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Building a Sino-French-African higher education community in the New Era—— 4th China-France-Africa Tripartite Forum on Higher Education is held in Wuhan
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On November 30, 2022, the 4th ‘China-France-Africa Forum on Higher Education’ was successfully held at Wuhan University with over 100 presidents and scholars from more than 20 universities in China, France and Africa holding a lively discussion on the theme of ‘Building a tripartite community of higher education between China, France and Africa in the New Era’ through online (offline) participation. China’s Vice Minister of Education, Tian Xuejun, Permanent Representative of the African Union in China, H.E. Rahamtalla M. Osman and Secretary of the CPC Committee of Wuhan University, Han Jin attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Tang Qizhu, Song Baoliang, both Vice Presidents of Wuhan University, and representatives from the Foreign Affairs Office of the Hubei Provincial People's Government, the Department of Education of Hubei Province, the China-Africa Innovation Cooperation Center and the Consulate General of the Republic of France in Wuhan, as well as other relevant officials, attended the forum. Vice President of Wuhan University Tang Qizhu presided over the opening ceremony of the forum.


Han Jin, Secretary of the CPC Committee of Wuhan University, stated in the opening ceremony that in the spirit of “equality, openness, tolerance and mutual learning,” the universities of China, France and Africa have been committed to promoting the institutionalization of the China-France-Africa Tripartite Forum on Higher Education since 2017, which has become an important platform for the expansion of cooperation and development in the fields of education, science and technology, and humanities. The university will actively prepare for the establishment of the ‘China-France-Africa Tripartite Higher Education Alliance’, and it is hoped that China, France and Africa will further expand exchanges and cooperation in the future and actively build a China-France-Africa Tripartite Higher Education Community to facilitate the development of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education of China, pointed out in his video message that both France and African countries are important education partners of China, and it is of positive significance for the building of a community with a shared future for Chinese, French and African universities to work together to promote the sharing of quality education resources on a global scale and the exchange and mutual learning between different countries. It is expected that the universities from the three parties will further seek consensus, deepen cooperation and explore the establishment of the China-France-Africa Tripartite Higher Education Alliance so as to inject stronger impetus into the future development of China-France-Africa relations.

In his video message, H.E. Rahamtalla M. Osman said that Africa has great prospects for development, but the lack of education resources has slowed down the development process. He therefore expects the participants of the China-France-Africa Tripartite Forum on Higher Education to actively support the development of education in Africa so that education can give a strong impetus to Africa's development and help achieve the AUs vision in Agenda 2063, the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-25) and the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Vice President of Wuhan University, Academician Song Baoliang, presented the ‘Initiative on the Establishment of a China-France-Africa Tripartite Higher Education Alliance’ at the opening ceremony, calling on the three sides to further deepen exchanges and cooperation and jointly promote the development of a community with a shared future for mankind. He then announced the official launch of the ‘China-France-Africa Tripartite Higher Education Alliance’.

The main venue of the forum was Wuhan, China, with sub-sites in Paris, France and Settat, Morocco. The forum consisted of a Presidents Forum and Sub-Forums. The Presidents Forum focused on the functions of universities in talent training, scientific research, social services, cultural inheritance and innovation and conducted in-depth exchanges and discussions on the prospect, paths and modes of cooperation in higher education between China, France and Africa, and explored the effective mechanisms for facilitating the exchange and mutual learning of civilizations and the establishment of a community with a shared future for mankind through education. The sub-forums focused on three topics: digital cultural heritage, horticultural technology innovation and language exchange and mutual learning. A total of 25 universities from China, France and Africa participated in this year's forum, including five French universities, namely Université Paris Cité, National Charter Institute of Université PSL, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Université Bordeaux Montaigne and Université de Lorraine, seven African universities, including Université d'Abomey-Calavi, République du Bénin, University of Social Sciences and Management of Bamako, Université Hassan-1er, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Universitéde Sfax, Benha University in Egypt and Alexandria University in Egypt, and 13 domestic universities, namely, Renmin University of China, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Nanjing University, Zhejiang University, the University of Science and Technology of China, Xiamen University, Shandong University, Wuhan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Sun Yat-sen University and Xi'an Jiaotong University.

In the context of the accelerated evolution of the world's unprecedented changes in a century, the China-France-Africa Tripartite Forum on Higher Education is a beneficial practice for universities to form a tripartite higher education community on the basis of win-win cooperation. It is also a concrete manifestation of educators building a bridge of mutual understanding and exchange between civilizations.

It is reported that Wuhan University was one of the earliest as well as most comprehensive and profound among the Chinese universities to implement cooperation with universities in France after China’s reform and opening up. It was once hailed as ‘a model of Sino-French cooperation’ by the then President of France, Mr. Jacques Chirac, who visited Wuhan University. By now, WHU has nearly 60 years of cooperation with Africa. In 2017, dedicated to serving the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and Sino-French ‘third-party market’ cooperation, Wuhan University initiated the establishment of the China-France-Africa Tripartite Forum on Higher Education and held three sessions at Wuhan University and Université Hassan-1er in Casablanca, Morocco. The Forum has led to a number of tripartite cooperation programs between China, France and Africa and more than 30 universities and research institutions from China, France and African countries have participated in it.

Rewritten by Ba Erxin

Edited by Sylvia, Xi Bingqing


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