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China Diaries: Lessons from The Great Wall

The original length of the great wall is 3,100 miles constructed over a period of 10 years by more than a million laborers.

The original length of the great wall is 3,100 miles constructed over a period of 10 years by more than a million laborers.

BEIJING, China, Jul 12 – They were all rushing towards our direction for a photo moment with the great men from Africa.

I happened to be part of a group of journalists from Africa and other developing countries currently undertaking training in China.

On this day, being a Saturday we were treated to a lifetime tour to the great China Wall. On arrival, the friendly Chinese citizens seized the rare chance to shake African hands and eventually thoughthrough sign language requested for a photo session.

And it was a photo session, just like that.

The Great Wall of China is the world’s largest defensive fortification.

“It is not one long wall but a system of many walls built over 2,000 years,” Daniel Zhang, one of the facilitators explained.

The original length of the great wall is 3,100 miles constructed over a period of 10 years by more than a million laborers.

“Kenyans will dominate again here as they have been doing during the training,”I overheard a senior journalist from Lesotho complain after seeing the steep stairs of the wall.

“Kenyans are marathoners,” he added as if cautioning the rest of the participators.

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Proudly, I joined the conversation saying, “it’s something God given. We were all born like that.”

We may not have been the best, but team Kenya managed to reach the second security tower.

The great wall has 1,316 security towers.

For Kenya, that was not a mean achievement going with the extremely hot weather currently in China.

-Tourism lessons for Kenya –

If we conserve our historic sites just as China, Daniel pointed out that they will become major tourist attraction centers.

For example, he said there are over 10 million tourists – foreigners and locals – visiting the wall every year.

– Security lessons –

In Beijing, other than the very good infrastructure that ranges from good roads to buildings, security is key.

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Being a 24-hour economy city, the Chinese Government has installed CCTV cameras in all strategic positions and are closely monitored by security apparatus.

“You will rarely see a police officer monitoring your movements around,” a local who understands a little bit of English told Capital News.

“They can see you. Our citizens are also responsible enough to report any case. We love our country.”

In every 50 meters, the Big Brother (CCTV) is watching.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has been urging all citizens to take security as a personal responsibility as Kenya continues to face major security challenges ranging from terrorism, poaching among others.

The two months training is set to enhance skills of journalists across the globe largely from developing countries in radio broadcasting technology as well creating understanding of how media in China operate.

There will also be sessions set aside to visit various historic sites other than the Great Wall of China.

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