Delegates from 45 African countries have gathered in Beijing, China, attending the 4th Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation aimed at encouraging exchange visits and cooperation among media organizations from China and Africa.

Held under the theme ‘Exchange on China – Africa Media policies’, the Forum aims to publicize the outcomes of the Johannesburg Action Plan of 2016-2018 and has attracted more than 400 representatives from government departments and organizations.

Delivering his speech at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Vice Minister of the National Radio and Television Administration, Fan Weiping, said China recognizes the role of the media in promoting national culture, social harmony and economic development.

He said China would continue with capacity building programs for the media from African countries to ensure that Africa fully goes digital.

“We have always been people-centered in our development and ensure that every citizen is not limited by geographical, ethnic and economic conditions in their access to basic public services.

“We shall enhance cooperation in key sectors such as news coverage, content production and channel development and continue to support media digitalization and capacity building in African countries and promote the timely sharing of development experience between Chinese and Africa media including lifting up the African countries,” said Weiping.

He said currently there are more than 700 million internet users in China of whom nearly 600 million consume audiovisual programs through the internet saying Africa should learn from it in a quest to promote digitalization and networking.

According to Weiping, the Forum is important since China and African countries share the same historical background and are faced with common development tasks.
“We need to take the initiative to build a common discourse space and constantly enhance our cultural confidence to help people lift themselves out of poverty by helping them set up the aspiration obtain skills and knowledge.”

“We will support each other, speak out on major regional and international issues and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of China and African countries,” he said.

Zambian Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Dora Siliya, said the Forum has brought together high profile African and Chinese government officials, captains of the media industry and other stakeholders providing a fertile opportunity to deepen cooperation between China and Africa in a collective desire to create an informed and knowledge-based society.

She said the Forum has become even more urgent with the arrival of the information communication technologies such as internet and digital television broadcasting in which China is way ahead.

The Forum, which is being sponsored by the National Radio and Television Administration of the People’s Republic of China, has become an important platform for promoting China-Africa media dialogue and an effective mechanism for practical cooperation since its founding in 2012.