Youths participate in a march for peace at the close of the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students in Pretoria, Tuesday, 21 December 2010. Picture: SAPA stringer

#Focac: Cape Town - The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) said on Tuesday it was confident the upcoming Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) would help address the key challenge of youth unemployment.

SANCO President Richard Mdakane said student exchange programmes at academic and vocational training level for unemployed youth would assist in addressing the skills shortage and mitigate against poverty,unemployment and inequality.

Mdakane hosted the deputy general secretary of China NGO Network for International Exchange (CNEI) Shi Gouhui at SANCO offices in Johannesburg.

Mdakane said training programmes that benefited unemployed youth, as well as research assistance and capacity building programmes with CNEI, would lay the foundation for future generations.

“Unless attention is paid to the challenge of unemployment, the unemployed in townships are a ready army for counter revolutionaries,” he said.

“We don't see SANCO as any other NGO and similarly SANCO must not regard itself as just any other NGO,” Gouhui said, committing CNEI to a stronger relationship and support.

Gouhui, who led an eight-member delegation, said CNEI's relationship with SANCO was complimentary to the relationship both organisations enjoyed with their respective governing parties.

“Our exchanges that include working with grassroots are also the exchanges of our governing philosophies,” he added.

Gouhui's courtesy visit came ahead of the Focac summit this week and follows the most recent study tour that was undertaken by a SANCO delegation to Beijing two weeks ago, which focused on the role China's civic movements played in communities to advance development.