By Xinhua writers Ye Ting, Zhang Dan, Xu Xintao
CHANGSHA, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) — At only 23 years old, South African student Ramalamula Desire has come to China, as she believes it is one of the best places to start a business.
As an international student studying computer science at Hunan Agricultural University (HUNAU) in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, Desire also plays the role of the co-founder of Changsha Jiarong Agriculture and Technology Co., Ltd.
On Sept. 26, Desire was invited to the China-Africa Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, which was a themed activity in the second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo held in Changsha from Sept. 26 to 29.
Young entrepreneur representatives from China and more than 10 African countries, such as Kenya, Benin, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda, discussed cooperation and development both online and offline.
Desire told that it was because of her sister, a Ph.D. student from a university in South Africa, that she decided to come to China.
Her sister once visited the HUNAU, where she met Xu Hongzhai, a teacher from the College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering of HUNAU and also the general manager of Changsha Jiarong Agricultural Science and Technology Co., Ltd., according to Desire.
"My sister was very interested in Xu's idea of cultivating entrepreneurs among African youths, so she encouraged me to study at Hunan Agricultural University," said Desire.
Xu's company conducts entrepreneurship training for students and their family teams, with the vision to help students study abroad, help families become prosperous and drive industries, according to Xu.
Desire grew more interested in starting businesses in the process of introducing African students to study in China since she came to HUNAU in 2018.
"I made a lot of friends and this experience will help me get better in the future," she said.
Xu Hongzhai was moved by Desire's hard work and founded a South Africa Branch of her company with her in December of 2019, mainly helping Chinese enterprises import raw materials and daily necessities from Africa.
In the International Youth Entrepreneurship Cooperation Center of Houhu, a group of African youths continue to strive on the road to successful entrepreneurship.
"The center offers to reduce our office rent and help us contact Chinese enterprises to find more business opportunities," said Modou Top, a Senegalese youth who helps run a Changsha-based trade company named Saino Global.
Zhang Xianghua, the founder of the center, said that it has provided about 3,400 offline and online training to young people from 123 countries since its establishment in 2019, helping them learn the basic models, experiences and market-oriented solutions of innovation and development from Chinese enterprises.
The entrepreneurial experiences in China enable African youths to have a deeper understanding of China. Desire added that she often shares her experiences in China online, hoping to attract more African youths to come to China.
"China enjoys a vast market with a complete industrial and logistics chain, which can provide rich entrepreneurial chances for overseas students in China," said Mostak Ahamed Galib, executive director of the cross-cultural communication and BRI research center at Wuhan University of Technology.
Galib hopes that China will promote international youth entrepreneurship bases nationwide to help more international students pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
"I want to bring the knowledge I've learned here back to my country to improve its digital infrastructure," said Desire.