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China's training aid for African forestry: progress, problems and prospects


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This presentation by Ms Jie Chen, of the Chinese Academy of Forestry, provides an overview of China’s efforts in providing forestry linked training aid, the disparities between Chinese and African expectations, and ways forward for China’s human resource development programs in the forestry sector in Africa.

The presentation was made at the fourth international learning event of the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform, held in Pemba, Mozambique, from 23-25 October 2017.

The platform event focused on finding ways for Chinese businesses in Africa, and African businesses linked to China, to generate strong benefits for local economies in Africa while looking after forest resources for future generations.

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China's training aid for African forestry: progress, problems and prospects

  1. 1. China’s training aid for African forestry: progress, problems and prospects Chen Jie Center for International Forest Product Trade, State Forestry Administration Pemba 25th Oct. 2017
  2. 2. Where will HRD programs move forward? 03 How is China training aid for African forestry going01 What are the disparities in expectation between China and Africa?02 Outlines
  3. 3. China’s human resources development programs in forestry sector  China's foreign aid dates back to 1950, and capacity building is an important component. Human resources development (HRD) programs has been implemented, including technical training, official-centered training, academic education and other exchange programmes.  Foreign-aid HRD programs are under the leadership of MOFCOM, involving the efforts from government, international organizations, business, research organizations and other stakeholders  Since 1950, more than 120,000 civil servants and technicians from 173 developing countries have received training in China.  In 1993, the SFA began to design and implement the forestry foreign-aid HRD programs. By the end of 2015, 149 HRD programs have been delivered to 4109 people from 106 countries.  The HRD programs for forestry has sclaled up with improving impacts
  4. 4. Africa is the most targeted? • Many African countries are the long-standing friend of China • Africa abounds with bountiful forest resources, which play a critical role in providing food, medicine, energy and timber. • Many African countries are now asking how they can achieve the sustainable use of forest resources, and has posed increasing demand for capacity building. • There is little understanding of the status, impact, problems and solutions surrounding China' s HRD programs for African forestry. • We attempted to reveal strengths and gaps in the current training, and suggest how the latter can be bridged.
  5. 5. Questionnaire survey Conducted among Chinese forestry training organisations qualified for foreign aid training for training achievements, problems and challenges, priority training courses, and format of training courses Semi-structured interview Conducted among senior forestry officials from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Madagascar and Mozambique, to understand their capacity building needs, their perceptions of priority areas and preferred forms and mechanisms. Seminar Talk with forestry training organisations and competent authorities for human resource development for training organisations’ capacity to provide courses, the challenges they face and ways to overcome them. Methodologies for the research
  6. 6. • Centered on the forest ecosystem, wetland, desertification and biodiversity • Strengths of Chinese forestry sector • SAFA • BFU • National Bamboo Research Center under CAF • ICBR • Senior officials • Ordinary officals at the centeral and provincial government • Technicians How is China training aid for African forestry going? African trainees are the largest recipient group. The courses specifically designed for Africa account for roughly 30%.
  7. 7. 01 03 02Helped recipient countries for better forestry governance and resources utilization, thus contributing to local livelihood improvement Contributed to international forestry cooperation by sharing the attitudes and actions on sustainable forestry Enhanced the mutual understanding and collaboration between China and African partners in forestry sector What achievement ever made?What achievement ever made?
  8. 8. African needs • High-value-added products processing • Development of lesser used tree species China's Strengths • Bamboo processing • Wildlife protection • Forest governance • Wetland protection and wise use • Desertification control • SFM • NTFP utilization and processing • forest plantation Gap 1: Priority fields of forestry training What are the disparities in expectation between China and Africa?
  9. 9. Gap 2: Targeted trainees of forestry training China • More focused on public sector experts • Officials and professionals from forestry-related sectors and NGOs’ representatives, • Local people (in consideration) Africa • Local communities for plantations, NTFP use and sustainable forest development • Grassroots technicians to promote the wise use of timber and NTFPs • Local entrepreneurs and workers for advanced processing learning
  10. 10. Gap 3: Types of training China • short-term training • training to local people should be combined with practical projects Africa • short-term training • long-term academic education • on-site grassroot training
  11. 11. Gap 4: The way to give training China • Lecturing • Field trips Africa • More discussion based on lecturing • Field trip and internship integrated
  12. 12. Both Chinese and African respondents agree that :  there is a need for better post-training monitoring and evaluation in order to strengthen the design of courses and curricula as well as to gain a better understanding of the impact.  while distance learning offered potential, it would need to be combined with opportunities for practical training and might be limited by poor infrastructure.
  13. 13. The analysis reveals a strong technical training model, which however needs to be strengthened. Though technical training clearly has a vital role to play, other types of capacity building are needed too. China needs to make more exploration in this aspects Work is needed to assess what more is needed beyond training individuals in order to understand how those individuals operate in the context of their organisations While this still represents an agenda for ‘human resource development’, it demands more of a focus on human resource development within organisations, and implies more and longer-term support for people in their institutional settings. Conclusions and suggestions
  14. 14. Ways forward...... Develop joint needs assessments01 Scale up HRD programmes in Africa , with the emphasis and focus varied by regions 02 Improve the quality of human resource development programmes in Africa 03 Enhance the monitoring and help trainees to apply what they have learned in their work 04 Deepen international cooperation in HRD program05
  15. 15. The research results have been incorporated into the 13th Five-year Plan for Forestry Foreign-aid Human Resources Development. More bilateral HRD programs for Africa More focus put on the practices Higher attention on the need evaluation Increased consideration and practices on the on-site training Changes of forestry HRD programs Africa needs to consider what you would like to get from China foreign-aid HRD programs for forestry sector
  16. 16. Initiatives or plans available for scaling up training Forum of China and African Cooperation (FOCAC) One Belt and one Road Initiative 13rd Five-year planfor Forestry Foreign-aid Human Resources D development
  17. 17. Thank you!