Awarding ceremony of China-Rwanda Friendship Cup Photo Contest held in Kigali. Source:Xinhua

The China-Rwanda Friendship Cup Photo Contest concluded in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali, on Saturday with an awarding ceremony.

The month-long contest jointly hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda and Rwandan Embassy in China is aimed at enabling more Chinese people to know Rwanda and promoting people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. 

The winning photos were voted anonymously by Chinese and Rwandan judges from more than 200 submitted works.

The contest has promoted mutual understanding and friendship between China and Rwanda, Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei said at the ceremony.

Rao, who awarded the top prize to a Chinese and a Rwandan, respectively, encouraged people from all walks of life to passionately promote the friendship between the countries, not only through cameras, but also in the spheres of business, investment, tourism and culture.

This contest will promote Rwanda’s tourism and investment opportunities in China, said Linda Mutesi, head of tourism marketing at the Rwanda Development Board.

It will also enhance people’s understanding of both China and Rwanda, especially in the areas of culture and business opportunities, she said.

Deo Pascal Munezero, who won an award for the best landscape photo, said the contest gave him an opportunity to compete with professional photographers from China and Rwanda, which is an inspiration to his photography work.

Photos about Rwanda posted through Chinese social media that were taken by Chinese photographers invited by the contest have attracted more than 11 million views just 10 days after the contest was launched, according to media reports.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Confucius institute at the University of Rwanda and the contest raised the curtain for the celebrations. Enditem

The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is one of the few surviving habitats of mountain gorillas.[Photo Photo provided to]

The committee, comprising embassy officials from the two countries, photographers and media, will select 50 pictures for exhibition in both China and Rwanda, before narrowing the field down to 20 prize-winning images. The awards ceremony will be held in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, in January.

Rwanda attracts global tourists for its natural beauty, exotic African culture and wild animals, such as the critically endangered mountain gorilla.

To expand the market for Chinese tourism, the Rwanda Development Board recently opened a store on Alibaba Group’s online travel service platform, Fliggy, so that Chinese travelers can easily book flights, hotels and other tourism products.

Speaking at the event, Charles Kayonga, Rwanda’s Ambassador to China said that the contest will greatly enhance the visibility of the wonderfully beautiful and abundant resources of the country.

Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei (1st L), head of tourism marketing at the Rwanda Development Board Linda Mutesi (1st R) and winners of the top prize pose for a photo at the awarding ceremony of the China-Rwanda Friendship Cup Photo Contest in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, Jan. 12, 2019. 


“ It will also help in deepening the knowledge of China in Rwanda as well,” he said.

“ This photography contest in particular shall enhance knowledge and information of the following: Rwanda’s fascinating landscape and its tourism resources. The landscape of Rwanda is characterized by angulating lowlands in the east, rugged hills that radiate from the centre of the country to the south, to the west, and north, culminating in the volcanic mountains in the north west,” he said.

Kayonga also announced to Chinese tourists that they are now able to directly book tour packages to Rwanda following the launch of the " Visit Rwanda " online pavilion and flagship store on Fliggy, Alibaba Group’s Travel Platform.

The envoy too told his audience about the different tourism packages in Rwanda ranging from its beautiful terrain to its wildlife and exotic vegetation that has been preserved due to “ strong ecological measures ” by the government of Rwanda that has made ecological and environmental conservation a principal program in economic development.

He also told them about the country being the safest in Africa, its cleanliness, as well as developed health services, and good governance,

“ Rwanda has also been credited for the high level of governance. It has been listed as number one in governance transparency and the second fastest growing economy on the continent, ” he said.