Kenyan artists perform lion dances and kung fu stunts at the opening of the 2023 Chinese film festival in Nairobi on Monday. (XIE SONGXIN/CHINA DAILY)
Media, film sectors commit to exchange of tech, personnel between both sides
The Chinese and African media and film industries have committed to enhancing cooperation to tell the story of both China and Africa as well as act as a bridge for enriching communication between the profound civilizations of both sides.
The collaboration commitment was reached at a media cooperation forum organized by China Media Group in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Monday.
More than 100 media houses from 40 African countries took part in the forum, held in both physical as well as virtual space, deepening communication between Chinese and African civilizations and promoting a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
In their declaration, the media representatives from across Africa and China pledged to build on their partnership mechanism and facilitate concrete cooperation in content production, personnel exchange, technology research and development.
"We will also tap into the strengths of Chinese and African media in telling stories of China and Africa in the new era," they said.
Speaking at the event, Hu Heping, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and minister of culture and tourism, reaffirmed China's commitment to enhancing cooperation between the two sides.
He urged both Chinese and African media to work together in telling stories on the China-Africa friendship as well as deliver more insightful and human-interest content.
"I hope the Chinese and African media can use accessible and communicative language in telling the stories of friendly communication, mutual benefits, win-win outcomes, and pursuit of dreams between China and Africa, in order to consolidate consensus and provide spiritual support to cooperation," he said.
Churchill Otieno, president of the Eastern Africa Editors Society, said media, both oral and digital, can serve as a storyteller, resurrecting moments of connection like the ancient maritime expeditions of Admiral Zheng He and the cultural exchanges along the Silk Road.
"Media possesses the remarkable ability to deepen communication between African and Chinese civilizations. It serves as a bridge that transcends time and distance, nurturing a China-Africa community with a shared future," he said.
Gregoire Ndjaka, chief executive officer of the African Union of Broadcasting, said the rise of multiple media platforms has given room for people to be exposed to all sorts of content from various sources.
"Nowadays, it is common to see everyone tag themselves as African storytellers, yet their content is narrated through the prism of stereotypes. The role of trusted and true media is therefore paramount," he said.
Ndjaka expressed commitment to his union to contribute to strengthening the existing ties between Africa and China.
Later in the day, people from different professions and nationalities gathered at the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi to witness the launch of a monthlong China-Kenya Film Festival 2023.
On the opening night, the guests were treated to the screening of One and Only, a Chinese movie, and the Kenyan movie The Last Supper, which will be among the movies to be screened during the festival.
The festival, organized by the China Film Archive and the Chinese embassy in Kenya with Kenya's Ministry of Youth Affairs, Arts and Sports, and the Kenya Film Commission, aims to promote understanding and communication between Africa and China.
While addressing the guests on the opening day, Timothy Owase, the Kenya Film Commission's chief executive officer, said the festival follows a meeting between Kenyan and Chinese filmmakers in which the two groups agreed to further cooperation in the production and marketing of locally produced films.
According to Ababu Namwamba, Kenya's cabinet secretary for youth affairs, arts and sports, the film festival will serve as a platform to showcase talent, creativity and diversity of Chinese and Kenyan movies, while fostering cultural exchange and understanding between the two countries.