THE Chinese government says it is committed to assisting African countries including Lesotho to achieve the Agenda 2063 of the African Union on sustainable development through the provision of high quality human resource training to build capacity.
This was said by Chinese Ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, during the recent China-aid Human Resource Development Cooperation symposium in Maseru.
The symposium was attended by Development Planning minister, Tlohelang Aumane, his Principal Secretary, Khomooatsana Tau, civil servants and various stakeholders drawn from different sectors in the country.
Agenda 2063 was conceived by the African Union as a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African continent up to the year 2063. It builds on and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
Speaking at the symposium on Thursday, Dr Xianghua, revealed that China was committed to ensuring that Africa and in particular Lesotho had a highly skilled human resource base by 2063 and it was already working to unlock the full development potential of women and youth through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
He said that for three years beginning 2016, China would provide 40 000 training opportunities to African personnel in China and 30 000 government scholarships of which two thirds will have been implemented by the end of December 2017.
“321 Basotho have gone to China for training or study this year,” Dr Xianghua said, adding, “Some minsters also attended some of the high level seminars in China”.
“The African Union Agenda 2063 attaches importance to human resource development and stipulates that by 2063, Africa should have well educated citizens and skills underpinned by science, technology and innovation unleashing the potential of its women and youth.
“China has always attached great importance to human resources development cooperation with African countries ever since diplomatic relations were established more than six decades ago.”
“The similarities between China and Africa’s development aspirations and approaches call upon us to work harder to increase our cooperation in human resources development. We have not only increased the number but paid more attention to optimising the training programmes, and given priority to training in the fields of agriculture, textiles, tourism and public health.”
Seven Basotho who benefitted from the training programmes gave testimonies about their experiences in China.
In his remarks, Mr Aumane applauded China for is continued support to Lesotho and urged those who benefitted from the courses to contribute to the country’s national strategic plan.
“Over the years, our Chinese partners have intervened in different developmental issues of our country and we cannot thank them enough for that.
“In the past year they invested heavily in the development of human resource capacity as this is one aspect which is critical for any country to realise growth.
“Lesotho is currently developing its second national strategic plan and its development and implementation is dependent upon skilled human resource who have experience that will enhance the country’s developmental agenda. Therefore, I strongly recommend that those who were part of the training programmes contribute to the national strategic plan and showcase the experience gained at the trainings.”