By Liang Huili
The inaugural meeting of the Culture and Tourism Subcommittee of the Intergovernmental Committee of China and Nigeria was held online on 12 January 2022. Mr. Zhang Xu, China’s Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Ifeoma Anyawutaku, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture of Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jianchun, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, and representatives of the departments of the sub-committee attended the meeting.
Representatives of both countries signed a joint Culture and Tourism Statute and inaugurated a sub-committee of the Intergovernmental Committee of China and Nigeria.
The two sides reviewed and discussed the achievements between China and Nigeria in recent years and the future development of culture and tourism cooperation, and agreed to take the establishment of the sub-committee as an opportunity to further promote bilateral cultural exchanges and tourism cooperation.
Vice Minister Zhang Xu said “everything we have achieved so far in our cultural and tourism cooperation is a manifestation of our deep friendship and close ties and in the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation. As important contributors to the strategic partnership between our two countries, culture and tourism should play ever greater roles to increase our people-to-people connectivity and deliver true benefits to both countries.
That is the mission of the Sub-Committee. Both our Ministries and all members of the Sub-Committee must make good use of such a good platform in alignment with the objectives of FOCAC (the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation), its eighth ministerial meeting, Belt and Road Initiative, and FOCAC Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024). We must work together to find ways to offset the pandemic’s impact, and plan programs in fields that the Sub-Committee covers, such as culture, tourism, publishing, heritage, library, and museum.
Our goal must always be to promote our interculturality and cultural collaboration and further strengthen the friendship and connectivity between Chinese and Nigerian peoples in the new era of China-Africa relations.
Dr. Anyawutaku spoke highly of the achievements of cooperation in culture and tourism in the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties. She said: “There is no doubt that the past 50 years of our diplomatic ties have witnessed extensive growth of our bilateral cooperation in culture and tourism with a high level of exchanges in arts, tourism, cultural industries as well as capacity development of Cultural Officers. ”In addition, she said, “While taking a look at the Statutes of the Sub-Committee on Culture and Tourism with utmost satisfaction, I wish to note that Nigeria as well as China, has reviewed our achievements and experiences in the cultural and tourism exchanges and cooperation under the framework of FOCAC. This evaluation and shared experiences will help us reposition the culture and tourism sector to its rightful place for the development of both countries and the reinforcement of our bilateral cooperation.”
Ambassador Cui Jianchun in his speech pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic ties 50 years ago, political mutual trust between the two countries has increased, traditional friendship has been strengthened, and exchanges in cultural, educational and economic and trade fields are on the rise. He congratulated the establishment of the Culture-and Tourism Sub-committee and hoped that China and Nigeria could inherit their cultural traditions, tap the huge potential of cultural and tourism cooperation and promote common development.