Celebrating the 55th Africa Day and 1st anniversary of THUASA

Since its inception in 1963, millions of people across Africa and the diaspora have been commemorating the Africa Day Celebration on May 25th – a day set aside to celebrate the founding of the African Union, with African Unity as its aim. This year was no different, and China and Tsinghua University were not left of out the celebrations.

Group photo with the panel and Professor Guo Xining

With other celebrations taking place across Beijing and China, the Tsinghua University African Students Association (THUASA), held its own version of the celebrations in a grand style with a colourful display of African culture on May 25th at the School of Public Policy and Management. The event was also partly organized to celebrate the 1st anniversary of THUASA.

Based on the theme of the celebration “The role of the young African Scholars and Professionals in the Sino-Africa Cooperation”, the event witnessed a flow of ideas from discussants with diverse experiences and understandings of Sino-African relations.

Welcome address by the THUASA outgoing president.

The event commenced with some remarks from the guiding teacher of THUASA, Prof Yin Chengzhi, the academic board chairman of the MIDG program at SPPM. He encouraged students to take their studies seriously and be good ambassadors for Sino Africa relations.  This was followed by the key note speech delivered by Prof Guo Xining, the senior director for the international program at SPPM who expressed his high appreciation for the role played by OAU(Organization of African Unity ) and AU (African Union) in promoting peace and prosperity in Africa. He also expressed his appreciation for the positive role played by THUASA in strengthening the bond with the wider Tsinghua University community, which has created a platform for cross-cultural communication. He concluded by stating his expectation for more such educational activities by THUASA in the future.

Mr. Sualah Yazid Zougrana, the founder and outgoing president of the association, in his welcoming address indicated the need for African students in China and Tsinghua to take advantage of the available resources and opportunities around them. In his conclusion, he called on his fellow African students to return home after achieving the necessary knowledge to help develop the continent and their respective countries.  He concluded by saying: “staying out after studies is tantamount to failing the next generation”, hence he called on his African comrades to reaffirm their commitment to the continent’s development by returning home, no matter the situation.

The audience were thrilled with the thought provoking discussion from Professor Liu Haifang, the Director of the Centre for African Studies at Peking University, and Hermann Mefire who is an entrepreneur and runs the Beijing Zhouhua International Business Consulting Ltd in China. The discussion wouldn’t have been complete without the inclusion of Musa Frimpong, a first year master students at the School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM) and a former staff member of the African Union, to talk from the perspective of the youth. The discussion was moderated by Zougrana, the outgoing president of the association.

The event also witnessed the introduction of the new executive body for THUASA, led by Ayamou Chekam Gaelle Patricia, a first year PhD student from Cameroon. The other members are Sadia James Sebit, Musa Frimpong and Diana Patience Nyakatsapa, who will be serving as Vice President, secretary and financial secretary respectively.

The group showed their appreciation to the outgoing executive body led by the Mr Zougrana, for a wonderful job serving the association. The members of the outgoing executives included, Tarwirei Cathbert Mudzungairi, Karabo Eliza Sello, Athini Pantshwa and Clemence Sainet.

One of the key aims for the formation of the association is to promote a greater understanding between the people of Africa and China, and people from Africa and other countries across the world. This is achieved by focusing on cultural interaction and exchange between students from various backgrounds through sports, informal and class discussions, as well as programs such as the Africa Day Celebration

One of the key aims for the formation of the association is to promote a greater understanding between the people of Africa and China, and people from Africa and other countries across the world. This is achieved by focusing on cultural interaction and exchange between students from various backgrounds through sports, informal and class discussions, as well as programs such as the Africa Day Celebration.

The event witnessed various African performances, including singing to dancing coming from almost all quarters of Africa. Amidst the display of various African cuisine and snacks, participants wined and dined after the event, with a cake cutting ceremony to mark the 1st anniversary of THUASA.