• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

The 8th China-Africa Youth Festival crowned with success


May 29, 2024
BEIJING, May 27th (ABP) – The 8th China-Africa Youth Festival whose opening ceremony was held on May 20, 2024 in Beijing and related activities continued in Zhejiang province, ended successfully on Sunday, May 26, 2024, with the strong commitments of both young Chinese and young Africans to going hands in hands and working together to build China-Africa modernization and a community with shared future for mankind.
China Soong Ching Ling Foundation Secretary Zhang Jiming made three suggestions to further promote cooperation between Zhejiang and Africa
In his closing remarks, Zhang Jiming, Secretary-General of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, was delighted that the 8th China-Africa Youth Festival, which was organized carefully by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, and with all the arrangements of the Zhejiang Provincial Government as well as the Soong Ching Ling Science and Culture Center for Young People, the Foreign Affairs Office of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government-Jinhua Municipal People’s Government, has achieved a complete success.
” I am deeply inspired to see the success of the traditional friendship between China and Africa and the great hope for the great course of China-Africa friendship “, he said with joy. He warmly congratulated the successful hosting of the event and expressed his sincere thanks to the young friends from the media and guests who were present in the event.
According to him, the China-Africa Youth Festival held for the first time in Jinhua, Zhejiang province, is a wonderful presentation of the connection of ideas, deepening understanding, mutual learning and enhancing friendship between Chinese and African youths.
View of the attendees in the 8th China-Africa Youth Festival Closing Ceremony
Mr. Zhang recalled that in less than a week, young friends visited a lot of places, namely the Common Prosperity Belt in Jindong, the new quality productivity development base, Zhejiang Normal University (ZJNU), Hengdian World Studios, Zhejiang Guangsha Vocational and Technical University of Construction, Yiwu International Trade Market; they also took part in the Representative Discussion Station of Wuyi County-level Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; they interacted and participated in the cultural performances in the Wu Opera Grand Theater, to name but a few.
To that end, he also recalled the three initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2023 at the China-Africa leaders dialogue. These include supporting Africa’s industrialization plan, implementing assistance to Africa’s agricultural modernization plan, and implementing China-Africa talent training cooperation plan. ” Under the guidance of these three initiatives, it is of crucial significance to strengthen the cooperation between Chinese youth and African youth to promote the joint construction of high quality Belt and Road development, constantly enrich the content of the cooperation, expand the fields of cooperation and further promote the results of cooperation, and enhance the friendly relations between the two sides to a new level “, he pointed out.
Zhejiang province has always attached great importance to the friendly cooperation with Africa, he revealed, adding that in recent years, cooperation between Zhejiang and Africa in various fields has continued to deepen and achieved fruitful results.
The province’s trade volume with Africa has exceeded $ 30 billion for four consecutive years, accounting for more than 50% of China-Africa trade. More than 20 Universities in Zhejiang have established inter-school cooperation relations with African universities and established 8 Confucius institutes cultivating a total of 120,000 Chinese language talents for Africa. Zhejiang has sent medical teams to help Africa for 55 consecutive years, providing medical service to a total of 183,800 people in different countries, etc., he illustrated.
To further promote friendly cooperation between Zhejiang and Africa, Mr. Zhang made three suggestions that young Chinese and Africans should take into account. First, he suggested that Zhejiang and Africa should steadily promote economic and trade cooperation.
” We sincerely welcome African youth to start business in Zhejiang and actively encourage the youth of Zhejiang to seek development opportunities in Africa. We will actively encourage enterprises to make two-way investment in Zhejiang and Africa and expand industry capacity cooperation through important platforms such as global digital trade expo, and the China-Africa economic trade and culture forum “, he said, specifying that they will need to leverage the functions of organizations including the youth entrepreneurship association to further strengthen industry integration, identify cooperation points and promote effective cooperation between Zhejiang and Africa in areas such as economic and trade investment, digital economy, new energy and agriculture.
He further suggested that Zhejiang and Africa should continue to deepen their cultural exchanges. ” On this basis, we need to further encourage vocational colleges within the provinces to actively participate in the China-Africa talent training cooperation plan, institutionalize the youth exchange projects and encourage young people from both sides to strengthen mutual learning, and make good use of unique culture advantages “, Mr. Zhang proposed, noting that countries should organize art groups to exchange performances, promote the integration and cooperation of culture and tourism industries, and youths should consider cultural activities as careers to further promote the communication between the people of Zhejiang and Africa.
The third suggestion is that young people should actively inherit the friendship between China and Africa. ” Youths are the driving force of China-Africa friendship and the beautiful prospects of China-Africa friendship rely on young people “, he revealed, believing that young people will definitely shoulder the historical mission and take big steps forward on the path of modernization construction in their respective countries.
” Be good inheritors, builders, and promoters of China-Africa friendship and make greater contributions to building a high-level China-Africa community with a share future “, he expressed his best wishes to the Chinese and African youths.
Sharing understandings of the traditional friendship and cooperation between China and Africa 
Shortly before the closing of the 8th China-Africa Youth Festival, which took place in ” Your World International Conference Center ” of Yiwu county-level city, Chinese and African youth representatives shared, one after another, their understandings of the traditional friendship between China and Africa and the China-Africa community with a shared future.
The Director of the Institute of African Studies at ZJNU Liu Hongwu kicking off the Youth Dialogue
In his keynote speech to kick off the dialogue, Liu Hongwu, Director of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University (ZJNU) invited over 60 young Chinese and Africans present to work in synergy to further promote collaboration between China and African countries, given that the future belongs to them.

