The Confucius Institute (CI) at the University of Namibia (UNAM) celebrated its 10th anniversary since it started operations in 2013. The ceremony was held in the Namibian capital of Windhoek and was attended by officials and students from the UNAM, representatives from the Chinese embassy, and a visiting delegation from the China University of Geosciences (Beijing).
Speaking at the event, Kenneth Matengu, vice chancellor of the UNAM, said the Confucius Institute has been a beacon of cultural exchange, language learning, and mutual understanding between Namibia and China.
“The CI has been instrumental in bringing the rich tapestry of Chinese language, culture, and traditions to the Namibian people. There are 15 teaching sites in different towns of Namibia, and 7,118 learners have studied the Chinese language at the CI over the past 10 years,” he said.
Matengu noted that in the past two years, the CI has organized 58 cultural activities, and Chinese medical lectures, which were attended by more than 6,800 people. Over the years, more than 70,000 people have participated in activities organized by the CI.
Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhao Weiping said the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the UNAM is a milestone in the cultural and educational exchange between the two countries.
“The 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute at the UNAM has opened a new chapter, and we still have a long way to go. With the strong support of all our friends present here, we will certainly make even greater achievements in promoting Chinese language and culture learning in Namibia,” Zhao added.
Lin Shanyuan, vice chairman of the China University of Geosciences (Beijing), said the CI is not only a platform for cultural exchange, but also a platform for deepening inter-university exchanges and cooperation, adding that he hopes to see more and more CI students will visit the Chinese university to have more exposure to various fields.
The ceremony also featured various performances, including Chinese folk songs and dances, kung fu shows, Chinese songs, and traditional Namibian cultural performances, topped off by a photo exhibition of the various interactions that have taken place over the years.