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Chinese friendship association to hold job fair next month for African students

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong (People's Daily Online)    15:29, October 13, 2017

As part of efforts to enhance China-Africa understanding and trust, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, CPAFFC, will next month in the Chinese capital, Beijing, hold the first ever job fair for African students in the country. The objective is to link students with Chinese firms doing business in Africa or planning to do so.

CPAFFC Deputy Director, Huang Xiaowei, made the announcement on October 10, 2017 when a group of 27 African journalists visited the Beijing head office. “The job fair will be organized with the University of International Business and Economics, UIBE, Beijing. Thousands of African students are expected at the event, including at least 2,000 from UIBE. Many Chinese universities are also expected to participate,” explained Huang. He added that the fair will be a platform for Chinese firms and African students to know each other, given that Chinese enterprises are generally interested in recruiting people who understand Chinese language and culture.

According to Huang Xiaowei, the fair is envisaged to be a long-term programme requiring follow-up. “Short and long-term jobs will be created in China or Africa. In effect, it will be a match-making gathering. If the first attempt is successful, we will make the event an annual affair,” Huang promised.

Late Guinea Conakry President Ahmed Sekou Toure was the first African Head of State to visit China in September 1960. Photo by Kimeng Hilton

Founded on May 3, 1954, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries is designated by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organize anniversaries of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and other countries. It maintains ties with over 500 organisations in 130 countries, including 2,470 friendship pairs, with 133 in Africa.

CPAFFC’s activities in Africa are grouped under the main categories of cultural exchange, youth communication, trade and economy, local government cooperation and charity. “Green Light Tours” offer free cataract operations to Africans, with focus in future being on training African medical personnel. CPAFFC Director General, Sun Xueqing, described people-to-people exchanges as “the intangible Silk Road” without which there can be no effective cooperation.

The Dragon Boat Festival was organized this year in Lake Victoria in Uganda. More neighbouring countries will be invited next year. A Chinese firm that set up business in Madagascar in the 1980s today employs over 6,000 locals in its cashmere production business. CPAFFC activities have been facilitated by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC summit of 2012. There have also been fora for French, English and Portuguese-speaking Africa, while the China-Africa Industry Forum held in Chongqing, China with focus on agriculture.

Chinese local governments (provinces and cities) have the means and know-how to invest in Africa. To pair up with them, African partners must go through national local government associations. If there are none, they can contact CPAFFC directly. One Chinese province or city can maintain relations with many African cities and provinces, Sun Xueqing clarified.

Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, a contributor to People’s Daily Online, is Sub-Editor for World News with Cameroon Tribune bilingual daily newspaper in Cameroon. He is currently a 2017 China-Africa Press Centre, CAPC fellow. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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