Delegates from CIWTO participated in the 2023 Africa-BRICS Youth Forum in Pretoria of South Africa

From June 26 to 28, the coordinator for WTO Chair Program, Mr. Gao Jian and 2 selected doctoral students from the China Institute for WTO studies at UIBE participated in the "Africa-BRICS Youth Forum" held in Pretoria, South Africa. The forum brought together nearly 100 young representatives from BRICS member countries and various African nations to engage in keynote speeches, group discussions, and policy recommendations on topics such as the labor market, trade, education, and environmental energy.


During the forum, Ph.D. student Mr. Wang Da delivered a keynote speech on how African youth can unlock the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) based on China's experiences. He used China's live-streaming e-commerce as an example, particularly the "China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo African Specialty Online Shopping Festival," to demonstrate how live platforms can bridge the gap between supply and demand for African goods. Wang Da also provided practical suggestions on how to tailor the live-streaming model to the African context, considering local digital infrastructure levels and strengthening product quality assurance to enable African youth to fully benefit from the AfCFTA.


PhD student Ms. Cui Nanchen participated in a group discussion on the theme "Changing the Future of Education and Skills Development" alongside other BRICS youth representatives. She shared the convenience and challenges brought by ChatGPT in daily learning and life, extending the discussion to the impact of technological advancements on the labor market. Cui Nanchen emphasized the importance of workers adapting to new technologies through continuous learning and skill improvement. She also highlighted China's efforts in promoting high-quality vocational education and suggested further expanding vocational education cooperation between China and Africa through existing mechanisms, such as the Luban Workshop, to enhance the friendship between the two regions.


Furthermore, both doctoral students participated in group discussions on education and energy issues, where they introduced China's developments in these fields to African and other BRICS youth, offering practical recommendations to improve governance levels in African countries.


The impressive speeches and contributions from our university's young representatives attracted significant attention from African and BRICS youth, who engaged in in-depth exchanges on topics related to international economic and trade development, pollution control, clean energy research, and more. The foreign representatives acknowledged and appreciated our university's responses to various issues and expressed their desire to establish further connections with China to explore more development opportunities.


After the forum, Mr. Raymond Matlala, Executive Chairman of the South Africa BRICS Youth Association, sent a letter of gratitude to Wang Da and Cui Nanchen for their active participation and keynote speeches, praising their efforts to promote China's experiences and contribute Chinese wisdom. Additionally, the coordinator for WTO Chair Program, Mr. Gao Jian had a cordial meeting with former African Union Chairperson, Ms. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, discussing ways to strengthen Sino-African cooperation, particularly in promoting youth exchanges.


Overall, the participation of our university's faculty and students in the forum proved fruitful, fostering meaningful exchanges with African and BRICS nations, and showcasing China's valuable contributions in various fields.