China-Africa cooperation will continue in a friendly way.
Since time immemorial, African youth have undergone revolution to depart from archaic cultural manifestations and to rise steadily on the path of academic excellence.
Since the time of colonialism,Africanization has undergone a great deal of metamorphosis in terms of life and technology.
Asian and European countries came to Africa to trade and to transform African ways from outdated lifestyles to the present technological advancement and enlightenment.
Those intermittent interventions from Asia and Europe brought about education and religion to Africa.
Empowerment of African youth did not take centre stage from the inception of scramble for Africa and colonization.
At some point during the time of fear for change and resistance by Africans of the European and Asian occupation,African youths went through abuse and exploitation from both within African ruling elites and colonial masters who used them to fight wars of struggle with African rulers seeking for emancipation of the African continent while colonial masters sought to bring about a paradigm shift in the way of doing things in Africa.
The later succeeded in the hustle whistle and brought about industrialization and schooling in Africa.
They set up missions to advance their agenda of transforming Africa and sponsored African youths to undergo education and intense training in relevant fields of technology.
The present day African youth is quite distinct in terms of thought and way of life as compared to their initial indigenous ways of doing things which had taken effect on the African continent to have its population languishing and to wallow in abject poverty.
World over, youth population consist the biggest percentage of humanity. Youth population in Africa ranges between 60% and 70%.
That in itself portends that youth population plays a pivotal role in shaping the society.
The present day African youth is a well skilled and educated person with their literacy rates presently standing at between 80% and 90%.
Such extent of enlightenment and skilled manpower in youth is quite impressive in shaping the African economy especially while being cognizant of the fact that the youth are the strongest of all human kind in terms of body strength and determination to channel their energies in nation building.
The current initiative by the Chinese people’s republic electing to partner with African authorities to establish long winding relationships geared at mutual benefits to the two continents brings about economic prosperity and sky rocketing of economic growth to the African nations.
In the year 2003,Kenyan government undertook a bold step towards establishing economic ties with China with an aim of bringing about advanced infrastructural development and technological know-how within its nerve centre of the economy.
Kenya did so at a time while the west and China were at throat cutting economic competition with each striving to dominate operations in Africa and the rest of third world countries.
The initiative by the Kenyan government to go east in terms of trade and import of technology has impacted positively in the country to put Kenya on a steady path of economic growth and technical know-how in relevant fields of investment.
As a way of protest, the west reacted angrily to Kenya’s initiative to foster cooperation with China.
Ten years down the line, Kenya- China ties have borne good fruits to put Kenya on a desirous economic growth to put itself in the near future to the fastest growing economies as Malaysia, Hong-Kong ,Taiwan, Singapore, Brazil and South Africa.
In its partaking, Kenya benefitted a great deal from the services of its youth in terms of labor and technical expertise.
Majority of Kenyan youth presently have the required skills and know how to complement with that given by the Chinese nation to bring about coveted economic prosperity in Kenya.
As the saying goes, “Strong youth makes a strong nation”, indeed it has come to pass that a nation without commitment and effort of its youth is destined for a bleak economic future.
Since the inception of the Kenyan-Chinese cooperation initiative, the government of Kenya has targeted sectors which are mainly youth oriented with the main aim of enhancing youth capacity building and skills inculcation.
For many years of cooperation with China, Kenyan government has prioritized sectors such as development of Agriculture, infrastructure construction and energy which greatly supports economic revitalization measures for small and medium sized enterprises which highly compliments the China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation.
Those revamped sectors are basically geared towards strengthening Kenyan youths for the purpose of nation building and fostering youth participation in building a strong economic base for the long slackened growth in development and economic rates in Kenya.
As starters, youth have been facilitated through resource tapping initiatives as competing in essay writing and innovations exhibitions and to be rewarded heavily in terms of financial rewards which henceforth helps them to come up with unique business ideas which enable them compete effectively and favorably with world economic power houses as China and US.
Those youth who succeed in growing their small enterprises, graduate to set up medium enterprise which ends up creating employment opportunities for Kenyan youth to multiply their multi- skilled tasks that leads to new innovative ways of doing business in Kenya in a more expansive, diversified and technological ways to enable them catch up with the first world in terms of innovations and technological know-how.
Of recent past, Kenya has had nearly 34,000 youth benefitting from skills development provided by Chinese road and bridge construction as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Most of youth have been trained in areas which require advance technological skills such as engineering and logistics.
Most of them benefitted from scholarships to China to enable them to have pragmatic hands on skills in sectors of harnessing energy and even infrastructural development which extends to many of other youth in Kenya through workshop trainings and even enrollment for studies in such relevant fields.
China- Kenyan cooperation has also led to social and environmental consciousness in overseas investments aimed at improving living standards of local people.
The widely publicized campaign on green procurement has led to protection and conservation of ozone layer which had otherwise been depleted by massive industrial effluents which threaten human and animal habitation in the African continent.
Kenyan youth have been recruited to steer clear of campaigns to conserve and to preserve natural environment for the sake of future human prosperity.
In all engagements between Chinese corporations and Kenyan entities, youths have emerged as the salient target group for capacity building and knowledge dissemination in all areas of partaking which are aimed at fostering China-Kenya cooperation.
In its resultant benefits, China-Kenya cooperation have enabled thousands of Kenyan youths to secure scholarships in China especially in areas of technological advancements.
In the present times, it has become a reality that most of Kenyan youths have settled in China to acquire skills in engineering and medical research related studies. Not to mention the environmental conservation trainings.
