DAR ES SALAAM -- The Chinese government has decided to invite 50 students from Tanzania to visit China within this year as part of the efforts to promote exchanges between the young people of the two countries, visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday.
Hu made the announcement in a key-note speech at the welcoming rally held by people from various sectors in this Tanzanian capital.
Hu said both Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and he "highly value the youth exchanges and cooperation between China and Tanzania and between China and Africa as a whole."
"The China-Africa friendship that we enjoy today is the result of concerted efforts of people of several generations from both sides," he said.
"People of the younger generation embody not only the hope of greater development of China and Africa, but also the promise of even stronger friendship between the two sides in the future," said the Chinese president.
The past few years have seen closer youth exchanges between China and Africa, he said, adding that over 20,000 young people from Africa have so far studied in China on Chinese government scholarships and many of them have become pillars in the development of African countries.
Many young Chinese have also come to Africa, he said, describing them as "young ambassadors for China-Africa friendship."
"Working in local communities day in and day out, they have gone through thick and thin together with the people there and contributed their share to economic and social progress in Africa, " Hu said.
Hu recalled his 2007 visit to Africa, during which he invited 500 young African people to visit China, saying that their visits helped enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the young people in China and Africa.
"We will continue to work with African countries to vigorously promote and support exchanges and cooperation between our young people," he said.
"I am convinced that the China-Africa friendship and cooperation will be passed on to the younger generation and through their hands to future generations and will grow from strength to strength," said Hu.
Tanzania is the fourth leg of Hu's week-long tour, which has taken him to Saudi Arabia, Mali and Senegal. He will later visit Mauritius before flying home on Tuesday.
This is the Chinese president's sixth visit to Africa and his second since the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006.
At the forum, China announced eight measures designed to strengthen cooperation and forge a new type of strategic partnership with Africa.