LUSAKA, Zambia, Zambia will next year host the first-ever Africa Cup of Chinese Wushu Tournament, the Zambia Chinese Wushu Association said.

The tournament, which will gather kung fu lovers from about 20 countries, has been tentatively set for June or Aug, said Cui Hengwu, the association's president.

Wushu, or Chinese martial arts, is quickly gaining popularity in African countries, thanks to the introduction of many kung fu films and the promotion by local Wushu associations.

Speaking on the sidelines of the commissioning of Zambia National Wushu Team, Kung Fu Training Centre, in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, he said, the hosting of the tournament was a milestone for Zambia, in promoting kung fu, adding that, preparations for the event have already started.

"As a host nation, we want Zambia to win this tournament, so we have already started preparing the athletes. We have so many athletes currently being prepared and we will pick our final team after that," he said.

He said, the training centre was the outcome of joint efforts by the Chinese embassy and the Chinese business community in Zambia, and that it has all the equipment required to properly train kung fu enthusiasts.

Formed in 2013, the association has trained about 500 local martial art enthusiasts in the capital, and another 100 in the Copperbelt Province.

Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming, commended the succession completion of the training centre, saying, it was a milestone in cementing cultural ties between the two countries.

He said, the introduction of kung fu in Zambia was one way of strengthening cultural ties between the two countries and also commended the association over plans to host the tournament.

Lawrence Sichalwe, acting Youth and Sports Minister, said, the construction of the training centre was another milestone of sports infrastructure development in the country, adding that, without appropriate infrastructure it was difficult to prepare athletes to participate in international competitions.

"With this beautiful infrastructure our Wushu or Kung Fu athletes will have conducive environment for training, physical fitness an interaction with experts in the sport," he said.

The Zambian minister went on to commend China over its quest to promote social and cultural exchanges between the two countries, adding that, the promotion of kung fu was another way of appreciating cultural value.


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