Ding Siwen, journalist working for Jinhua News Media Center, highlighted the importance of short videos in telling China-Africa stories in the new era. ” As a young journalist, I will continue to utilize much strength to actively play the role of youth in telling stories and to make more contributions “, she promised.

For her part, Mrs. Hadia Bayoumi, Attaché of African Union (AU) Department of ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, said she was inspired by the passion, resilience, and innovative spirit of her friends and colleagues from Africa during their 8-day stay in China, specifically in the capital Beijing and Zhejiang province. ” It is through our collaboration and solidarity that we can overcome the challenges that weigh on us and lock the immense potential of our contient “, she told them.

Mrs.Bayoumi encourages her African peers to harness the knowledge and skills they have acquired to drive positive changes in their communities.

Mrs. Bayoumi further disclosed that she was impressed by various visits organized in the framework of the 8th China-Africa Youth Festival, which allowed participants to know one another through their discussions, and also to know about Chinese history, culture and people, and to experience their hospitality and amicable nature.

She took the opportunity to encourage her African peers to harness the knowledge and skills they have acquired to drive positive changes in their communities and in the world in general. ” By harnessing the power of youth and the sincere partnership between China and Africa, we will be able to build a bright future for Africa, characterized by prosperity, sustainability and inclusivity “, she expressed her hope.

Mrs. Bayoumi did not fail to express her sincere appreciation to the Chinese ministry of Foreign Affairs and the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, for well organizing that event in an impressive manner and for their unwavering support and commitment to fostering the deep partnership between China and Africa.

The Business Department Manager of Zhejiang Sifang Import and Export Corporation, Huang Wewei, currently responsible for project cooperation and agriculture machinery export to Africa, expressed his eagerness to build a bridge of cooperation in modern agriculture between China and Africa.

He further revealed that since the establishment of the company in 1961, it has been a leading enterprise in small and medium-size agriculture machinery, adding that within the 30 years working with African countries, 25 agricultural technology centers have been established in more than 20 countries and regions including Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burkina Fasso and Senegal. ” Together with the youth of Africa, we hope to make it more modernized “, he said.

Other youth representatives went on sharing views on digital economy, talent training and youth power and the role of young people in building a China-Africa community with a shared future based on their own experiences, etc.

