APA – Shanghai (China) Six African leaders took part Friday evening in the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the second biggest international event ever held in China after the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Bingu Wa Mutharika of Malawi, Amadou Toumany Toure of Mali and James Alix Michel of Seychelles, took part in this event with Chinese president Hu Jin Tao and more than several other heads of state and government from France, Palestine and South Korea.
More than 190 countries and 50 organizations have put up pavilions and exhibitions in this expo of more than 5.3 square kilometres in area, the largest such world exhibition ever.
The six-month expo is expected to attract 100 million visitors, 96 per cent of them from China.
All the participating African countries will hold national days in the expo, as well as cultural and artistic activities.
The Chinese President, while addressing a welcoming dinner for foreign leaders before the opening ceremony said ; “I am confident that, with concerted efforts, people around the world will witness a successful, splendid and unforgettable World Expo.”
In the past eight years, China has mobilized resources throughout the country and pooled the wisdom of the world, he said.
As the first registered World Expo hosted by a developing country, the Shanghai Expo will be “an opportunity for China and also for the world,” Hu said.
“At this Expo, China will present to the world a country with 5,000-year history, which is enjoying fast development and changes through reform and opening-up.
“The World Expo is a grand event to showcase the best achievements of human civilization. It is also a great occasion for people from around the world to share joy and friendship,” he said.
He added that it will offer a platform for all countries and regions to fully exhibit their achievements in urban civilization, share best practices and spread advanced ideas on urban development.