Investing in youth and recognizing the crucial role played by young people in promoting stronger relations has been the overriding theme during the ongoing 6th China-Africa Youth Festival in Beijing.
Speakers in the forum led by China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Deng Li spoke of the need to harness the intelligence and commitment of the youth to jointly write a new chapter of accelerated development for the benefit of the Chinese and the people of Africa.
“At present, China-Africa relations are facing new situations that demand new commitment and new achievements. I hope Chinese and African youth will keep promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between our people, and provide a strong driving force for the economic development of China and Africa.” He said
He said the festival encourages the representatives of Chinese and African youth to learn from history, deliberate the destiny of the nations and the future of China-Africa relations.
“The momentum of China-Africa cooperation is growing even stronger, providing Chinese and African youth with an increasingly wider platform to put their talent to good use.” Deng Li said during the opening ceremony
His sentiments resonated well with those of Ambassador Wu Peng, the Director-General of African Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign affairs, who acknowledged the importance of sharing ideas between young people from China & Africa especially on the role of political parties and youth in the development of countries.
“The passionate and dedicated young generation will pass on & inject fresh impetus into our partnership.” Amb. Wu Peng said
He said China is eager to listen to more African young voices on suggestions to strengthen China-Africa relations.
The festival is being organized by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF). More than 100 representatives of Chinese and African youth and young African students have been participating in the five-day event.
CSCLF chairman Wang Jiarui expressed hope that through visits, dialogues, and sharing, the African youth delegates will gain a deeper understanding of China, the ruling party CPC, and the Chinese people.
“We also hope that you will share with your family and friends the stories of China-Africa friendship so that more people could join in the cause of promoting China-Africa friendship and to contribute to the continuous development of China-Africa Cooperation,” He said
Joseph Oliver Mendoo, a youth representative from Cameroon expressed delight for participation saying the festival is a platform where young people can facilitate their governments back home to undertake smooth cooperation with China.
“China is the door. Even for me when I came to China, it began with culture and then the language, before you move on to other aspects including politics, economics, and geography. These are so important to understand,” He said
China-Africa Youth Festival is a brand activity within the framework of Forum on China-African Cooperation (FOCAC), which has been held annually since 2016.