Director-General Zhang Xiaomei receives African diplomatic envoys delegation

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  • 07/25/2022 17:48
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Teshome Toga Chanaka, Ethiopian Ambassador to China, led a delegation of African diplomatic envoys to Hubei from July 21 to 24 at the invitation of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. The purpose of the visit was to attend the China-Africa Innovation Forum on African Character Recognition Technology.

Zhang Xiaomei, Director-General of Hubei FAO met with the delegation on the morning of July 22. “The spirit of sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, and progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness is what drives China-Africa friendship and cooperation forward,” Zhang said, quoting President Xi. “This has charted the course for our future cooperation.” Zhang also reviewed Hubei-Africa cooperation, acknowledging that Hubei witnessed growing China-Africa friendship, experienced first-hand the continent’s growth, and worked shoulder to shoulder with Africa in fostering a community with a shared future over the past few decades. “As Hubei strives to build itself into a national pacesetter in fostering a new development paradigm and transform from the disadvantaged in opening-up heralded by coastal areas to a forerunner in developing inland areas in the new era, we are ready to work with African partners in such areas as digital economy, scientific and technological innovation, and talent training,” she added.

Teshome expressed his gratitude on behalf of the delegation, representing six northeast African countries. “Comprising eight countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, the region houses a population of 300 million and enjoys abundant natural resources and great economic potentials,” he said. Teshome spoke highly of the fruitful cooperation between Hubei and Ethiopia in infrastructure, biopharmaceuticals, culture, and education and its tangible benefits delivered to African people. “I have been familiarized with the international education program Study in Hubei,” he said, “I hope more scholarships could be granted to African students to help them pursue their dreams here.” Other diplomatic envoys also expressed their readiness to enhance cooperation with Hubei in all areas.

The forum – where discussions focused on African characters recognition research and application – was co-organized by HUST, China-Africa Innovation Cooperation Center, and Ethiopia AI Research Center. It is conducive to promoting academic cooperation and industrial application of relevant technologies between China and Africa, setting up joint labs for African characters recognition, for example. It is hoped that this new technology could play a crucial role in interconnectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The delegation also visited Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronic and Hubei Provincial Museum during their stay in Wuhan.

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