The bright future of China-Africa cooperation relies on the innovation and creativity of young people. On June 30th, the China-Africa Youth Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, themed "Stimulate Enterprising Spirit for Innovative Development", was held at the Changsha International Conference Center, Hunan province.
The opening ceremony of the forum was attended and addressed by Xu Xiao, Vice president of the All-China Youth Federation and Chief Coordinator of the World Youth Development Forum Organization Committee; Amakobe Sande, the UNICEF representative to China; Zhou Haibing, Vice Governor of the Hunan Provincial People’s Government and Acting Mayor of the Changsha Municipal People’s Government; Rahamtalla M. Osman, Permanent Representative of the African Union to China; and Nizar Bin Najee, Minister of Communication Technologies of Tunisia. Around 200 youth representatives from China and Africa attended the forum.
In his speech, Xu Xiao stated that innovation and entrepreneurship are key areas for China-Africa cooperation. The All-China Youth Federation will strengthen collaboration with youth organizations from African countries, focus on projects related to the joint high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, expand the partnership between Chinese and African youth in development, and lead young people in contributing their vitality to Global Development Initiatives.
Amakobe Sande noted that youth are the main drivers of entrepreneurship and innovation, and promoting youth innovation and entrepreneurship has never been more important. She hoped that China and Africa can hold more dialogues to unleash the potential of young people in China and Africa and serve as an important engine of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Zhou Haibing stated that Hunan is building Youth-Development Oriented cities in full swing, making the city more friendly to youths, empowering youth for greater contributions to the city, and allowing more intelligent resources and innovative elements to gather in Hunan. In his speech, he welcomed people from all walks of life, including young people from China and Africa, to invest and start business in Hunan, assuring that Hunan will provide the most favorable policies, the best services, and environment so that more young people from China and Africa who aspire to innovate and start business can build their dreams in Hunan, and contribute to the in-depth China-Africa economic and trade cooperation.
Rahamantalla M. Osman praised China’s efforts in promoting China-Africa youth exchange programs and youth employment and capacity building. He also welcomed China’s experience sharing in poverty alleviation and pointed out that China, as a long-standing partner of the African Union and its member states, plays a key role in empowering African youth development.
Nizar Ben Néji pointed out in his speech that China’s entrepreneurial dynamism and advanced technology have won worldwide recognition. He said Tunisia can draw useful experience from China and looks forward to building a strong and stable partnership with China, which will be conducive to achieving a common vision of mutual benefit and win-win results.
The forum also witnessed the release of “Youth Stories in China-Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, the signing ceremony of the Framework Agreement between Hunan Youth Federation and China-Africa Youth Federation, and the inauguration ceremony of the China-Africa Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base by representatives of Hunan Xiangjiang New Area and the Communist Youth League of Hunan Provincial Committee.
The forum is one of a series of events of the Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and one of the regional forums of the 2023 World Youth Development Forum.