CULTURE Students from 44 African countries attend China-Africa Youth Festival in Beijing

CULTURE

Students from 44 African countries attend China-Africa Youth Festival in Beijing

CGTN

12:44, October 20, 2021

About a hundred young people from China and African countries gathered in Beijing on Tuesday to open the five-day 6th China-Africa Youth Festival. The event is sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation.

The China-Africa Youth Festival has been held annually since 2016.

Forty-five African students representing 44 countries and some 60 young Chinese people were at the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

The theme of this year's event celebrates the Communist Party of China's centenary, the wisdom and responsibility of youth and a new chapter in common development between Africa and China.

China-Africa Youth Festival participants learn Peking Opera. (Photos: China Soong Ching Ling Foundation)

"Every young Chinese and African person is a builder and promoter of a shared future for the China-Africa community. I hope you can remember the glorious history of China-Africa ties and continue to safeguard the unity of China and Africa. And deepen the mutual understanding and friendship between Chinese and African people, " said Deng Li, China's vice foreign minister.

Olivier Mendo'o from Cameroon is taking up doctoral studies at Peking University. It's his second time participating in the festival. He said Africa's huge younger population can be a catalyst for relations.

"If you look at the African population, 60 percent is under 25-year old. It's very young. So, for us to have this meaningful platform means a lot, so we can merge our minds together and help our governments make smooth cooperation or communication between China and African countries.”

Attendees learn to make handcrafts at China-Africa Youth Festival.

Events like these have become valuable venues for education, considering the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

"Because of the pandemic, it's very hard for us to visit African countries. I think this is a valuable opportunity for us to meet my peers from Africa to learn about their cultures and share our opinions about certain issues," said Liu Hongbin, a student majoring in Swahili at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Participants showcase their tie-dyed fabric at China-Africa Youth Festival.

A singer from Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kargbo, also shared her thoughts about the festival. "When people are together, we learn about culture, understanding and what you like and what you don't like. And I will take what I miss, and I learn from you. It's a platform of learning. It's a platform of unity and a platform of love," Kargbo said.

Participants attend the 6th China-Africa Youth Festival opening ceremony in Beijing, China, October 19, 2021.

Among the programs for the next three days are Chinese cultural shows and visits to some landmarks in the Chinese capital, the venues for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the Museum of the Communist Party of China.

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