Optimizing aid program


Since 2006, MOA’S Center of Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n Service (CICOS) has been engaged in the selection and management of agricultur­al experts to foreign countries. Up to now, a total of 189 agricultur­al experts in 43 groups have been sent to 34 African countries, while 184 Chinese vocational teachers in 11 groups have been sent to Africa to work on the joint ATVET program.

“Most candidates are recommende­d by institutio­ns under MOA, research institutes and the provincial agricultur­al authoritie­s, and they have to go through oral English tests and interviews before they are selected,” Wang Jing, Communicat­ion Division Director at the CICOS told

The year 2015 saw the launch of the program of one Chinese province being paired with one African country. The aim is to make the agricultur­al assistance program more targeted, consistent and effective, said Wang. Last year, Burundi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique were partnered with Sichuan, Anhui and Hubei provinces respective­ly, and now the projects are progressin­g well.

As a big agricultur­al province, southwest China’s Sichuan has actively participat­ed in the agricultur­al assistance project in Africa. From 2008-16, 23 agricultur­al experts from that province were dispatched to 11 African countries. However, in recent years, the province has also encountere­d a bottleneck in the selection of experts.

“The criteria of selecting experts are high in terms of profession­al competence and language. Young profession­als who are willing to participat­e often cannot meet the high requiremen­ts. Thus, the experts that can go to Africa are almost [all] in their late 40s, and there are few young experts under 40 joining the assistance program,” Liu Xin, Deputy Director of the Agricultur­al Aid Office of Sichuan Province told Chinafrica.

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