"I think with the Belt and Road Initiative, more and more
Chinese people like me will get the chance to pursue their
dreams in Africa," she said.
In Kenya’s Maasai Mara National
Reserve, a Chinese man dubbed "Simba" has many titles, such as
"friend of Mara" and "hero of wildlife conservation."
Simba, whose real name is Zhuo Qiang, is the first Chinese to
work full-time on wildlife conservation in Africa, and the first
Chinese to register a non-profit organization on the continent.
Years of hard work in jointly building a wildlife theme park
with local Masais have paid off.
For the past five years, the size of Kiniyei Conservancy,
where he now works, has doubled, and the number of poaching
cases have dropped.
The number of lions roaming the park has increased from 12 to
30, and the numbers of cheetahs, spotted hyenas, zebras,
wildebeests, giraffes and antelope have all doubled.
Zhuo, who hails from the southwestern city of Chongqing, said
his dream is to introduce this model of wildlife conservation to
other African countries and bring his valuable experience back
Over the years, hundreds of young Chinese volunteers have set
foot on the African continent.
Their hard work, be it in education, health care or
agriculture, is widely recognized and appreciated by local
"With more and more well-educated young people going to
Africa, non-governmental exchanges between China and Africa run
deeper," said Huo Jiangtao, an assistant at the Institute for
African Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.
Likewise, more and more African volunteers have been actively
involved in social work in China. Michel Tshimbombo Musampa is
one of them.
The 20-year-old is from the Republic of the Congo and lives
with his family in the Dengfeng community of Guangzhou.
Besides doing his part in running a family business, Musampa
volunteers to lend a hand to newcomers from his motherland and
visits local seniors who live alone.
Musampa said that he wants to serve the community because he
was helped by the community and wants to return the favor.
In Dengfeng, more than 30 foreigners have become registered
"Foreign volunteers have played an important part in bridging
our service to foreign residents," said Wang Haige, who offers
services to foreigners at the Comprehensive Service Center for
According to the Exit and Entry of Guangzhou, among the
nearly 7,500 African students who live in the city, a quarter
take part in cultural and voluntary activities.
"China-Africa cultural exchange is on the rise, especially
among young people," said Liu Hongwu, director of the Institute
of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University.
"And this will provide a solid foundation for the further
development of bilateral relations."
Mouhamadou Moustapha Dieng, a Senegalese businessman who has
been living in Guangzhou for 16 years, plans to set up a
packaging factory in Senegal.
Dieng’s idea is to set up a processing factory in Senegal by
importing a production line from China.
The reason is simple: to ensure that the seafood and
agricultural products that cannot be exported now due to a lack
of processing capability reach the Chinese market in time.
Research by the Guangdong government has found that smaller
retail businesses dominated Guangzhou’s markets involving
African buyers 10 years ago.
Today, the percentage has dropped to 15 percent, while more
than 60 percent of procurement by African businesspersons is
done in bulk purchases.
"That is to say, China-Africa trade is becoming more
standardized," said Liu Jisen from Guangdong University of
According to Chinese customs statistics, the volume of trade
between China and Africa reached nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars
in the first half of the year, an increase of 17.3 percent.
Dieng said he is very interested in measures proposed by the
Chinese government to bolster China-Africa economic and trade
He hopes the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in
Beijing will bring the two partners closer together.
Dieng added that he plans to send his 17-year-old son, who is
learning Chinese in a Confucius Institute in Senegal, to study
at a Chinese university.
Like Dieng, Zhu Layi, the founding president of the
Africa-Guangdong Business Association, also has high expectation
for the upcoming summit.
These days, Zhu is involved in the construction of the Ogun-Guangdong
Free Trade Zone, a park located in Ogun State of Nigeria in West
Africa, and Kenya’s Pearl River Special Economic Zone in East
Africa. He also plans to set up an African business school.
"In the future, more ordinary people will be involved in and
benefit from China-Africa cooperation," said Liu Jisen.
"The Chinese dream and the African dream will be more deeply