I have a close bond with China. I came to the country for the first time 13 years ago to study aquaculture skills at the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS). In the next couple of years, I also visited China for times to study aquaculture and purchase equipment.
Now, I run a company in Mpigi District, Uganda that is engaged in Mozambique tilapia breeding and fish feed processing. In a manner of speaking, the company would not have come into being without the skills and experiences I acquired in China.
At present, COVID-19 is spreading around the globe. To curb the spread of the disease, the Chinese government has adopted the most comprehensive, strict and thorough prevention measures and made huge efforts, achieving major strategic progress in the battle against the COVID-19 epidemic. Meanwhile, China also shared its experiences in epidemic prevention and control to help other countries better respond to the disease.
African countries, including Uganda, have learned a tremendous amount from China’s combat against COVID-19. China’s medical team assisting Uganda introduced relevant knowledge of epidemic prevention and control, and Chinese experts exchanged views with Uganda’s health departments via video conferences. Besides, Chinese medical expert teams that had fought against COVID-19 on the frontline in China came to Africa to share their valuable experiences. The anti-epidemic materials from China also protected our medical workers and ensured the smooth progress of case screening.
I heard some say that Africans were treated unfairly in China in COVID-19 response in the past April, and my first reaction was “This is a rumor”. I learnt how the thing was from my Ugandan friends in China, and they told me that local governments in China have adopted strict containment measures to protect the health and lives of the residents, and many infected Africans were saved.
The brotherhood between Africa and China shall not be stigmatized. To have more people know the truth, I uploaded a video clip to social media, in which I refute the rumors with my personal experiences and facts. I shared my experience in China in the video. During my stay in the country, all the people I met were friendly. We studied and traveled together, forming a profound friendship. I also received supports from my Ugandan friends. They liked the video and shared it with more people.
At the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19 held not long ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged that once the development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit. This further reinforced our confidence in defeating the virus. I hope the epidemic can end soon, so that I can once again step on the beautiful land of China and reunite with my Chinese friends.
(The article is based on the interview by People’s Daily journalist Wan Yu in South Africa. David Muliika is the general manager of Ugandan fishery company Green Fish Limited.)