China-Africa Peace Initiative; PASDO Praises Chinese Participants
The China-Africa Peace Initiative (CAPI), a COVID-19-related conflict prevention program, is yet to come to an end, but Chinese citizens, including those living in and outside of China, have received commendation for the success that the program is recording so far.
“It came as a pleasant surprise. We didn’t expect them to turn up en masse with so much warmth and empathy. No other country in recent history has shown this much regard to Africans”, says Elochukwu Ezenekwe, Director of the CAPI program at a briefing with pressmen.
What is the China-Africa Peace Initiative (CAPI)?
The China-Africa Peace Initiative (CAPI) is one of the COVID-19 response programs organized by PASDO to help tackle the impacts of coronavirus.
This time, the focus of the COVID-19 response is neither on health nor on economy but on preventing conflict and maintaining global peace.
CAPI aims to resolve tensions between China and Africa over Coronavirus misunderstandings in order to forestall any attacks on the lives, properties and investments of Chinese citizens living in the African continent, where there has been a steady rise in xenophobic attacks.
Background to the China-Africa Peace Imitative (CAPI)
Malicious propagandists had capitalized on some social media videos that showed COVID-19-related misunderstanding between the African community in Guangdong province and their hosts to badly smear the image of China. They portrayed Chinese people as intolerant, evil and haters of blacks.
This went viral in the social media space in Africa and really whipped up negative bias in the minds of Africans against Chinese, leading to series of calls for reprisal attacks on the Chinese people living in Africa.
PASDO found the tensed situation as worrisome and therefore launched the CAPI program to help Africans learn the truth about Chinese in order to correct their negative impressions of China.
Activities of the China-Africa Peace Initaitive
The CAPI program features videos from several well-meaning Chinese individuals who send their empathy to Africans while affirming their non-hatred for blacks, restating the position of the Chinese government that China treats all foreigners equally, and calling for friendship.
For enhanced effect, the videos were done in English language, French, Nigerian Pidgin English, Igbo language and about 20 other indigenous languages widely spoken in several African countries that have a combined population of about 1.2 billion Africans.
Some group videos of Africans and Chinese sharing happy moments together are also featured in CAPI.
The Real Chinese vs the Media Chinese
The Director of the CAPI program, Elochukwu Ezenekwe, has stated his admiration about the good heart displayed by the Chinese people participating in the CAPI program.
This was made known in a media interview granted in Awka, Nigeria by the CAPI Director where he charged Africans to ditch the negative information spread about China in the mainstream media.
According to Elochukwu Ezenekwe, “I am not saying that the Chinese are perfect human beings. What I am saying is that they are almost the complete opposite of what the media paints them to be.
The dominant media wants us to believe that an average Chinese is cunning, selfish and always ill intentioned. But that’s not true.
When we reached out to them about the situation of things in Africa, they reacted with a great deal of concern”.
On how he felt about the level of cooperation from the Chinese, the Director continued “It came as a pleasant surprise. We didn’t expect them to turn up en masse with so much warmth and empathy. No other country in recent history has shown this much regard to Africans”.
Elochukwu stated that the CAPI videos, which were launched on the occasion of the China-Africa Day on September 9th, will be gradually released to Africans through social media until October 2020.
He also disclosed that PASDO will remain open to cooperating with various Chinese organizations.
In his words, “we will continue to welcome the participation of well-meaning Chinese companies and institutions in this noble project. We will also build on the gains of CAPI to push for enhanced cooperation between China and Africa in more areas like trade for small and medium businesses, and tertiary education.
Africans need to shift focus to Chinese universities where they can get quality and comparatively cheaper education that is even more relevant to meeting the needs of the present times.