Rwandan youth should pick a leaf from Chinese hard working culture which managed to lift their nation from a poor state to current developing pace, Rao Hongwei, the Chinese ambassador to Rwanda said.
Rao was speaking to University of Rwanda students during a public lecture at the University of Rwanda's College of Business and Economics in Gikondo yesterday.
The lecture was focused on opportunities presented by bilateral relations between China and Rwanda after the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party that was concluded on October 24, in Beijing.
The interactive lecture saw the ambassador share the current state of China’s politics and economy, social development, the vision for the future, as well as relations with other countries with Rwanda in focus.
Answering a student’s question on the secret behind the growth of the Chinese economy, the envoy attributed the success to hard work as well as good policies.
“I think there big similarities between China and Rwanda: Big population, limited resources. It is not easy to survive, it is not easy to live. We have no other choice, we have to work hard, we have to rely on ourselves,” he said.
“As students, as the youth; study very hard, the Chinese people work very hard. We have no choice,” he added.
Rao also noted that China has adopted an open up and reform policy for almost four decades, and it has also helped improve the economy.
“You know that before we adopted the policy of open up and reform, China was poorer than Rwanda. At that time the per capita GDP was less than 300 US dollars. Last year, the per capita GDP here in Rwanda was almost 800 US dollars, almost three times bigger. So, with forty years of hard work, with continuous policy and most importantly I think China has found a development model, a development path suitable to the Chinese conditions. I think in Rwanda here, you have found the development model and path suitable for Rwandan conditions. That is very important,” he said.
He also urged the youth to take the opportunity of their time since they were born in “an exciting and great era” where the Rwandan government attaches great importance to engaging, educating and empowering the youth.
“You are the future of Rwanda and the Rwanda-China relations. I do wish you to become the backbones of Rwanda and goodwill ambassadors of China-Rwanda friendship,” he said.
Meanwhile, the envoy said the Forum also promised that China will give more support to Africa by fully implementing resolutions from the 2015 China-Africa Cooperation Johannesburg Summit as well as the consensus reached by President Xi Jinping of China and Paul Kagame of Rwanda especially in supporting poverty reduction and development.
Speaking about the development opportunities China presents, the envoy stated that China will import $ 10 trillion goods, attract $ 600 billion foreign direct investment, and invest $ 750 billion around the world in the next five years.