Conference on China-Africa communications set for Beijing

Media Owners Association members from left Wilfred Kiboro (NMG), SK Macharia(RMS) and Sam Shollei (SG) chat with National Assembly Energy Committee Chairman Jamleck Kamau and members after the committee meeting at Continental House in February over the controversial digital migration and switching off of analogue signals. [PHOTO: STANDARD/ FILE]

NAIROBI: A major round table conference on China Africa Communications is set to be held in June where scholars and practitioners will presents arguments in academic and conference papers.

Organised by the Africa Communication Research Centre (ACRC) and the Communications University of China, the conference will consist of a mix of plenary and parallel sessions running from 12-13th June 2015 at the Communication University of China (CUC), Beijing, China.

“In the spirit of interdisciplinary interchange, the conference will address and offer a comprehensive overview of key communications issues between the People’s Republic of China and African Countries, “ a statement calling for academic papers said.

A press release from the organisers says the main speakers will include well-known leading scholars and innovators in African Communication Research as well as researchers, journalists, and communication practitioners, working in a broad range of areas including communication studies, journalism, education, economics, and other areas related to the theme of the conference.

Topics slated for discussions include, but are not limited to: Chinese soft power and public diplomacy in Africa, Chinese telecommunication in Africa, Media coverage on China and Africa, Chinese media engagement in Africa, Cross culture communication between China and Africa.

The organisers say conference aims at bettering relations between China and Africa which date back to centuries have gained momentum over the years and the establishment of this planned Round Table on China-Africa Conference echoes the entrenchment of strategic partnerships.

According to Dr Luo Xue of ACRC, the conference broadly aims to explore the role and potentiality of media and public diplomacy in China-Africa relations. As well as contributing to the communication on China-Africa in a global and local context, it seeks to provide a consolidated and focused forum for academic work that engages with, and invigorates wide-ranging studies on China-Africa communications research.

In Kenya, it will be interesting to see discussion surrounding the entry of CCTV Africa in the broadcast industry as well as discussing the Broadcast Signal distribution in which a Chinese firm Pan Africa Network Group was linked with acquisition of several frequencies resulting in a protest by leading local indigenous broadcasters KTN, NTV, and Citizen TV under the consortium, Africa Digital Network.