Chinese Ambassador to Zambia H.E. Mr. Yang Youming attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa. Hon. Dr. Dennis Wanchinga, Minister of General Education, Mr. Xia Jianhui and Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters, Deputy Director-General of Hanban, China, Prof. Luke Mumba, Vice Chancellor of the University of Zambia, Prof. Wu Yiqing, Vice President of the Hebei University of Economics and Business, Chinese and Zambian Directors of the Confucius Institutes in Africa, and representatives from Chinese universities and Confucius Institute Headquarters, over 200 guests in total were present at the Ceremony.
Ambassador Yang in his remarks expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the opening of the Joint Conference in Zambia, and extended his warmest welcome to all the officials and teachers from China and Africa. He said that the Confucius Institute Headquarters has made consistent efforts to promote the China-Africa friendship, and the rapid developing Confucius Institutes in Africa has become an important vehicle of cultural exchanges between China and Africa. He highly appreciated the immense support rendered by the Zambian side to the Confucius Institute for teaching Chinese and promoting Chinese culture. He then made three suggestions on further promoting the development of Confucius Institutes in Africa: Firstly, to cater for the actual learning demands of the people in different countries, not only emphasizing the general character, but also taking into consideration of the unique conditions of each country, and providing the educational contents which can be easily appreciated by the local people. Secondly, to give full play to the comparative advantage of China and Africa, so as to promote both the Chinese and African culture, and enhance cultural exchanges and common development. Thirdly, to enhance the practicability and pertinence of the Chinese language teaching, integrate closely with China-Africa practical cooperation, and raise the ability of the local people in opening businesses and getting jobs. Ambassador Yang said the Chinese Embassy in Zambia is committed to encourage the development of the Confucius Institute, promote a better understanding of the people of Zambia and other countries about China, and deepen the friendship and cooperation between China and Africa.
Hon. Dr. Dennis Wanchinga, Minister of General Education of Zambia in his remarks expressed his pleasure for the rapid development of the Confucius Institutes in Africa and affirmed the important role played by the Confucius Institutes in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Africa and China. He said that China is an all-weather friend of Zambia and the whole Africa. In recent years, China-Africa cooperation has opened a new chapter, with many achievements from cooperation in various fields between China and Zambia. He said the Zambian Government is committed to keep promoting the consistent and healthy development of China-Zambia relations. The Zambian side attaches great importance to the educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation with China and is hopeful to make joint efforts with China in developing the Confucius Institute into an important platform for deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa.
Mr. Xia Jianhui in his remarks spoke highly of the achievements of the African Confucius Institutes in recent years. He said although the numbers of Confucius Institutes in Africa are few, they perform the best in the world. He expressed his hope that both Chinese and African sides will maintain the good momentune of cooperation, continue to improve the education quality of the Confucius Institutes constantly, expand the Chinese teaching and promote Chinese culture, and make greater contribution to the development of China-Africa friendship under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Prof. Wu Yiqing said, as the partner Chinese University, the Hebei University of Economics and Business would like to further strengthen its the exchanges and cooperation with UNZA through the Confucius Institute, and further promote the people-to-people exchanges.
The Conference lasted two days, and the participants held in-depth exchanges around on the topics including local teacher training, vocational and technical training, cooperation between Confucius Institutes and Chinese companies.