be completed at the end of this year.
Ms. Xiaomei indicated that the office apartment under construction, which is located in the Diplomacy Resident Compound (one of the areas housing diplomatic missions) in the central business district of Beijing, will be used as the international media centre for journalists.
CPDA has decided to carryout exchange training programmes for foreign journalists particularly those from Africa in order to share ideas and promote friendship between China and Africa.
The training programmes are also meant to give the African continent the true picture of China through the stories written by own reporters on first-hand information based on their experience and observations as opposed to relying on Western media reports about China.
CPDA is an association formed by patriotic Chinese citizens who saw the need for an organisation to partner with government on common grounds of mutual understanding and international diplomacy.
It comprises of 38 members of staff with 27 affiliated institutional members of council and 11 individual members.
The association is funded by members and well -wishers from the corporate world and receives no funding from government despite the close working relationship with government ministries.