Zambian govt. wants strong Africa-China cooperation – Katema

Information minister Dr Joseph Katema
Information minister Dr Joseph Katema

Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Joseph Katema says the media is an important vehicle for successfully bridging and bringing China and Africa together.
Speaking during the official opening of the 2nd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation in the Chinese capital Beijing June 17th, Dr. Katema said Zambia will work with fellow African countries to deepen and sustain the cordial relations between Africa and China.
Dr. Katema also said Zambia sees the media forum as critically important in bridging technology transfer from China to Africa.
He said this has become even more urgent with the arrival of information communication technologies such as cell phones, internet and digital television broadcasting which China has advanced.
Dr. Katema, who is also Chief Government Spokesperson, noted that China’s emphasis on cooperation rather than coercion has generated favourable conditions for the growth of its relations with many African countries.
“Zambia like other fellow African countries here cherishes the excellent and long standing relations with the People’s Republic of China,” he said.
He stressed that Zambia and China have continued to cooperate in many sectors of development such as health, education, infrastructure, sports, culture, art, information and communication.
Dr. Katema also said as one of Zambia’s biggest partners, China’s total investment in the country has swelled to over two billion United States dollars, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs among other economic benefits to the people.
Meanwhile Dr. Katema has said Zambia is keen to learn from China’s experience and expertise in the digital technology in moving her digital migration process forward.
He said although the process is a ‘tall mountain to climb,’ Government is confident that with friends like China, the process will be much easier.
“Zambia is keen to learn from China’s experience and expertise in digital technology in moving our digital migration process forward. This meeting we are attending here in Beijing is one such important forum for entrenching our cooperation in this regard,” said Dr. Katema.
And officially opening the forum, Chinese Minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, Cai Fuchao observed that China and Africa have reached a new level of cooperation based on mutual trust, respect and openness.
Mr Cai, said that his country will firmly hold and adhere to the principles of genuine friendship which emphasises fairness, mutual respect, trust and sincerity.
He said this was important in raising the quality of cooperation the two parties have yearned for a long time now.
Mr Cai also stressed the need for China and Africa to continue identifying more areas of cooperation that will not only strengthen the existing ties but also improve the living standards of both the Chinese and African people.
He noted with delight that both Chinese and African media have improved coverage of each other thereby telling the story of the China-Africa cooperation in a much objective and constructive manner.
Mr Cai said time has come for the African media to change the world perception that Africa is a continent only beset by disease, conflict, poverty and many other social ills but show the many positive aspects on the continent.
“The Chinese media are ready to tell the African story in a much more objective and constructive manner because we believe that this is a continent full of hope and with a bright future,” he said.
He said the dream of pursuing progress and human civilisation held by both China and Africa has the potential to change the lives of the two peoples if the media committed themselves by championing the cause.
The 2nd Forum on China-Africa media cooperation being held under the theme ‘Exchange, Cooperation and Development,’ has attracted 254 delegates from 42 African countries and 100 delegates from Chinese media companies.
The Forum is a platform for the creation of deeper China-Africa media relations which is expected to play a critical role in furthering the overall Africa-China relations.