24 April 2017

Tanzania: A Call for Books in Kiswahili

Guangzhou — Deputy Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Haodang Gou has advised that Chinese books that cover issues of cooperation among African countries, including economic relations between Tanzania and China, be published in Swahili language.

Gou said a number of books were published in Africa in English and French versions, all about Chinese solidarity with the continent, should now have Swahili versions because it is spoken by millions of people from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, among others within the EAC trading bloc.

He said the first such books were on the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA), first written by Chinese authors, in Chinese, but whose works a Tanzanian had since undertaken into English, French and Swahili languages.

Some of the books which he said need to be translated were: Monument of China-Africa Relationship, Narrations from Participants of Tanzania Zambia Railway; and My Ten Years in Africa--The Dairy of a Chinese Doctor which was launched yesterday.

About the book which was launched yesterday, Gou said it shows how African countries themselves needed to enhance the (existing) cooperation in the medical fields in order to overcome the health challenges facing this country.

He said it was better for medical authorities in Africa to make better use of the cooperation in the hearth sector.

The book was authored by Wu Minxian Wu (54), a Chinese medic who once worked in the three African countries for ten years, showing how these countries were coping with such challenges as inadequate medical doctors while in other African countries, not Tanzania, there were well-educated people who couldn't find jobs when they got back home because the certificates they obtained (from Chinese institutions) weren't officially recognized.

"... that's not fair ... because the Chinese have trained the best medical workers who (now) work as volunteers in African countries ... so it's only fair that African countries should send their people to study there (in China),"he said.

Wu worked in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Zambia from 2001, where his medical team stayed for the longest time, and in his book, he writes of the friendship he forged between the local people generally, and his patient in particular, during which he learned about the African culture and the history of three countries, experiencing different issues, such as food, during his travels on the TAZARA.

He said he also used the Tanzania and Malawi railway when in Zambia where he sampled different issues from those in Tanzania, saying that life among Tanzania people was just like any other country in Africa.

Gou who is Minister Counselor of the Chinese Mission in Africa said that, to overcome many of the problems, the best way should be through strengthened cooperation between China and Africa, particularly in the medical fields.

Wu who is the first Chinese medical doctor to write a book himself, said he had many books to show how life really is in Africa, and to show how a devotion to Africa could contribute to Sino-African friendship.

He said noted some improvement in medical services within Africa, but also gaps between countries, just as even in China, because the medical technology had grown 'so fast.'

Meanwhile, the president of World Affairs Press, Ma Fengchun, said the launch of My Ten Years in Africa - the Dairy of a Chinese Doctor served as an opportunity inspired by the One Belt, One Road initiative to introduce a "sensational aspect" of China-Africa cooperation, in order to help the public under the history of this relationship.

He said the book was more than a personal record of selfgrowing in a foreign country but also bears witness to the China- Africa friendship, because "Wu overcame all the difficulties, including separation from the family, the hardship of living environment, devoted his best years to the Africans."

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