The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, has commended the Confucius Institute for facilitating cultural ties between Ghana and China.
He said since the establishment of the institute at the University of Ghana in 2014, it had supported educational and cultural exchanges between Ghana and China through teaching and learning of the Chinese language and culture, noting that it was important to learn other people’s culture to better understand and relate with them.
Prof. Owusu was speaking at the 2016 Global Confucius Institute Day, which was held at the University of Ghana in Accra last Thursday.
The institute, which is co-hosted by the University of Ghana and the Zhejang University of Technology in China, was started in 2014. It has been a centre for the teaching of Chinese language proficiency, Chinese tea culture, Chinese calligraphy and traditional Chinese medicine.
400 Confucius Institutes globally
The institute forms part of the over 400 Confucius Institutes established around the world, in memory of a great Chinese philosopher and educator, Confucius, known in Chinese as Kong Qui, whose vision was to set up a harmonious world and provide education to everyone.
In Ghana, the institute was first established at the University of Ghana in 2014 and the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in 2016, offering Chinese language proficiency and Chinese cultural courses, and the Confucius Institute (CI) Day is marked every September 28 to celebrate Confucius, as well as promote the Chinese culture.
The ceremony, attended by some Chinese nationals, students, and management of the University of Ghana, was graced with performances of Chinese plays, dance, martial arts, songs and dance by the students of the University of Ghana Basic School and students of the institute.
Prof. Owusu indicated that the centre had given opportunity to Ghanaians, as well as other Africans within the sub-region to take the Chinese proficiency test and test for the certification of Chinese language teachers.
The institute’s achievement
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Sun Baohong, also congratulated the institute on its achievements within its two years of operation.
She said the institute had enrolled about 2,200 Ghanaian students, while about 70 Ghanaian students from the University of Ghana had obtained scholarship for master’s and PhD programmes in China.
The Director of the Confucius Institutes, Dr Meilian Mei, in her address, said the Confucius Institute headquarters in China had also approved a plan for the institute to organise summer camp in China in 2017 for excellent junior high school (JHS) students.