The 8th China-Africa Youth Festival, a memorable and lesson-giving event

After congratulating the organizers of the 8th China-AfricaYouth Festival under the theme ” Bringing together the youth forces for building China-Africa modernization “, African youth representative Christ Rachid Rodrigue Ondongo, Permanent Secretary of Economic Affairs and Youth Employment Placement of Force Montante Congolaise (FMC) in the Republic of the Congo, underscored that May 26, 2024, a will be a memorable date in the history of Sino-African relations. ” For a week, China offered us its legendary hospitality by welcoming us on its soil to discover it first as a country, to know about its history, its culture, its rich traditions, and to be conversant with young Chinese and young African from the four corners of the continent “, he disclosed.

African youth representative Christ Ondongo praises the excellent ties between China and Africa

He pointed out that young Africans have learned a lot from China to such an extent that in their turn, when assuming the high responsibilities in their respective countries, they will always remember the best to draw from the Chinese development model in order to adapt it to different realities in their respective countries.

Recalling that, historically speaking, China was able to brilliantly and triumphantly overcome the challenges that it faced in the past, Mr. Ondongo pointed out that Africa is today facing challenges almost similar to those that China went through. ” If China has been able to address these challenges, what about Africa? “, he wondered, firmly believing that nothing is impossible if the momentum of awakening the consciousness of Africans does not stop. ” And we know that we can continue to count on you to support us in this battle for all-out development of our continent “, he added.

This African youth representative took the opportunity to commend the excellent relations of friendship, fraternity and cooperation particularly in the economic field, between the People’s Republic of China and the various countries of Africa, thanks to the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). He also expressed his thanks to the People’s Republic of China, for its commitment to the preparation of the future African intellectual and scientific elites, by granting thousands of scholarships each year to young African students, so that they can acquire the knowledge under the same conditions as young Chinese in the Universities of China.

He expressed his hope that this festival would continue and be organized in Africa in the near future, so that young Chinese leaders, in turn, discover the beauty of the African continent, contrary to the stereotypes spread by certain media.

China-Africa Youth Festival, a theoretical and practical think tank 

On the sidelines of the 8th China-Africa Youth Festival and the launch of the China-Africa Youth Initiative, a youth representative from the Republic of Burundi by the name of Ghislain Niyonzima, who was present in the event from the beginning to the end, told a check by Burundi News Agency that China-Africa Youth Festival is both a theoretical and a practical think tank because, he explained, the organizers of the latter combine dialogue and visits to various places to help young people learn more from the achievements and get inspired. It is also a nursery for preparing future leaders to take their responsibilities, he added.

Burundian youth representative Ghislain Niyonzima impressed by the management of the tourist sector and the methodology Chinese people use to carry out their daily activities

” I was impressed by the infrastructure, the culture preservation, the good management of the tourist sector, the patriotism of the Chinese people and their development stage “, he revealed, adding that he was also impressed by the 9-9-6 methodology that Chinese people use at work, which means that on a daily basis, they go about their development activities from 9 AM to 9 PM, and work 6 days per week.

Mr. Niyonzima further told the Check by Burundi News Agency that, as a young activist in the tourist sector through Visit Burundi Agency aimed at promoting tourism in Burundi, the participation in the 8th China-Africa Youth Festival was timely. ” I learned a lot from various visits we made and noted that tourism and culture go hand in hand “, he said.

Considering the great number of participants from different African countries in the event, Niyonzima positively appreciated the Sino-African cooperation in general and Sino-Burundian cooperation, in particular. ” My presence in China testifies to the reliable partnership between Burundi and China “, he disclosed, expressing his thanks to the Chinese embassy to Burundi for all the efforts made for Visit Burundi Agency to partake in that large-scale festival.

Group photo of the Chinese and African youth representatives in the 8th China-Africa Youth Festival