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The ties that bind

Updated: 2012-12-21 12:23
By Liu Xiangrui ( China Daily)

The ties that bind

 The ties that bind

Top: Swai Mosses (right) celebrates his son Emanuel's graduation in Beijing.

Above: Emanuel Mosses works as a broadcaster at China Radio International in Beijing. Photos Provided to China Daily

As general secretary of the Chinese Alumni Association of Tanzania, the fluent Mandarin speaker Swai Mosses is well positioned to further improve relations between the two countries

The 59-year-old Tanzanian Swai Mosses practices Mandarin every day and after nine years of doing so thinks of the Chinese as his "brothers and sisters". He works in Dar es Salaam as an assistant general manager at the Tanzania-China Friendship Textile Company, a Sino-Tanzanian joint venture, and has done so since 1997.

"My work involves dealing with people. It is challenging, especially in a joint venture as I have to pull people from different cultures together," explains Mosses, who adds that his Shanghai master's degree research from 1993 to 1995 has been a big help.

"I learned how to deal with common problems in joint ventures and applied that to my work," Mosses says. "It was a bit difficult at first because of different cultural backgrounds. But after years of cooperation, we have learned to understand and appreciate each other more. Our working efficiency has been greatly improved."

Mosses has played an important role in assisting his company's Chinese colleagues, by teaching them to speak English, inviting them to his home and assisting them when they needed help - thereby winning over their trust.

Every February he helps his Chinese friends celebrate the Lunar New Year by applying for permits to hold events.

"After working with my Chinese colleagues for 15 years, I have found that they can adapt quickly to local customs and culture," he says.

As trade and cultural exchanges have grown between China and Tanzania, increasing numbers of Chinese have moved to the African country. The growing Chinese community has introduced many new technologies and jobs.

Mosses says he first went to China in 1985 and studied the language for four years in Beijing, after receiving a scholarship backed by the Chinese and Tanzanian governments.

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