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Youth to promote Asia-Africa friendship

By Liu Xuan | | Updated: 2018-09-13 18:13
Omunu Edir Dauneto Stephen, a journalist from South Sudan Broadcasting Corp, takes a selfie during a visit to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in Beijing on Saturday. Cheng Gong / For China Daily

Youth from Asian and African countries showed great enthusiasm as ambassadors when gathering together in Beijing for the third Asian and African Youth Festival.

The festival, which kicked off on Sept 13 in Beijing and will run through Sept 15, invited more than 320 young people from over 50 Asian and African countries to participate in a series of exchange activities such as forums, lectures, cultural experiences and training.

Li Keyong, secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, said at the opening ceremony he hopes the youth can contribute to the establishment of a closer Asian-African community with a shared future.

"Young people from Asia and Africa should lay a broader foundation for South-South cooperation by treating each other as equals, being objective and fair, seeking common ground while reserving differences and expanding all-around exchanges. "

He said he hopes the young generation will grasp the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative and act as inheritors of the Asian-African friendship, participatory cooperators as well as promoters of sustainable development.

Hun Many, president of the Asian Youth Council, said he looks forward to witnessing young people understanding each other's cultures, promoting friendship between Asia and Africa and creating a more peaceful, stable and prosperous world.

Mohamed Aliani Abdalla, an official from the youth league of Tanzania's ruling party, said he hopes the 2018 festival will promote more practical cooperation among young people in Asia and Africa, especially in leadership training, education, development and investment, tourism and exchange projects.

The idea was brought by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015, saying China would hold an Asian-African Youth Festival in the next five years starting in 2016, and invite a total of 2,000 young people from Asian and African to participate. This year is the third consecutive year China has hosted this event.

Mahmuda Chowdhury from Bangladesh said she felt excited to make friends with people from different cultural backgrounds and help link Bangladesh with China and other countries.

Sovi-Guidi Lionel Pyrrhus, a student from Benin who has been in China for over a year, said the festival gives him a chance to communicate with peers from around the world.

"This is also a good opportunity to learn Chinese culture better and deeper," he said, adding his dream in the future is to teach Chinese.

A series of sessions will be held during the festival, including the Asia-Africa Youth Development Forum, the Asian Youth Leaders Forum and the Asian-African Youth Partner Camp. Participants will also visit Chinese companies, communities and universities to communicate with Chinese young people in different fields.

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