Corporate social responsibility by the Chinese enterprises, has improved the image of Chinese firms abroad while enhancing their competitiveness in the global market partnerships to strengthen and to modernize its infrastructure, foster environmental protection and skills upgrade for the country’s youths.
Kenya-China cooperation has encouraged more Chinese enterprises to come to Kenya and to accelerate the process of Kenyan industrialization to benefit Kenyan youth.
One of such best Chinese enterprise is that which construction the standard gauge railway between Mombasa and Nairobi which has led to thousands of direct job opportunities for Kenyan youths and indirect job opportunities for Kenyan youth as well.
The establishment of standard gauge railway in Kenya has greatly boosted the Kenyan economy by multiplying benefits that accrue from logistics and transportation of export commodities from the mainland Kenya to the port of Mombasa and also to ease carrying of imported goods from the main Kilindini harbor to various parts of the mainland.
Since its launching and setting up, thousands of Kenyan people travel to and from the coastal strip and without ado.
The standard gauge railway has become a top revenue earner for the government of Kenya especially with its youth serving in most of the tasks safe for those that require experience and advanced skills.
The long-standing China-Kenya cooperation has also exposed Chinese small and medium sized enterprises to the investment opportunities available in the Kenyan market and to encourage the development of trading and business partnerships with local players mainly the youth creating multi-level, multi- industrial and multi-element engagements in Kenya.
The enhanced Africa-China cooperation put African where Kenya belongs at a stage unrivalled level of transformation and upgrading in China-Africa cooperation that provide high quality and efficient platform for China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation in line with the ten point cooperation plan initiated during 2015 Johannesburg Forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) summit in the field of Africa’s industrialization and Agricultural modernization ,China industrial capacity advantage and to address African development bottlenecks to realize desired sustainable development.
My Take On African-Chinese Cooperation Towards Strengthening Youths
My take on Africa- China cooperation on the theme of Strong youth makes a strong nation is as follows;
The FOCAC summit of 2015 in Johannesburg came out clearly to portend that strengthening Youths amounts to building a, strong nation.
The ten package plan initiative by the Chinese president Xi Jianping at the summit, gave a clear initiative on key sectors which the Chinese government would dwell on to foster success on the African continent outlined key areas on which African youth shall attain desired success through the Africa- China cooperation.
The package areas as read out by president Xi in his Keynote address had all indications that
development of Key sectors in the economy must focus on areas where the youth has interest in the society.
The ten plan package which comprised of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction, public welfare, public health, people to people exchange and peace and security.
The ten plan package at the FOCAC forum outlines clearly on how youth strengthening and empowerment is paramount in the foundation of a strong nation.
Industrialization is the bedrock of activities aimed at strengthening of youths in Africa especially in the innovative front and setting up of industrial oriented production plans which shall absorb huge percentage of the youth population and to enhance faster economic growth that shall lead to establishment of a great nation.
Agricultural modernization is another sector of great significance to youth empowerment especially in flourishing agricultural sectors of horticulture and floriculture which shall enable most of youth to invest heavily and to embrace new agricultural production meant for export and domestic consumption.
The Kenyan- Chinese cooperation should have the two governments of Kenya and China should establish training programs based on the ultramodern agricultural techniques and methods which are established by experts from China and Kenya so as to bring parity in technical knowhow in the agricultural sector.
Such initiatives shall have agricultural methods modernized and efficiency boosted to tap talent and to utilize African arable land.
On infrastructure, the Kenyan and Chinese government should construct modern infrastructural networks such as the Thika highway and the standard gauge railway which have greatly improved transport and logistical networks to boost the economy and to foster efficiency.
On financial services, the two governments should work in conjunction with established financial institutions which shall advance loans to the youth to bolster financial muzzle and capacity of Kenyan youths so as they may embark fully on growth and economic investments. Green development is an environmental sensitive initiative geared towards environmental safety and conservation to facilitate agencies that shall dwell on preserving the environment.
Such agencies shall engage youth fully in their partaking and to allow for conducive environments for growth and development.
Trade and investment facilitation is cardinal towards strengthening of youths in Africa.
Africa-China cooperation should establish financial institutions whose occupation shall be to advance loans to youth at low interest rates and to set up capacity building initiatives that would impart skills in youth for the sake of doing trading and commerce.
Poverty eradication is another Key sector which Africa and China should focus more on. Bridging the gap between the rich and the poor shall inculcate a sense of pragmatic delivery of services by most of African youth and to alleviate the wallowing in abject poverty.
On public welfare, the two governments should set up CSR activities geared towards improving on public welfare in the least developed governments in Africa.
Improving the welfare of youths shall have a strengthened youth population to carry on broad based economic strengths.
Public health is a very important sector because a healthy population is a strong population which steers clear of development agenda in the African continent.
The two governments should establish public health groups to embark on disease eradication and immunization of children who forms part of future youth population.
People to people exchanges is a very important partaking in exchange programs for swapping skills between youth of the two governments in order to acquire skills and to develop strong youth for the production processes in Africa.
Peace and security is the bottom line in every nation and state.
To have peaceful countries with conducive socio-political environment to engage its population in the growth of economic prosperity and development processes.
Africa- Chinese cooperation is the best of a long winding initiative that has improved on the African countries a great deal.
Since its inception a couple of years ago, has brought about economic and environmental consciousness in overseas investments that has helped to improve living standards of local people.
Cosmas Rutto Cheptoo
I am a Kenyan youth 35 years of age who is a professional in the field of procurement and supplies management.
I undertook studies in BPSP(JKUAT),CIPS(LONDON) and Diploma in management from Kenya Institute of Management.i AM A ESIDENT OF Eldoret Town.
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