Experts from Nigeria, China and Canada have come up with informed suggestions on how best the three sides would foster better and more beneficial higher education system.
At the Africa-China-Canada Conference on Higher Education that held at the University of Lagos this week, 19 experts in the academia, media, administration and others made presentations on how good, beneficial and standard higher education and integration between the three parts of the world would better exchange and strengthen quality education .
The trilateral body held its third conference and the first African forum on “The Role of Higher Education in Multi-level Cooperation and the Chinese Government Belt and Road Initiative” and challenged all the parties to see education cooperation and exchange between them as a way forward.
University dons from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada represented by Prof. Darcy Marciniuk, Prof. Liu Jinghui from China, the Nigerian and Chinese Directors at the University of Lagos Confucius Institute, Profs. Chimdi Maduagwu and Wang Yongjing also made presentations calling for better cooperation and synergy.
Also speaking on one of the topics of discussion, the Chairman, Editorial Board of The Sun Newspaper, Dr. Robert Obioha called for balance and caution in the way the world views the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. He noted that it is not his duty to antagonise China especially in her relationship with African countries regarding loans, but urged Africa to be wise and do her best to get the benefit in relating with China.
Obioha argued that Nigeria and other African countries should never forget to take from China the lesson of their growth from oblivion and liberate themselves from further teaching by others and start teaching herself and charting her own course of advancement.
Also presenting a paper on China and the Rest of the World in the 21st Century, international journalist and Executive Director of the Afri-China Media Centre, Ikenna Emewu challenged the Nigerian government and other African countries to learn strategy and consistent good leadership from China.
Emewu himself who has studied in two Chinese universities and practiced journalism in the country called on Nigeria to tap into the experience of China’s economic growth and sustained tenacity over the years and liberate herself through sound economy.
He said that: “China had lived insular and incubated her seed for years, between 1978 and 1999 all within or behind its iron curtain as the media in the West dubbed it.
For 21 years it cooked her recipe. In 15 years after serving the world the delicacies, her arrival was announced. Between year 2000 as the 21st Century dawned and 2015, China was announced the world’s second largest economy.”
“As the new century, the 21st Century debuted, China pulled back the curtains threw open the window panels, unhinged the doors to let in air, visitors and light from the outer world.”
Emewu reminded that: “China’s poverty reduction example and feat has been a reference to the world with a record of lifting about 760m citizens out of poverty since her reforms. By the time the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) ended in 2015, China was the only country that met the target of country poverty reduction and contributed about 92% of global poverty eradication.
Its work in this direction is the instance the UN and World Bank cite for the rest of the world to follow.
“As Nigeria relates with China and unfortunately dubbed the world poverty capital, it would be wisdom that Nigeria takes a cue from China and liberate her citizens from abject poverty,” he advised.