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A Liberian politician's insights into Chinese education

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chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Jun 07, 2024

Educational exchange elevates China-Africa friendship to a new level

Editor's note: In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China this year, China Daily reached out to Honorable Nehker E. Gaye, a member of the National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia, to reflect on his educational journey in China and to offer insights into the development of China-Africa relations.

Nehker E. Gaye makes a keynote speech at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing on May 29. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"When I first visited China in 2014, I planned to return for further studies, and fortunately, my dream came true," said Nehker E. Gaye.

He returned a year later to study International Law at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing on a scholarship granted by the Chinese government. His two-year postgraduate study was, according to him, characterized by "great excitement and happiness."

Gaye is now a member of the National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia and co-chairs the country's House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He believes that China, as a strategic and reliable partner, has significantly contributed to the development of Liberia and Africa as a whole.

Reviewing his journey, Gaye said that his experience in China has greatly influenced his personal growth and professional development.

"Chinese culture taught me that you can come from nowhere to somewhere," said Gaye.

He believed that China's current growth is a result of hard work, and as such, he had embraced this positive attribute from China and integrated it into his own work ethic. During his studies at UIBE, Gaye exerted great efforts to master the Chinese language and explored China's development philosophy through visits to various provinces and cities. Drawing from his experiences in China, he began to make inroads to lawmaking and policy drafting in his own country.

To Liberians who are desirous of pursuing higher education, Gaye encouraged them "to make China their next home for graduate education."

"The increase of young African scholars in China is important because we want to learn more from the Chinese strength in the rapid development and the culture of uniqueness," he added.

Indeed, the educational exchange has elevated the bilateral friendship to a new level, allowing African students and their Chinese counterparts to gain a deeper understanding and insight into each other's culture and language. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit also facilitates dialogue and deepens cooperation between China and Africa. Chinese enterprises have also engaged in numerous construction projects in Africa, under the Belt and Road Initiative.

With more Africans speaking Chinese and the establishment of African-Asian student associations further facilitating mutual understanding and cooperation, Gaye believed that China-Africa relations have a promising future.

He fervently hoped the friendly relations between China and Africa will continue to move forward based on mutual trust and common Interest. "I visualize great prospects in Africa-China relations and I am of the strong conviction that we Africans will continue to attach great importance to this relationship," he said.