Forty-two African youth representatives are in China to participate in a series of cultural exchange activities in a seven-day festival being held in the country’s capital of Beijing and Jiangxi province.
A total of 34 African envoys and delegates to China were in attendance during the opening ceremony of the 5th China-Africa Youth Festival in Beijing, alongside representatives of African students studying in China, and Chinese youth representatives.
The African Union permanent representative of to China Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman acknowledged the role China has played in supporting the empowerment of youth in Africa through promotion of knowledge, culture, and shared experience between young people from the two sides and this festival is just one of the achievements of this partnership.
“Sixty percent of the continent’s population is currently under 25 years of age. We must not forget that young people should continue to occupy a prominent place in our partnership and the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.” He remarked
The festival comes at a time China and Africa are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Chinese Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Deng Li noted that the establishment of the FOCAC 20 years ago, has enhanced partnership between the two sides with deepening political mutual trust, pragmatic cooperation, and people-to-people cultural exchange. He says the youth remain central to the realization of this mechanism’s aspirations.
“Young people are the participants and contributors of China-Africa cooperation. The youth of China and Africa should continue to unite and cooperate to better build the FOCAC and improve China-Africa relations.” He said
On his part, the chairman of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation Wang Jiarui says the China-Africa Youth Festival, which is a FOCAC side event, has provided an important platform for Chinese and African youth to exchange and learn from each other.
During the festival, the African youths and their Chinese counterparts will participate in roundtable talks where they will hold discussions on matters such as fighting against COVID-19 as well as poverty reduction initiatives.