--Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong at the Graduation Ceremony of Data Link Institute (DLI) affiliated to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
(January 26, 2017)
Respected Mr. Ernest Ansah, Executive Chairman of DLI,
Respected Mr. Jacob J. Nortey, President of DLI,
Respected Members of Parliament,
Respected Traditional Leaders,
Dear Teachers and Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning! It is my great pleasure to attend the graduation ceremony of Data Link Institute and deliver a keynote speech. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, I would like to express our warm congratulations to the graduates on your successful completion of studies, and hope this graduation ceremony will be the most unforgettable moment in your life! To every graduate, today is a special day. University graduation ceremony is the adult ceremony in modern society, which means the students really step into society and start an independent life.
After graduation, some people will find a job, and others will continue their education or go abroad to study. Ghanaian students enjoy reputation of being smart and talented with outstanding academic results, and are very popular in the world. I welcome you to continue your study in China. Mr. Ansah wishes I could talk about China's talent strategy. Thus, I'd like to begin my speech with the story of Chinese overseas students.
In 1847, when the closed door of China banged down by the fire of the western powers, China's first overseas student to America Mr. Rong Hong went abroad with an American missionary to walk on an unknown and difficult road. For the conservative Qing Dynasty, a student going abroad to study was an eccentric behavior. For the student, it was a kind of pain that everyone is drunk whereas I am sober. Yet it was also the awakening of the sense of a historic mission that "If I can't do it, who can". After returning to China, Mr. Rong Hong made history by building China's first modern manufacturing enterprise named Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau and organizing the first batch of government sponsored overseas students to America.
For more than 100 years, generations of Chinese overseas students have transformed the old China with their aspiration and warmth, and created one and another miracle to tamp a solid foundation for China's prosperity. Chinese ancestors once said, "Able and virtuous persons are the foundation for governance, and the most important thing in governing is to choose and use the right persons". The Chinese people have always inherited a fine tradition of cherishing the talents and magnanimity of not sticking to the formalities of talents. Since the founding of New China, especially since the reform and opening up in late 1970s, the Chinese government has adhered to the strategy of rejuvenating the country through talents, and gradually formed a complete set of talents management system suitable to China's national conditions.
--Comprehensive utilization of first class experts both at home and abroad. "The ocean doesn't refuse any river, so can it be vast". At the beginning of the founding of New China, a large number of talents represented by Mr. Qian Xuesen, Mr. Deng Jiaxian as prominent scientists studying abroad, went back to the motherland and made outstanding contribution to industrialization, scientific research, education and national defense construction of the country. In 2008, the Chinese government started the High-Level Overseas Talents Recruitment Program (referred to as "1,000 Talent Plan"). So far, the 1,000 Talent Plan has introduced into China totally 12 batches of more than 6,000 high-level innovative and entrepreneurial talents, creating an important force in the construction of an innovative country. At the same time, the Chinese government has established a complete system of domestic education and scientific research, attached great importance to that genuine talents come from practice and successfully cultivated a large number of domestic top technical personnel. In 2015, Mdm. Tu Youyou, a Chinese female scientist without PhD degree, overseas study background or academician title, won the Nobel Prize in medicine due to discovering new anti-malaria drugs-Artemisinin and Dihydroartemisinin, attracting worldwide attention and becoming the pride of all Chinese people.
--"Plant Firmiana to attract phoenix", which means improving the environment for talent growth. Chinese people always say, "Fishes like living in aquatic plants, and birds choose fine wood to habitat". In the era of knowledge economy and globalization, talents flow freely around the world. Building the social environment and system respecting and benefiting talents is the only way to retain them. The Chinese government not only provides relatively sufficient scientific research funds and subsistence allowances for the experts, but also adheres to market-orientation in resource allocation to set up distribution system mainly according to work as well as combining a variety of coexist distribution modes. China has constantly strengthened the protection of intellectual property rights, promoted university-industry cooperation, and increased conversion rate of scientific research achievements to market products. In 2016, the R&D funds of whole society of China are more than 1.5 trillion yuan RMB, amounting to 2.1% of GDP. Because of system advantages and continuous investment in R&D, China has made remarkable achievements in the fields of manned space flight, lunar exploration, deep-sea submersible, super computer, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, high-speed railway, 4G Communication Network, nuclear power, UHV power transmission and hybrid rice, etc.
