Seminar on Digital South-South Cooperation Boosts Innovation and Transformation
15 April 2022
BEIJING, APRIL 15, 2022 – WFP Centre of Excellence for Rural Transformation (WFP China COE) and China Internet Information Center (CIIC) co-organized a Seminar on Digital South-South Cooperation at the UN Compound, exploring feasible ways of promoting digital innovation and transformation related to South-South cooperation. The seminar was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (MARA).
More than 100 representatives from the Government of China, foreign missions in China, international organizations and academia, attended the event either online or in person.
Du Zhanyuan, President of China International Communications Group (CICG), stated in his opening remarks at the seminar that we should grasp the important opportunities brought by digitisation, and make digital transformation an indispensible force to accelerate economic and social development. This is an unavoidable topic of our times and an important part of strengthening South-South Cooperation in the digital era. Du said, utilizing formats such as digital media and publishing will serve as an important development direction that helps CICG provide digital support for South-South cooperation projects, assist with development capacity building and knowledge sharing in developing countries, and promote more inclusive and sustainable digital economic cooperation with partners.
A memorandum of understanding on strengthening South-South cooperation was signed between WFP and CICG by Qu Sixi, Representative and Country Director of WFP China, and Gao Anming, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of CICG. Wang Xiaohui, Editor-in-chief of CIIC, presided over the signing ceremony.
The two parties pledged to develop South-South Cooperation knowledge products, provide training, and share China's technical solutions, best practices, experiences, and development approaches with other developing countries. Focusing on UN SDG 2 - Zero Hunger, WFP and CICG will promote the development of South-South Cooperation-oriented knowledge products by conducting research, organizing online and real-world knowledge sharing and exchange activities, building South-South Cooperation websites and publishing in other media, engaging in advocacy, and taking other actions together.
The WFP-China South-South Cooperation Knowledge Sharing Platform was also launched at the seminar. The platform was supported by MARA, and jointly developed by WFP China COE and CIIC. Visitors can access information on the platform about China's experiences and solutions in the following four thematic areas: Value Chain Development for Smallholders, Post-harvest Loss Management and Food Systems, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Resilience, and Innovative Poverty Alleviation Initiative. These can help empower them to enhance food security in their local areas.
The platform also offers Cloud School, an inclusive digital education space, which features programmes that are tailored to the needs of participants of all levels. It is a response to the rising demand for China's vetted knowledge about food security, nutrition improvement, poverty reduction and rural transformation. Courses offered in Cloud School reflect WFP China COE's work on the four thematic areas, as well as the value chain development in rice, Juncao and cassava. Certificates of completion are awarded to those who successfully finish them.
Xie Jianmin, Counsel (Director-General Level) of Department of International Cooperation, MARA, said in his speech that the knowledge sharing platform and Cloud School will use digital technology to disseminate and share knowledge, technology and experience in a more effective way in the development of small farmers, the value chain of agricultural products, post-harvest loss management, disaster risk reduction to help more developing countries improve their food production capacity and disaster resilience.
Rahamtalla Osman, Representative of the African Union to China, emphasised that people are living in a digitalised world that is experiencing remarkable technological transformations and that it is important that these digital tools are used for activities that save lives and protect people from the threats of hunger and malnutrition.
Jin Nuo, Former Secretary of the Communist Party of China Committee, Renmin University of China said that as the largest developing country in the world, China has solved the food problem of 20 percent of the global population with 8 percent of the world's cultivated land. China should promote its agricultural development experience and technology to help other developing countries to ensure food security in these countries and the rest of the world.
Siddharth Chatterjee, United Nations Resident Coordinator in China, noted in his speech that South-South Cooperation and humanitarian cooperation will serve as the foundation for all of the UN System's work in and with China over the next five years and will support China's high-quality development and provide the basis for cooperation with the nation in assisting other developing countries around the world in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
David Kaatrud, Director of Programme, Humanitarian and Development, WFP, observed in his video speech that the Platform responds to the increasing need of host governments to engage with SSC providers from China, enhances access to forward-looking insights from a network of experts, and promotes SSC experience sharing around the globe.
Wang Xiaolin, Deputy Dean of Institute for Six-Sector Economy, Fudan University, pointed out that at present, the way of generation and sharing of knowledge has undergone profound changes with the widespread use of new digital technology, especially mobile terminals. The high penetration of the digital technology makes it possible to share knowledge at the grass-roots level. Wang mentioned that the construction of the website is a key step in the digital transformation of WFP South-South cooperation as well as an important milestone for digital South-South cooperation globally. We look forward to contributing to zero hunger.