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Chinese, African women’s shared progress amid growing cooperation

By Xinhua

CHANGSHA,July 3 (Xinhua) -- With beads of sweat on her sunburnt face, Liang 
Qiuli found her overalls already soaked with perspiration.At
 the construction site of the Central Business District in Egypt's new 
administrative capital, Liang meticulously examined building materials' 
sizes, quantities and specifications, braving the scorching sun.Hailing
 from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, the female
 engineer is a relative rarity in a sector that typically demands 
on-site work thousands of kilometers away from home. "People often 
perceive construction sites as male-dominated environments, but women 
can also make significant contributions with their professionalism, 
attention to detail, and meticulousness."Involved
 in the most sizable project undertaken by Chinese enterprises in Egypt 
to date, Liang tirelessly worked at the construction site throughout the
 day. When night fell, she diligently assessed the work's progress, 
checked data, and wrote comprehensive reports. "I aspire to engage in 
more projects in the future, supporting the infrastructure development 
of more African nations."The
 stories at the construction site in Egypt are vivid examples of the 
vital role of women in Sino-African cooperation. From medical aid, 
scientific research, and poverty reduction to economic and trade 
exchanges and blending of lifestyles, women from China and Africa engage
 in broader, stronger, and more effective cooperation.As
 China-Africa exchanges and cooperation deepen, these passionate, 
resilient, and courageous women continue to spread the gentle yet 
powerful force of "holding up half the sky," contributing to the 
enduring friendship between China and Africa.Hoda
 Ibrahim Ahmed Gomaa, a female employee working side by side with Liang,
 served as a safety officer on the project after she acquired knowledge 
on equipment safety through the China-Egypt collaborative initiative 
known as the "Luban Institute."The
 Egyptian woman made no bones about her apathy when she took the post at
 first. "Initially, I intended to secure a stable job to provide for my 
family, but as I worked, I became intrigued by this sector."She
 sees Chinese projects as agents of change, introducing standardized 
employee training practices and advanced production technologies to 
Africa. "This position has equipped me with invaluable skills and 
significantly enhanced my family's well-being."Lineo Kobeli is another African female chasing her "Chinese dream" amid the evolving China-Africa cooperation.Since
 childhood, the woman from Lesotho has heard many stories about the 
country in the Far East from her father, a businessman who frequently 
traveled to China.After
 spending two years working in Africa, she seized the chance to pursue a
 master's degree in China, finally fulfilling her childhood dream.During
 a youth entrepreneurship competition, Kobeli was captivated by a 
Chinese woman on the judging panel representing the Africa Guangdong 
Business Association (AGBA)."She
 stated that with sufficient determination, women can be successful in 
their careers," Kobeli recalled. Inspired by these words, Kobeli 
approached the judge after the competition."In
 her, I saw a woman I wanted to become. I asked her if there was an 
opportunity to work with them, and she agreed," she recalled.The
 Chinese woman Kobeli mentioned was Tracy Huo, vice president of AGBA. 
Huo recalled being moved by the African woman's confidence, sincerity, 
and eagerness to learn, so she invited Kobeli to intern with her team."African youths can be inspired by China's development, learn and equip ourselves here, and give back to Africa," Kobeli said.Huo
 has also witnessed the changing social roles of African women in recent
 years. She said that an increasing number of African women had escaped 
poverty and realized their self-worth through education, skill 
development, and industrial growth."In
 the future, women will certainly play a greater role in China-Africa 
economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges," Huo said 
 June 29, the China-Africa Women's Forum took place in Changsha, central
 China's Hunan Province, as a side event of the China-Africa Economic 
and Trade Expo.  ■
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