China-Africa Peace Initiative (CAPI), an Initiative by PASDO, a Nigerian Non-Governmental Organization for Promotion of Peace & Sustainable Development, created COVID-19 Related Conflict prevention program.
Chinese Citizens participating in the program including those living across Provinces of China and those abroad, have received commendation for their kindness and for the success that the Program is recording so far.
“It came as a pleasant surprise. We didn’t expect them to turn up in 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 during a News Briefing in Awka, Nigeria.
But, what is the China-Africa Peace Initiative?
China-Africa Peace Initiative
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 xenophobia and maintaining global peace.
CAPI aims to resolve tensions between China & 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.
Since Nigeria joined the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) it has recorded tremendous success for common development as Africa’s Largest Economy and the most Populous Nation on the African Continent.
China believes that Africa is part of the historical and natural extension of the Belt & Road Initiative. Nigeria is among the 44 African Countries that have signed the Memorandum of Understanding of the Belt & Road Initiative Partnership, Nigeria became Member in 2018. The Trade volume between Nigeria & China soared to 15.3 billion USD in 2018; 10.8% higher than in 2017.
China-Africa Peace Initiative Background
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 a series of calls for reprisal attacks on the Chinese People living in Africa.
PASDO found the tense situation worrisome and therefore launched the CAPI program to help Africans Learn the truth about Chinese in order to correct their negative impressions of China.
China-Africa Peace Initiative Activities
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, stated his admiration about the good heart displayed by the Chinese people participating in the CAPI program.
This was made known by the Director during a briefing at the organization’s office in Awka, Nigeria, which was aimed at encouraging Africans to ditch the negative information spread about China by some media outfits.
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.
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 individuals, companies and institutions in this noble project and beyond.
We will also build on the gains of CAPI to push for enhanced cooperation between China and Africa in more areas like supporting small and medium scale Chinese businesses to access the African markets with their products, promoting the learning of Chinese language in Africa through cooperation with more Chinese institutions, encouraging more African scholars to seek tertiary education at specific Chinese universities that we can have partnerships with, and helping Africans sell agricultural produce, solid minerals and other products and services that are needed by Chinese”.