China-Africa Public Diplomacy Forum opens on Tuesday in Tanzania's Dar es salaam with over 100 representatives from both China and Africa, including officials, businessmen, experts and media professionals.
The Chinese people will never forget the help from the African people, and the two peoples are connected by heart and soul, said Li Zhaoxing, chairman of China Public Diplomacy Association in his speech at the opening ceremony.
The forum focused on exploring opportunities for future development and shared diplomatic perceptions so as to understand the divergence of opinions which could lead to misunderstandings.
"The media in China and Africa should work closely in sharing dreams of development between China and African countries," said Nape Nnauye, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports at the forum.
Nnauye said it was important for the media to play a role in bridging the gap between the peoples of China and Africa.
"Chinese people are not only our friends but they are also our brothers and sisters," said the minister.
Nnauye said the media could also promote national culture and safeguard stability.
"It's high time now the media should wake up and disseminate good news to the world instead of portraying the African continent negatively," he said.
Zhao Qizheng, the Dean of School of Journalism of China's Renmin University, said he was optimistic that the African continent would realize its development dream in the next 20 years.
Zhao said: "If someone today writes in newspaper that Africa will never achieve its development dream, just keep that paper and show it to them after 20 years. I am sure that Africa should have achieved its dream by that time."
Doreen Apollos, Communication Advisor for the African Union Commission, said the media have a better chance to promote investment opportunities in China and Africa.
"We need to build understanding between our peoples for the development of the continent," she said, adding: "We can also use our economic partnership to showcase our culture."