The Chinese province of Zhejiang on Thursday unveiled an exhibition on human settlements development at the United Nations Office at Nairobi in Gigiri.
The exhibition has pictures depicting various aspects of life in Zhejiang, including countryside images, historical edifices as well as architectural and engineering masterpieces. Also being exhibited are books on Chinese history, culture, language, arts, architecture, environment and urban development. The books will be donated to UN-HABITAT at the end of the exhibition.
Speaking during the occasion, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos praised the Chinese saying the country was attracting a lot of interest especially in the field of urbanization owing to its cities' rich cultural background and rapid urbanization.
"Chinese contribution to urbanization is very important and that is why we are very happy with this exhibition and the book donation. Because of rapid urbanization Chinese cities have become powerhouses for making China the biggest emerging economy in the world. Their experiences and lessons need to be shared with other cities around the world," he said.
The Executive Director hailed the Zhejiang Publishing United Group- the book donors- saying their gesture was appreciated by the agency. "Chinese language is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. We need to diversify our information and collection in the UNON Library and therefore we need books about China to learn, study and to search, not only the long history and wisdom of ancient China but also the new policies and practices that make the new and strong China possible," he said.
In his speech, the deputy permanent representative of China to UN-HABITAT Mr. Zheng Guangda disclosed that the exhibition was the culmination of long discussions between his country and UN-HABITAT.
"The province of Zhejiang has taken the lead in this partnership but hopefully there will be more initiatives like this to follow because we want to expand understanding of China," he said.
The head of the Zhejiang delegation Mr. Mao Linsheng said the book donation was important not only from the cultural aspect but also due to the fact that they will help more and more people understand China better.
During the occasion, students from the Confucius Institute of the University of Nairobi entertained guests with a rendition of the all-time Kiswahili popular song Jambo Bwana and a Chinese number.