UNZA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Mumba, is among the 44 Vice-Chancellors and senior Government officials attending the 1st Africa-China Education Forum on Higher Education, Science and Technology taking place in Beijing and Shanghai, China from 9-15 July 2017.

The Forum has attracted participants from 15 Sub-Saharan African countries namely; Benin, Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The initiative which is co-hosted by the World Bank, African Centres of Excellence, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is aimed at strengthening the tripartite relationship between Africa, China and the World Bank, as well as forging new partnerships between leading universities, science and technology research institutes, and the private sector of Africa and China.

The key objectives of this Forum are to;
•    learn about the frontier of science and technology in agriculture, renewable, energy, ICT, health, railways, education, and other sectors in China;
•    share lessons and practical approaches in teaching, learning, research, innovation and technology transfer, for developing technical and scientific capability in HE;
•    share policy and practices in university governance and management;
•    form new partnerships and explore creative modalities of collaboration at different levels between government agencies, education and training institutions, and the private sector.

In his welcome remarks, Professor Bai Chunli, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) highlighted the three major functions of the Academy as; education, scientific research and provision of strategic advice to government as a national ‘think-tank’.

In his opening remarks, Mr Wang Yong, Deputy Director in the Chinese Ministry of Finance said that “the forum was providing an opportunity to compare notes on experiences and challenges faced in HE, as well as promoting knowledge-based and innovation-driven development.

In presenting his keynote address, Dr Xiaoyan Liang, Lead Education Specialist and Team Leader at the World Bank said that, “international cooperation was key to development and that South-South cooperation provided an opportunity for China to share its experiences with Africa but also to learn from other developing countries. In advancing its cooperation with the World Bank, in 2015, China donated US$50 million to set up a World Bank Facility to support various projects in Africa. He emphasized that the Chinese government attached great importance to education and to its relationship with Africa which spurns over half a century.

Through the World Bank Facility aforementioned, 46 African Centres of Excellence (ACEs) have been established in the 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This Forum is a pre-requisite activity in actualizing the projects to be funded in the various ACEs. Zambia is hosting two ACEs, at the University of Zambia’s School of Veterinary Medicine and at the Copperbelt University. These centres are specialized in zoonotic diseases, (diseases transmitted between humans and animals, e.g. Ebola), and sustainable mining, respectively.

By Olipa N. Lungu, UNZA Research Fellow, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences