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In Guangdong, China, Africa live happily together

By Ikenna Emewu  (People's Daily Online)    10:21, September 13, 2016

Guangzhou Canton tower at night

China Africa friendship is common singsong especially at the diplomatic level, but it is in the Guangdong Province of the southern China that the people-to-people dimension is acted out.

A visit to the mega city of Guangzhou would unarguably convince you. Last week, a tour of the city was revealing. The two sides blend into each other in so many ways even in culture exchanges and the bulk of the businesses African do in China is domiciled in Guangdong while the province also handles about 25% China’s exports to Africa and 30% of Africa exports into China.

With understanding of the close ties they have with Africa, Guangdong is exploring the benefits, tapping into the policies of President Xi Jinping and the expanded economic ties between the two sides at the instance of the virile Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)

Last week, the Investing in Africa business forum held in Guangzhou, the second time, after the maiden edition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last year. Next year, the forum would shift base to Dakar, the peninsula city of Senegal in West Africa.

China/Africa community

It is estimated that Guangzhou city alone has at least 400,000 African residents and remains the part of China with the largest concentration of Africans. In other cities of the Guangdong Province Africans are also found.

Guangzhou at night

During a visit to the Yue Xiu District of the city, we found that half of the people on the streets and the busy market are blacks with few other foreigners. The two sides – Chinese and Africans, have found a way of coexisting without problems. One of the approaches is an NGO that caters for fresh migrants and some older ones and settles disputes and creates peace among the people.

At the international office located under a rail line, a volunteer Chinese worker narrated what their relationship with their African guests has been and how they assist them adjust on arrival in China.

While there, four African girls that should be sisters from their similar features filed into an office later identified as free Chinese language study class. All the girls of school age get lessons there to assist them adapt in the regular school.

Apart from language assistance, the NGO office also provides the Africans lodging registration, policy consultation, health maintenance, social assistance and cultural exchanges as depicted on a sign on the wall.

Because of this close rapport between Africans and China in Guangdong that has been a melting pot for the two sides, the province also is the highest investor in African countries.

Guangzhou NGO worker for Africa community

At the investment forum this year, the World Bank, China Development Bank, two presidents from South Africa and Benin Republic attended in addition to delegates from over 38 African countries. It agreed on the further need to industrialize Africa like an extension of the Hangzhou G20 Summit call.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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