The 2021 China-Africa Video and Photo Competition has been launched in the Chinese capital, Beijing, under the theme “Friendship in Focus, Together for Future”.
The competition aims to provide a platform for Chinese and African citizens to communicate through videos and photos.
The competition is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and China International Publishing Group (CIPG). It is co-hosted by the Beijing Review, Yangshipin, CGTN French, and TRASSION’s HippoAD and Vskit, in partnership with Seneweb in Senegal and South Africa’s Independent Media Group.
The launch ceremony was attended by: Lu Cairong, Vice President of CIPG; Wu Peng, Secretary General of the Chinese Follow-up Committee at FOCAC and Director General of the Department of African Affairs at China’s Foreign Ministry; Li Yafang, President of the Beijing Review; Piet Rampedi, Editor at South Africa’s Pretoria News of Independent Media Group; and Daniel Oloo, a Kenyan student at the Communication University of China.
Also in attendance were several ambassadors from African countries to China, including: Martin Mpana, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Cameroon; Daniel Owassa, Ambassador of the Demoractic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Charles Namondwe, Ambassador of Malawi; Tania Romualdo, Ambassador of Cape Verde; Dhia Khaled, Ambassador of Tunisia; Maria Gustava, Ambassador of Mozambique.
“In the history of traditional friendship between China and Africa, stories of mutual understanding can always touch people’s hearts, regardless of time and distance,” Lu said in his speech at the ceremony.
Lu added he hopes that the competition would see extensive participation and unveil moving stories about China-Africa friendship and collaboration from various perspectives. He stressed the value of creativity and originality in video and photo works, and that of a down-to-earth manner in telling appealing stories.
“I hope that more people from Africa and China will participate in this competition to capture the vivid images of China-Africa practical cooperation and friendly exchanges,” he asserted.
In his speech, Mpana recognised the inestimable value of photos and videos as a powerful means of communication and in preserving sound and verifiable information for the public. He also expressed his support for the competition, considering its role in reflecting the joint efforts of Chinese and African governments.
He encouraged the launch of similar initiatives in Africa to create the conditions for an environment conducive to the development of the image industry and promotion of artistic creation.
“This is one of the ways in which we will be able to show the true face of China-Africa relations, which bears the encouraging mark of an ambitious, fruitful and win-win partnership,” he said.
For his part, Wu said that the competition will enhance understanding on the friendship and win-win cooperation between China and Africa, as well as on the vision of a China-Africa community with a shared future, by allowing individuals in China and Africa to share their own stories.
Wu applauded China-Africa solidarity in fighting the pandemic, adding that cooperation between China and Africa has kept progressing despite the pandemic. Citing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s comments on the key role of youth in China-Africa relations, he called on Chinese and African youth to carry forward the great cause of the China-Africa friendship.
Li said in her speech that the media agency’s intensive participation in promoting China-Africa ties has led to the understanding that media-led exchange activities are crucial for enhancing people-to-people bonds between China and Africa.
The organisation is the publisher of the ChinAfrica monthly magazine dedicated to African readers, and held the first and second editions of the competition.
Li said that holding the competition has allowed the agency to be connected to more individuals interested in promoting China-Africa friendship. She pledged that the agency will continue to help strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Africa, deepen media cooperation and consolidate the traditional China-Africa friendship.
Meanwhile, Rampedi said that the competition is important in that it helps counter Western media propaganda that does not reflect the truth about China and China-Africa relations.
He added that China and Africa have been enjoying solidarity, which has been further enhanced by their joint fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Highlighting the role of the media in combating COVID-19, he called for strengthened solidarity across the international community to fight the pandemic.
Oloo spoke at the ceremony on behalf of contestants in the competition. An active participant of the previous short video competitions held by the Beijing Review, he shared his views on the role of such a competition in promoting understanding between Chinese and African people.
“Undoubtedly, there is still a lack of proper understanding about China in foreign countries, and the short video competitions offer Chinese and African people a valuable platform to tell their stories directly,” he said.
Li Jianguo, Associate Editor in Chief of the Beijing Review, hosted the ceremony and explained the details of the competition.
He said that the competition aims to enhance China-Africa friendship by letting Chinese and African people tell their stories themselves, and learn more about each other through first-hand accounts of China-Africa friendship.