By Ndumiso Mlilo
JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- A total of 11 media enterprises and companies from China and Africa signed five cooperation agreements on Wednesday in a bid to enhance cooperation in TV and radio fields.
The agreements were reached at Discop Africa 2015 in Johannesburg. Launched in 2008, Discop Africa is the most important pan-African film, television programs, adaptation rights and packaged channels market taking place twice a year.
The agreements include the Program License Agreement on China Program Show Week between China Radio, Film & Television Programs Exchanging Center TV and M-NET of South Africa.
The China Intercontinental Communication Center also signed the Memorandum of Cooperation Framework Agreement with South Africa's ETV. Nigeria TV4 Africa signed a cooperation agreement with China Star Times Corporation. China's CCTV News Content and the Ivory Coast National Television Station RTI also reached an agreement.
The agreements will develop into a comprehensive and deeper cooperation between China's and Africa's film and television industries, said Ma Li, Director General at the International Cooperation Department of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China.
"Today we witnessed the signing of agreements between the Chinese media and African media industry. This will help exchange programs, promote projects and enhance relations between China and Africa. This would go a long way in improving TV productions of Sino-Africa media industry," Ma told Xinhua.
Taking part in the event were experts from China Radio International, China Intercontinental Communication Center, CCTV Africa, the Great Wall Platform (Africa), CCTV News Content, China Radio, Film and Television Programs Exchanging Center, Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation and Shanghai Five Wings.
They exchanged views with their African peers on areas of cooperation, including marketing, production and animation. Both Chinese and African television stations also explored ways on how to improve programs and the industry.
Participants from both sides hailed the signing of the agreements as a giant step to build an important bridge between China and Africa in efforts to promote the cultural and educational exchanges between China and Africa.
"We brought over 200 delegates with new products and rich contents. We are keen to develop deep understanding and create a win-win situation. We want to explore opportunities together," Ma said.
She also stated that the sharing of contents will ensure that they both reach the markets in China and Africa.
Monde Twala, the managing director for eTV Channels, said he has worked with China Intercontinental Communication Centre (CICC) for six years and is happy with the new agreement his company had signed with its Chinese counterpart.
"The agreement is an important initiative as it will help eTV to promote diversity and ensure that the society is unified. I am confident that the programs we will broadcast will resonate with the audience and introduce people to other cultures," Twala said.
He expressed optimism that South Africa, Africa, China and the world would benefit from the programs obtained through partnerships with China.
He added, "People do not depend on television for entertainment only but edutainment. This would open a window to the world and open a relationship and create a bridge to Africa and the rest of the world. I hope the State Council of China would continue to support us in the coming years."
Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo, the head of Botswana Radio and Television, told Xinhua that he was happy with the agreement he signed with a Chinese enterprise.
Kaboeamodimo said, "In media and entertainment we regard an opportunity to partner with an advanced establishment which offers great hope and we are excited about that. We are looking forward to sharing content and programs. This is significant and we look forward t the fruitful exchange of content."
The event was part of cultural exchanges during the Year of China in South Africa. The theme of the exhibition was "Media Partnership for China-Africa Friendship and Win-win Cooperation."
The exhibition was meant to enhance the cultural exchange between China and Africa, said Li Mian, Director of Communication and Media of CICC.
He said the challenges to Sino-Africa relations are geographical and cultural differences.
"This exhibition would therefore promote greater understanding of each other. China has advanced technology and we want to create a better future with our African partners," Li said.
China was the guest of honor at Discop Africa 2015.
Basic Lead, who organized the event, told Xinhua that they chose China to be the Country of Honor at Discop Africa because of the existing good Sino-Africa friendship.