The first training camp of the Centre of Innovation and Maritime Excellence, supported by Chinese companies, was opened Thursday in Djibouti City, the capital of Djibouti, with the theme featuring “Digital innovation and cross-border e-commerce.”
Nearly 30 trainees from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda were selected to participate in the eight-day training program in Djibouti City. During this period, these young Africans will learn about company operation through lessons, thematic lectures, and seminars from Chinese and African experts, as well as visit the Doraleh Multi-purpose Port and the Djibouti International Free Trade Zone built by Chinese enterprises.
Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh spoke highly of the importance of education and training in the cooperation between Djibouti and China. The establishment of the centre “is undoubtedly a new step” in Djibouti-China cooperation, the president said in a video message at the opening ceremony.
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The country’s Minister of Higher Education Mohamed Ahmed Nabil said the project provides Djiboutian youth, and African youth in general, with the opportunity to master innovative tools for e-commerce, which is in progress in Africa.
Chinese Ambassador to Djibouti Hu Bin said China highlights the promotion of African youth entrepreneurship and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises as priority targets, adding that the centre is part of laudable pragmatic measures to carry out the objectives of capacity building and human exchange envisaged in the nine programs announced during the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Dakar, capital of Senegal last November.
The centre is a non-profit capacity-building project aimed at enhancing the leadership and entrepreneurship of Djiboutian and East African youth, contributing to the “Djibouti Vision 2035” to promote private sector innovations and self-employment. Funded by China Merchants Foundation and operated by Djibouti Chinese Enterprise Association, it is planned to be a platform to provide services like training, mentoring, and networking.