The Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy and Director of China Cultural Centre in Nigeria, Mr Li Xuda has said that, Forum On China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC, has since its establishment, 18 years ago, provided the platform for China and Africa to deepen their relations and shared mutual benefits.
Mr Luda made this known Monday, at the Chinese Cultural Centre, Abuja, venue of the interactive session on FOCAC 2018 Summit, organised by the China Alumni Association in collaboration with the Chinese Cultural Centre.
With the theme Strengthening Culture and Tourism for Future Development, Mr Xuda revealed that FOCAC was established in order to help resolve the problems and challenges China and Africa come across in their respective development.
“Since its establishment, FOCAC has become a banner of international cooperation. Over the last 18 years, significant achievements have been made in political, economic and people-to-people exchanges between China and Africa, especially, since after the FOCAC Johannesburg 2015.”
Speaking as the guest of honour at the occasion, the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, emphasise the need for Nigeria to expand its tourism sector to become a major revenue earner for government.
According to him: “We are short of cultural centres in Nigeria. Some states don’t even have centres to showcase what they have. I have taken it upon myself that, we must have cultural centres in each state of the federation, and Abuja.
It will be a new beginning because, if you don’t showcase what you have, people will take what they see.
“Can you imagine that this cultural centre is owned by China, and some states in Nigeria don’t have one? So, I have taken it upon myself to create that new beginning.
Throwing light on why the Alumni decided to put the event together, the President of China Alumni Association of Nigeria, Muhammed Sumaila, explained that:
“The essence of this event is FOCAC, Forum on China and Africa Cooperation, which is on-going in Beijing, China. What it entails is that there are developmental strategies that have been going on between African Countries and China.
“What we are doing here is not a replica of what happening in China but essentially, to sensitise people, so that they will understand that Nigeria has healthy relations with China that can enhance strategic development.”
China Alumni Association of Nigeria is an umbrella body of those that have studied in China and those that went on China government programme.