African Youths' Chinese Stories
At the Hunan-African Enterprise Cooperation Center (Cooperation Center), Kevin, a young Kenyan man, operates a trading company that exports Kenyan coffee and leather products to China and imports Chinese machinery, electronic products and agricultural technology to his country. He specially named his company "CONNECT", meaning "connection". "Trading has changed our lives. But due to poor farming, many people in my country do not know how to use machinery, so I want to bring these to Kenya," said Kevin, hoping that he would be a "bridge" for Hunan and African cooperation.
The Cooperation Center opened at the Changsha Houhu International Art Park in February this year. Currently African youths from 14 countries and regions including Benin, Gabon, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have started businesses here. They cooperate with Hunan enterprises in nine industries including: planting, fishery, agricultural product processing, energy, machinery, architecture, medicine, tourism, and commerce. The cooperation promotes industrial development, facilitates trade, and builds commercial skills.
David from Cameroon began pursuing his dream with his journey to China 6 years ago. “China has a vast market, a complete industrial system, and a wealth of opportunities. You can find everything like materials, processing, and technology that you need in China to make your ideas come true,” said David. He runs a furniture and tapioca starch foreign trade company in the center. His company also provides services for Cameroonian enterprises doing business in China, and focuses on China's agriculture and mining technology, equipment, and ideas.
Raissa from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a French-speaker, expressed her impression of China in Chinese. She said, “China makes me feel at home”. Before coming to China, Raissa had seen the changes brought by Chinese enterprises in her hometown through road construction and architecture. Cultural and trade cooperation has been conducted. "All that I saw was very good," said Raissa, who is in the IT industry. She is committed to bringing Chinese communication technology to her country. “Currently our network and communication technologies are poor and expensive. But this is very important for the development of our country. Advanced network and communication technologies lead to better relations with other countries, as well as fast and efficient communication," she added.
Xiaobu from Benin, in China for 10 years, is a “China hand”. His company is engaged in plastic processing. It exports raw materials to China to make TVs and other products and then imports Chinese electronic products to his country. "Trade cooperation is a good thing because I got a job and improved my life," said Xiaobu. He added, “Chinese people are kind, easygoing, hardworking, and enterprising. I like them very much.” Xiaobu is very interested in processing Chinese agricultural products. “If Benin’s cashew nuts improve in hygiene and packaging, they can be sold to more places”.