Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
China has pledged to continue strengthening cultural ties with Zimbabwe under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is geared towards encouraging greater policy coordination, financial integration, cultural and people-to-people exchange, an official has said.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun made the remarks while officially opening the Belt and Road Afro-Sino Art Exchange Exhibition in Harare on Monday.
The art exhibition is an initiative by China to enhance world connectivity while embracing business cooperation. This is the first time the programme, which began on Saturday and ends today, is being hosted in Zimbabwe.
The event is being run by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Guo said its cooperation with Zimbabwe has yielding results over the years.
“Our co-operation in culture, arts, health and education has been fruitful in recent years.
“The Dreamstar talent show helps young talented Zimbabweans to discover themselves and each year artistic troupes visit China to help appreciate each other’s culture,” he said.
He also said during President Mnangagwa’s State visit to China last September, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on BRI which made Zimbabwe part of the initiative.
“Our President Xi Jinping pledged that in the coming five years, China will invite 10 000 representatives of political parties, think tanks and non-governmental organisations from Belt and Road participating countries to visit China,” he said.
China and Zimbabwe have enjoyed great partnership and carried major projects of cooperation under the BRI framework.
Some of the completed projects include the Kariba South Hydro Power Station, Victoria Falls International Airport while those that are still being implemented are the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project and Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and the building of the new Parliament.
Speaking at the same ceremony, acting Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kazembe Kazembe who was represented by principal director in the Ministry Dr Benson Dube commended the cultural exchange programme.
“As part of Government’s vision 2030, the creation of synergies with international organisations is of key importance and in this case National Arts Council of Zimbabwe working closely with National Gallery of Zimbabwe has taken a lead in the right direction.
“This privilege affords this exhibition to be viewed by a wider audience through educational public programming that involves private and public schools, universities as well as other international audiences that visit the gallery,” he said.