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Survey shows African youth see China as a positive influence on the ground

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        Xinhua News Agency, Nairobi, June 29. According to the "2022 African Youth Survey" report, in the eyes of African youth, China has become the most influential country outside Africa on the African continent. China is the most influential country in infrastructure construction and local employment promotion. African countries have made positive contributions.

        On June 13, the "2022 African Youth Survey" commissioned by the Ichkowitz Family Foundation of South Africa was released. The report conducted more than 4,500 face-to-face in-depth interviews with young people aged 18 to 24 in 15 African countries, of which 77% believed that China was the most influential country outside Africa on the African continent; 76% Said that China's influence on its country and life is positive.

        According to the report, China's investment and support for infrastructure construction on the African continent, high-quality and cheap commodities, export opportunities for African products, and job creation for local people are the main reasons for African youth to affirm China's positive influence on Africa.


Chinese products are favored by young Africans


        In African countries, whether it is a small street store or a large shopping mall, there are a wide variety of "Made in China" products on the shelves, ranging from clothes, shoes, hats and plastic products to household appliances.

        "A lot of my home appliances are Chinese, and they help me a lot," said Muir, an African actress. "Chinese goods are affordable and of good quality."

        In addition to general daily necessities, electronic products from Chinese manufacturers have also become more and more popular among the younger generation in Africa in recent years.

        Martin, a 30-year-old African self-media man, calls himself a "fan" of Chinese products. He told reporters that Chinese manufacturers offer a variety of goods at different price points and have won many consumers in Kenya.

       “China is the manufacturing hub of the world,” Martin said. “Most of the products we consume come from China.” He adds that Chinese manufacturers have the expertise and innovation to make them affordable for most households their products.

        Transsion, a Chinese mobile phone brand, is very popular in the African market, and will lead the African smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2021, with a market share of 47.9%. According to Anthony Otino, the product manager of the brand, the products under the brand are mainly aimed at young people who are keen on fashion, and the manufacturers will also adjust and customize the products according to the needs of African consumers, which is also the most popular local products for Chinese products. reason.


Chinese investment brings more opportunities


        Since the signing of the memorandum of cooperation with China to jointly build the "Belt and Road", the development space of Kenya, an East African country, has continued to expand. Relevant research released by the Kenya African Policy Institute believes that China supports the construction of modern infrastructure projects such as railways, highways, ports, industries, and digital interconnection in Kenya, creating more local jobs. Thousands of Kenyan students are receiving scholarships from China and Benefit from training opportunities and energize the country's economic development.

        The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, built by a Chinese company, has just celebrated its fifth anniversary of its opening to traffic. This standard-gauge railway connects Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, and Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Travel is more convenient, and it also brings employment opportunities for many local young people.

        A 30-year-old Kenyan girl, Tabitha Kiprimo, came to work on the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway after graduating from university. She received training from Chinese experts on train operation and mastered the signal, braking system and engine working principle, and became an excellent trainee. railway train driver. She was promoted to a management position due to her outstanding performance.

       "I am very proud to be one of the first female drivers of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway." Kiprimo thanked the Chinese side for nurturing her and said that this opportunity is a good incentive for local young girls.

        According to data from early 2022, since the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese companies have built and renovated more than 10,000 kilometers of railways and nearly 100,000 kilometers of roads on the African continent, creating more than 4.5 million jobs.


Learning from "China's Experience" to Promote Development


        The "2022 African Youth Survey" pointed out that by 2030, about 42% of the world's youth population will come from Africa, and youth will become an important force in promoting peace, stability and social development in Africa. China has always strongly supported the development of education in Africa, aided in the construction of schools in many countries and shared teaching experience, and actively promoted cooperation and exchanges between Chinese and African scientific research and teaching institutions.

        In June this year, Tanzania launched the national occupational standard development project with Chinese participation. A total of 43 Chinese vocational colleges participated in the formulation of occupational standards and supporting personnel training programs for 54 jobs in Tanzania. Adolph Rutayog, chairman of the Tanzania National Vocational Education Council, said that the National Vocational Standards Development Project will lay the foundation for establishing new educational standards and promote the development of vocational education and training in Tanzania. At the same time, the project will help to cultivate a large number of high-quality skilled workers and ensure that vocational education graduates meet the international market demand.

        In recent years, the number of African students studying in China has been increasing. Through their study and travel in China, they have a deeper understanding of China and are inspired by the "China Experience".

        Joseph Mendu, a young Cameroonian, is a doctoral student at the School of International Relations of Peking University. He has studied in many places in China to find the "password" for poverty alleviation. He believes that young people can play an important role in promoting dialogue between China and African countries and bridging the gap of understanding.

        Some young Africans hope to seize the opportunities brought about by the rapid development of e-commerce in China in recent years. Zimbabwean student Tungamirai Mupona has participated in many live e-commerce events in China. He said that African youth have great enthusiasm for cross-border e-commerce, and e-commerce can help more distinctive and high-quality African products enter the Chinese market.


People-to-people bonds deepen China-Africa friendship


        At present, more and more Chinese young people are going to Africa to take root in this remote continent and contribute their own strength to local public welfare volunteer services.

        The Masare community is located on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and is the second largest slum in Kenya. 27-year-old Chinese youth Liu Yimenghan has been engaged in public welfare activities in Massare for 8 years. Liu Yimenghan came here to teach during his college days. At that time, he felt that he could do more to improve the educational environment and future life of local children. In 2014, Liu Yimenghan, who was still in college, and a group of like-minded young people co-founded the "Dream-making Charity" organization.

        They first transformed the iron-clad classrooms here into sturdy brick buildings, and have since worked to provide free meals, scholarships, tutoring and better education to underprivileged children. Through years of hard work, the three schools in Massare have been renovated, the enrollment rate has increased year by year, and children from poor families can eat free breakfast and lunch.

        Funded by donations from some Chinese foundations and individuals, "Dream-making Public Welfare" has carried out public welfare activities in 6 African countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition to repairing schools and providing free meals, they have also successively launched talent shows, football matches, dream art exhibitions, youth training and other projects to help poor children pursue their dreams.

        African youths are full of confidence in the future of China-Africa relations. Ivor Ichkowitz, chairman of the Chikovitz Family Foundation, said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency: "The vast majority of young Africans believe that Africa-China cooperation will bring about win-win results. China continues to invest in Africa to help African people. It has brought tangible benefits. Some Western countries have been saying that China is not good for Africa’s development, but young Africans have the opposite view.”