Interview: Cultural exchanges with China have thrived under BRI, says senior Kenyan official

(Xinhua) 13:32, October 13, 2023

NAIROBI, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenya has strengthened bilateral cooperation with China in the fields of arts, culture and sports, demonstrating a commitment to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a senior Kenyan official told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Ababu Namwamba, cabinet secretary for youth affairs, sports and the arts, talked of his recent trip to China, which he said reaffirmed the commitment of the two long-standing friends to robust people-to-people exchanges.

In August, China and Kenya signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the film industry, marking a significant milestone in cultural diplomacy between the two countries.

"We now have a formal film cooperation agreement between the government of Kenya and the government of China," Namwamba said.

He said that his recent visit to China was prompted by the need to implement the MoU, which focuses on exchange programs between Kenyan and Chinese film industries, as well as co-production arrangements among artists from both sides.

During his trip to China, Namwamba also attended the Trans-Himalaya Forum for International Cooperation, which provided a platform for enhancing sports and cultural exchanges.

"China-Kenya cooperation has been very robust and productive. We have seen what that cooperation has contributed in terms of infrastructure development," Namwamba noted.

He cited significant projects, including the construction of the international sports stadium in Nairobi's Kasarani neighborhood, the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway and the Nairobi Expressway as examples of successful bilateral cooperation.

Additionally, Namwamba emphasized that Kenyan youth can leverage China's advancements in the digital space, especially in artificial intelligence, to drive economic growth and self-reliance.

Noting that China offers valuable lessons to Kenya and other African countries on inclusive growth, Namwamba said "there are definitely opportunities to expand areas of communication in sports, in creative industries, in music, in film, in theater, in so many areas where we can link our young people together."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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