The Malawi’s youth delegate to the 2018 China-Africa Youth Festival, Chimwemwe Kaonga, made the announcement during an audience with the Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Liu Hongyang, in Lilongwe last week.
Kaonga said Mutharika was chosen alongside President George Weah of Liberia, Forum on China-Africa Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao, Aliko Dangote and Patrice Lumumba.
Held under the theme “Connecting the Dreams of the Youth and Creating a New Era for China-Africa friendship”, the festival brought together 105 youth leaders from 54 African members of the Forum on China – Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
According to Kaonga, delegates to the third China-Africa Youth Festival, having been inspired by the virtues and philosophies of Chinese President Xi Jinping, resolved to establish the Economic and Trade Cooperation of African Youth(ETCAY) to advance growth and development across Africa, in order to enhance the standard of living of all Africans by ensuring a prosperous, free, secure, and globally competitive Africa, through Trade and Economic Cooperation with their counterparts of the People’s Republic of China in the areas of Agriculture, Infrastructure Development and Technology.
“Malawi was honoured to be given advisory role because of Mutharika’s commitment to develop the youth in the country. Youth leaders from across 54 African countries settled for Mutharika as appointed youth champion for his various initiatives aimed at empowering youth in Malawi and beyond,” said Kaonga
The African Youth Leaders also elected leadership of ETCAY Kaonga was elected SADC Regional Youth representative and will be responsible for coordination of innovation, programs and projects under ETCAY.
Hongyang described the development as a timely intervention towards youth ecomonomic empowerment in Africa, further emphasising the need for China-Africa youth to learn from each other and develop together.
“I would like to remind you that few decades ago, China was like most of our African countries. China’s meteoric rise over the past half century is one of the most striking examples that should challenge Africa regarding the impact of opening an economy up to global markets. China has undergone a shift from largely an agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse thereby increasing productivity and wages that have allowed it to be amongst leading economies of the world,” he observed
“The youth must be at the centre of trade, agriculture, innovation and entrepreneurship. They have to be supported to provide much needed human capital to speed up economic growth and foster sustainability on the continent of Africa. Africa is the continent with the biggest potential for growth because of untapped opportunities in the name of resources such asoil and underutilised viably arable land,” he added.
Youth leaders from 54 African members of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and had had in attendance 100 youth delegates from China.