Life changing experience in China

Beijing, China — The Republic of South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, declared independence from Sudan in July 2011 after a violent civil war. Meanwhile, Monday Semaya K.Kumba, the first South Sudanese postgraduate student of Tsinghua, was heading back to his home country to participate the process of independence.

Before he joins the Tsinghua University, he was an official of Foreign Affairs and not willing to study in China because he had already obtained Master of Law in South Africa. Thanks to his colleague’s several persuasion, he considered the second postgraduate program in China and joined International Master of Public Administration (IMPA) at Tsinghua. A year-long experience at Tsinghua was leveraged his career but also gave a tremendous impact on his country.

After his graduation at Tsinghua, his first assignment was participating in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was held in Hangzhou, in 2011. During the forum, South Sudanese delegates successfully lobbied with other countries senior officials to agreed on the Republic of South Sudan’s independence and reached agreement on bilateral trade with China. Since then, the Republic of South Sudan’s independence movement was quickly recognized by the broader part of the international community.

“The world comes to me. So our people were happy about that. This happened because of IMPA. I was using the theories and principles that I was taught from the IMPA program to deal with specific issues. Because we were taught lots of things, I was using these specific principles to handles that thing,” said Monday Semaya K.Kumba, head of Economic, Trade and Investment section of the Republic of South Sudan Embassy in China.

After that milestone, the high-level Chinese delegation led by 9th Vice President of China visited in Juba, a capital of South Sudan, in the following year. China also offers them to open the Embassy in China, and Monday played a leading role on this honorable duty.

Now, the total bilateral trade of China and South Sudan has reached to more than 12 billion USD, which is fourth times increased in 2014, according to the Chinese ambassador Xiangdong in South Sudan on the Gurtong newspaper. Furthermore, roughly 570 Chinese investment companies work in South Sudan, more than 600 students are studying in China. Every month 30-80 South Sudanese come here in China to participate different level of training.

Ndikiri Benjamin, one of the nine South Sudanese students at Tsinghua, had an ambition to being a next president of his country.  “We are going back to make differences in our countries. From the bottom of my heart, I feel, I can do something for my people. The IMPA give us sufficient knowledge to make a difference,” said Ndikiri Benjamin, a fellow of IMPA and Director of Administration of Finance at Ministry of Public Service in South Sudan.

China’s economic achievements have attracted other developing countries, which have sent officials to China to learn the secrets to its success.  IMPA, for instance, has already received about 300 government officials and researchers from more than 72 countries, mostly from Africa, since 2008.

“China doesn’t describe our policy. They have own strategies. They just want to assist, and give aids, we need to change our strategies step by step.“ said Clemence Sainet, a fellow of IMPA and former official of Ministry of Agriculture in Zimbabwe.  “China is our second trading partner, after South Africa. In terms of, tobacco farming, China is changing the games. I also want to be a game changer.”

“We have never forced our students to accept China’s ideology or development model. Aside from China’s model, the course also studies the experiences and lessons they learned from their own development. However, after they came to China, they are extremely interested in China’s experience and model,” said Professor Xue Lan, dean of School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua, on Global Times.

Tsinghua, one of the leading university in the world, neither preparing the future leaders in China nor sharpening the administrative skills of the other developing nation’s government officials through the IMPA.


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