--To keep pace with the times and cultivate innovative technical talents according to need. At present, science and technology enjoy rapid development, and the economic development depends more and more on innovation drive. Talents are the foundation of innovation; therefore innovation drive is essentially talents drive. China has developed into a new stage of relying more on science and technology innovation to lead and support the economic development and social progress. The Chinese government has constantly brought forth the innovation of ideology, institutions, policies, science and technology, proposed Internet + and Made in China 2025 initiatives. In the aerospace, super computer, artificial intelligence and other high-tech industries, a large number of researchers, aged between 30 to 40, have become the backbone of the scientific and technological innovation. The government has also vigorously developed modern vocational education, expanded the coverage of high quality education resources, and transformed the qualified ordinary tertiary institutes to technique oriented, in order to train more innovative technical talents according to need.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Not long ago, I found a very interesting research report online named Low-cost locations in the layout of the global manufacturing industry. According to the report, the world has experienced three waves of global industry transfer since the World War II. The host countries created "economic miracle" in the industry transfer process of each wave. Some economists believe that the first echelon of the fourth global industrial transfer will be India, Brazil and Indonesia; and the second echelon will be Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Argentina. I am glad to see that Ghana is among them, which means that Ghana can have its place in a new batch of world manufacturing countries. Of course, pie doesn't fall from the heaven - Money does not grow on tree. The global industrial transfer has its inherent laws and raises higher requirement on quality and capability of labors. Ghana has the tradition of attaching great importance to education and talent cultivation, while its education quality is among one of the best in Africa. The NPP government promises to pay more attention to technology, vocational education and skills training, transfer Ghana's talent cultivation system from "supply-oriented" to "market-oriented", and establish modern apprenticeship system. Ghana has rich resources, abundant talent reserves, and peace and stability in the social environment. Establishing a talent strategy conforming to the Ghana's conditions is in favor of realizing Ghana's prosperity and people's happy life.
To realize the national development depends upon not only the talent strategy at national level, but also the enhancing quality of individual worker. There are some common characteristics of high-quality talents as follows:
Patriotic. Every citizen is responsible for the rise and fall of the nation. The national development can't be realized by politicians' slogans, but by every citizen's selfless dedication. For more than one hundred years, the Chinese students are full of enthusiasm to serve the motherland and have brought great changes to China. According to statistics, 79.87% of China's overseas students today choose to return to China. Ghanaian students also have strong spirit of patriotism. Most of the overseas students return to Ghana too after graduation to make contribution to their motherland.
Hardworking. No pains, no gains. China can't register today's achievement without the hard work of Chinese people. In contemporary China, young people working overtime has become normal. The philosophies of "time is money" and "more pay for more work" are deeply rooted in people's mind. We often say "Chinese dream" and "Ghanaian dream" - the dream, is the conviction that people can live a better life through unremitting struggle and is the belief that national prosperity and national rejuvenation can be achieved through hardworking. Hardworking is the most solid foundation for our dream and let us go further.
Pragmatic. Chinese ancient educationist Confucius said, "Though a man may be able to recite the three hundred odes, yet if, when in trusted with a governmental charge, he knows not how to act, or if, when sent to any quarter on a mission, he cannot give his replies unassisted, notwithstanding the extent of his learning, of what practical use is it?"In recent years, there is a common phenomenon in both developing and the developed countries: the financial, lawyer, consulting and other social service industries are booming, while professional and technical jobs become unpopular. The real economy gives way to virtual economy, and industrial hollowing out is seriously increasing. People are talking more but doing less. The DLI is affiliated to KNUST, which is the best science and technology university in Ghana. I hope everyone will become a pragmatic and professional technician. A popular saying for you,"Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work".
Innovative. A country may not survive without innovation. The era of knowledge economy calls for more creative talents. I think many people have heard of the "Long Tail Effect". In the fierce mass market competition, talents with innovative thinking can explore opportunities from the subdivision of niche markets to achieve great success. The purpose of "mass entrepreneurship and innovation" initiative proposed by the Chinese government and the "national plan for entrepreneurship and innovation" launched by the Ghanaian government, is to nurture more entrepreneurs with innovation spirit. Since I came to Ghana, I have been invited to attend the Final of Enactus Ghana each year. The innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit of Ghanaian students left a deep impression on me and let me feel more confident of Ghana's development.
In addition to formulating suitable talent strategy, cultivating talents with the characteristics of patriotism, hardworking, pragmatic and innovation, Ghana's national development is inseparable from the support of international partners. China is the world's largest developing country and the main engine of world economic growth as well as the main output country of production capacity. There is no doubt that China will play an important role in the process of Ghana's receiving the global industrial transfer and realizing economic transformation. At the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China―Africa Cooperation, H.E. Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to promote "China-Africa Ten Major Cooperation Plans" and provide $60 billion funding support. China is Ghana's traditional friendly country, and is ready to work with the Ghanaian side to make joint efforts to speed up the alignment of development strategies of the two countries, promote production capacity and equipment manufacturing cooperation to create a more robust China-Ghana relation.
Chinese ancient scholar Mr. Zhu Zhiyu once said, "Every gentleman should have a magnanimous mind to embrace the whole world. When he governs a country, he should worry about the country; when he rules a region, he should worry about the region. He always has the fear that people's livelihood may not be improved". I hope that all the graduates will grow into high-quality talents meeting the needs of Ghana's development with a strong sense of mission, lofty ideal and indomitable spirit to promote the process of Ghana's industrialization and economic transformation and make your own contribution to the development of China-Ghana relations.
Tomorrow is the Chinese lunar New Year's Eve, which is the day of family reunion of Chinese people to ring out the Old Year and ring in the New Year. Here, I would like to express my sincere New Year greetings to all of you, and wish you to ride the winds, break the waves and go forward in your new life journey. I wish you all good health, successful career and happy family!