Shenzhen Government Online
Green project witnesses SZ-Port Moresby friendship
From: Shenzhen Daily
Updated: 2024-02-06 10:02


Students pose for a photo at the Butuka Academy in Papua New Guinea, a project funded by China with assistance from Shenzhen under the Belt and Road Initiative, in this file photo. SD-Agencies


An aerial view of the Butuka Academy. SD-Agencies

Over the past decade, Shenzhen has enthusiastically engaged in deepening exchanges and collaborations in areas such as infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds with Belt and Road countries. Shenzhen Daily is presenting a series of reports on the city's active role in boosting the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Shenzhen established friendly exchange relations with Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) in May 2016. Friendship between the two cities was enhanced when the Butuka Academy in the PNG was established, a project funded by China with assistance from Shenzhen under the Belt and Road Initiative.

It is a key educational infrastructure for local primary and secondary school students who had difficulty attending school in the past.

Construction on the school began in 2017 and was carried out by China Construction Science and Industry Corp. Ltd. On Nov. 16, 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the school's inauguration ceremony and announced the official opening of the school in Port Moresby. 

The Butuka Academy is located in a repurposed and renovated local primary school that could only accommodate up to 1,500 students originally. Now, covering an area of 50,582 square meters, the new campus can accommodate nearly 3,000 students. The academy includes a kindergarten, a primary school, a secondary school, an apartment building for teachers, a multi-functional hall, and a modern football pitch. 

The academy is now the largest multi-functional school with the most advanced facilities in the South Pacific. The first batch of about 200 students graduated from the school in 2022. 

Green construction 

The Butuka Academy stands as a prime example of the practical application of the concept of green development and low-carbon technologies.

The project team completed the five buildings in only 77 days while dealing with challenges like a dynamic and complex geological environment, the negative impacts of the rainy season, and an inconsistent supply of power and water, as reported by CGTN.

In terms of design, the project combined Chinese architectural elements with traditional local buildings. 

Green technologies were comprehensively applied to the project and focused on the efficient use of limited land, energy efficiency, water conservation, and reducing the total amount of building materials used.

In order to cope with PNG's high temperatures and rainy climate, the ventilation system was designed based on local traditional architectural features.

The project won the China Construction Engineering Luban Prize for an overseas project (2018-2019). 

BRI benefits 

PNG Minister of Housing and Urban Development Justin Tkatchenko has publicly expressed gratitude to the Chinese Government and China Construction Science and Industry Corp. Ltd. for building a high-standard school for the locals.

"We received plenty of support in terms of learning materials and funds to sponsor our kids at the school," said Terupo Apawa, a board member of the Butuka Academy. 

He called for more support in terms of maintenance and more Chinese teachers and management professionals in the future. 

He said the new school has changed the mindset of many people there and they want to continue to be part of the program. 

Joseph Paul, head of the academy's preschool, appreciated the donations from China and noted that the support has really benefited them. 

A student from the academy's secondary school, who identified himself as David, said: "Our school conditions were not good four years ago. Academic buildings and classrooms were all very old and our classrooms were crowded and dim. We had to sit on the floor because of a lack of desks and chairs. Our new campus is quite beautiful. We have a big sports field so I can run and play football with my friends."

Continual exchanges

A Confucius classroom was unveiled in the Butuka Academy in October 2021 to help with Chinese language education.


Teachers from China joined the school to teach Mandarin to students. In November 2021, the Shenzhen Futian Experimental Education Group Han Lin School and Butuka Academy established a friendly relationship.

Also in November 2021, China Construction Science and Industry Corp. Ltd. signed a contract with the academy that will provide the academy with 20 years of free facility maintenance services.