Hibiscus project and Sino-African dialogue in New Delhi

When compared with Ethan, I am always slow in blogging and reporting on conferences and meetings.

Have returned from New Delhi for a few days and caught up in the Star ferry and Queen's ferry conservation movement because of citizen reporting work in inmediahk.net. It is another example to point out that in social movement, activists and organizers usually prioritize the local to cross-border issue. Partly because the local is closer to us, partly because it is more difficult for us to develop enough knowledge for starting a dialogue.

The Hibiscus project, initiated by Akwe Amosu, is trying to bridge the Sino-Africa gap by encouraging bloggers to enter into conversation.

It is a great meeting, but a difficult one. For me, the dialoguing community has not been existed yet and we need an advocacy effort and mode to map out some of the agenda and create such community. Some of us suggested a fellowship for bloggers and citizen journalists to have cross-border visit and blogging.

I were having a slight fever on the meeting, but Daudi's comment about CCTV's presence in Kenya (as an alternative to CNN) shocked me. It is really a significant indicator of Chinese presence in Africa continent. And such influence has been one-sided which constitutes part of the context concerning the so-called "recolonization" of China in Africa.

I pointed out the ideological relation between the two regions especially when China wants to become a great nation with Africa as its background- helping poor brothers.

For so many years, Africa has been presented by BINGOs and developmental organizations as victim without agencies to political and social changing. Such images actually uphold certain stereotypes and discrimination against the "poor", "victimized" African. It is important to represent the African social movement and civil society to challenge the chauvinist attitudes of "rich", "developed" and "great" places, like Hong Kong.

The Pambazuka News is a great initiative in this respect. Recently it also has a special feature on African Perspectives on China in Africa.

Jen also pointed out, the images of the last Sino-African governmental summit were all about wild animals and “scantily dressed natives”, not the images of contemporary, modern Africa.

The relation between China and Africa has been changing a lot in the past decades as China has undergone rapid ideological and economic transformation. And in recent years, the stereotypes or racist attitudes towards African are more serious.

Apart from the fellowship programme, there are discussion about encouraging diaspora to become bridge bloggers, Sino-Africa blogging festival, promotion of specific tag "Sino-Africa dialogue" and the use of interlocals platform.

I have learn a lot from the discussion about how to organize cross-border dialogue in the future. Hopefully we can work it out slowly. Let's start with the promotion of specific tags on inter-locals and inter-regionals dialogue.

18 Apr20:12

building china/africa

By hoidick

building china/africa bridges
Submitted by Akwe on Thu, 2006-12-28 11:47.
Thanks for a thoughtful post, Oiwan. I particularly appreciate the way you start by reflecting on what might need to change at the Chinese end of the relationship for a dialogue to thrive - we need more of that at the African end too. I'll be sending you and others interested some thoughts about how we can move forward after the stimulating conversation in Delhi.

should have done more...
Submitted by oiwan on Sun, 2006-12-31 22:31.
dear akwe, nice to see you here. should have done more to organize dialogue. will manage to give more time for interlocals this year 2007. looking forward to your thoughts, oiwan