Karim Deme was certainly among the first residents in Burkina Faso’s capital to hang China’s flag at home when the western African nation announced re-establishing diplomatic ties with China in late May.
Celebrating the event that ended many difficulties he and his friends suffered in doing business, the head of a forum for Burkina Faso-China friendship was also especially happy to demonstrate his love and admiration for China.
He said his attachment to China could trace back to several business trips he made to China in the 1990s, and that his bilateral friendship forum was founded only after his visits to China.
Recalling his visits, the building and public works engineer said: “I was impressed by the disciplined, hardworking and open-minded Chinese people who fulfilled the tasks entrusted to them.”
It had been a difficult time for Burkina Faso’s business people and migrants from Chinese mainland as well. Deme used to work with Burkina Faso’s center for enterprises MEBF to help his fellow people obtain visas for visiting China.
He had to contact the Chinese embassy in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire and prepare all the necessary documents.
In addition, Deme used to offer services to the Chinese people living in Burkina Faso when they were in troubles caused largely by language barriers to communication and ignorance of local laws. His dedicated assistance had won him a reputation.
He said that in some tragic cases involving deaths, he had to consult the Chinese embassy based in the capital of Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan to seek solutions.
Deme said he is happy that such experiences have come to an end thanks to the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between his country and China. The prospect that bilateral business cooperation will bring more rewards is also delightful.
Deme, who is working hard to build a cotton spinning mill in Burkina Faso, is joyful to see that local sesame and cotton farmers can now benefit more.
He said that through neighboring countries, Burkina Faso used to sell to China about 170,000 tonnes of sesame and 500,000 tonnes of cotton every year.
He believes that farmers and business communities will take advantage of the reestablished diplomatic relations to do more business with China.