Here’s some interesting news which emanated from the Southern African Transport Conference and Exhibition (SATC) held at the CSIR this week.
In a speech given to delegates, Professor Yongli Xie, Dean of the School of Highway at the Chang’an University in Xi’an in China, reported that there is good progress for the establishment of five transportation universities on the African continent. He said China would also explore the possibility of establishing a China-Africa civil aviation school in Africa and build infrastructure for aviation ground services.
The Forum of China-Africa Cooperation was formed in October 2000 under the joint initiative of China and Africa. Members include China and 51 African states. Six Ministerial Conferences have been held every three years since 2000, at which several MoU’s have been signed, the most recent of which occurred in South Africa in December 2015.
Among others, the cooperation has led to the formation of the China-Africa Transport Strategy Research Institute (CATSRI) at Chang’an University. Professor Xie said 713 international students, many of them from African countries like Senegal and Congo, were enrolled at the institute.
Xie explained that CATSRI will create opportunities for potential projects while also enabling research co-operation, post-graduate student exchange programmes and various academic conferences, forums and workshops. Two Chinese students from the Chang’an University also presented papers to attendees of the SATC 2017.
SATC is supported by both the South African Department of Transport (NDoT) and the US-based Transportation Research Board (TRB).