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Minister of Higher Education Brian Mushimba says Government remains committed to undertaking unprecedented infrastructure development projects across the country covering various sectors including the education sector.

Speaking during the launch of the Belt and Road Joint Research Centre at the University of Zambia held on October 17, 2019, Dr Mushimba said the infrastructural outlook at all levels in the education sector would not be possible without the help of the Chinese government.

Dr. Mushimba said the Belt and Road initiative, which is a global development strategy involving infrastructure development and investments in over 150 countries and international organizations across continents, will bring world opportunities for multinational and multi-sectoral global networking. 

‘’The Zambian Government endorsed the initiative adding to the number of countries in the network in 2018. It is therefore not surprising that we have received overwhelming support from the Chinese government in building schools and Universities,’’ he said.

Dr. Mushimba said the project by the Chinese Government makes their vision of ‘’a community of shared future for mankind’’ possible, through enhanced regional and global connectivity for a brighter future through the Belt project.

He added that he is delighted that the University of Zambia through the launch of the Belt and Road Joint Research Centre is getting poised for effective access into the global network.

‘’I hope that the Belt and Road Research Centre will play a key role in minting good partnerships not only in various schools and units of the University of Zambia but also with other institutions of higher learning in the country,’’ the minister said.

Meanwhile, University of Zambia Vice-Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba said the establishment of the Belt and Road Joint Research centre opens new doors of engagement with renowned institutions of higher learning in the Chinese community.

He said the initiative has become the most important platform for international cooperation whose interaction with development strategies of African countries has provided enormous opportunities and potential for economic growth and regional integration in Africa.

‘’This initiative is the first of its kind in linking the University directly with both the Chinese public and the private sectors. I believe this will create a unique local platform for meaningful engagement around cultural, educational, social, political, economic and multi-sectoral issues that affect our two countries, China and Zambia,’’ he said.

Prof. Mumba thanked the Belt and Road Institute of Science and Technology for choosing to work with the University of Zambia in such an unprecedented fashion.

The centre is aimed at promoting China-Africa education cooperation exchanges, promote people to people exchanges, establish vocational and technical education partnerships with Chinese Institutions, promote peaceful and a win-win co-existence between China and Zambia among other things.

The University of Zambia in its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan aims to enhance excellence in research and publishing and has established Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), with various Chinese Institutions and are running the Agricultural Demonstration Centre with Jilin Agricultural University and the Confucius Institute  with Hebei University of Economics and Business.

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