Confucius Centre benefits countries - Prof

By Leungo Rakgati

GABORONE, - The opening of the Confucius Institute in Gaborone will benefit both Botswana and China socially, economically and culturally.

Speaking during the opening of the centre at the University of Botswana, the deputy vice chancellor Professor Frank Youngman said it would not only foster relations between intellectuals, but also tackle issues of concern such as technology and climate change.

He said since the world was changing, the institution would be of benefit to both countries as communication would now become easy.

Prof. Youngman said UB made a good move because other universities across the world are enjoying the benefits of a Confucius Institution.

He said this was also good for Botswana because China had proved to be a strong global leader when it came to technology.

He noted that what the two countries had done was to strengthen the good relations they had over the years.

Prof. Youngman encouraged UB students and staff to really support the initiative and be part of it.

He said the general public and specific groups were welcome to enroll at the institution, adding that there would be occasional public workshops and conferences to familiarise the institution to the people.

On behalf of the Ambassador of China to Botswana Ms Nancy Wu Jihong said the institution was certainly the highlight of fruitful ties between the two countries and would bring the two closer.

Ms Wu Jihong thanked the two universities for making this possible, particularly at a time when close cultural and educational ties were being forged between the two countries.

She said it was important for people to learn about each other, noting that Chinese was a great language of the oldest civilizations.

Ms Wu Jihong said she hoped that more young Botswana would be interested in learning Chinese.

Shanghai Normal University vice president Professor Lu Jianfei said the institution would deepen the relationship the two countries have had and also promote cultural ties to create a peaceful world.

Prof. Jianfei said the Confucius Institute would be of great importance to all, as students would be taught according to their abilities so that everyone benefits.

He said since the world was changing the institution would also help in easy communication and dissemination of important information.

Prof Jianfei said both universities had identified the need to establish the institution and would work towards making it a success.

The Confucius Institute is a collaboration between UB and the Shanghai Normal University in Shanghai, China. It geared at teaching the Chinese language and culture in Botswana.(BOPA)

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