Confucius Institute celebrates 5th anniversary, inaugurates Alumni Association

BY: Mohammed Ali

The Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana has celebrated its fifth anniversary with the inauguration of its Alumni Association last Wednesday.

The Institute serves as a focal point for all China-related activities; cultural and educational collaborations between China and Ghana.

The Institute founded in May 2013 with the support of Zhejiang University of Technology in China and the University of Ghana has enrolled more than 5,000 students and successfully held a series of activities like the Chinese Spring Festival, Global Confucius Institute Day, Chinese Enterprises Campus Recruitment among others.

Speaking at the event, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Wang Shiting expressed satisfaction at the growing cultural exchange between China and Ghana.

He acknowledged the efforts of the Institute in furthering the understanding and appreciation of both the language and culture of China.

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With the strong support and commitment of the Chinese Embassy, Mr Wang said the Confucius Institute will continue to build a strong bridge between Chinese people and people all over the world to exchange, communicate and understand each other.

He also expressed the hope that the Institute would make persistent efforts to make new breakthroughs in mutual learning and mutual emulation of the two cultures.

In her speech, the Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana, Dr Meilian Mei expressed appreciation to the teachers and volunteers who have contributed significantly to the development of the Confucius Institute over the years.

She said the Confucius Institute had worked hard to promote the teaching and learning of the Chinese language and the spread of Chinese culture in Ghana and its teachers deserve commendation for the effort they have made thus far.

She said with 3500 students at present, the institute was proud to liaise with Chinese universities to secure educational and scholarship opportunities for Ghanaian students mainly from the University of Ghana to pursue their master’s degree and PhD programmes in China.

Dr Meilian noted that aside its numerous campus educational activities, the Confucius building boasts of several Chinese cultural artifacts and a reading-room stocked with over 3,000 books as well as other literatures that provide students as well as guests, the necessary information about China and its culture.

Touching on the launch on the alumni association, she said the establishment of the Alumni Association of the Institute will not only keep track of people who have attended the Institute and find out how they are benefiting from learning Chinese language, but would also ensure that they can interact with each other, particularly when they leave the Institute.

She said the association will further enhance the existing cordial relationship between the two countries and promote economic growth and encouraged more Ghanaians to visit the centre and participate in its activities.

Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Madam Catherine Afeku on her part said the Confucius institute as an educational institution plays a vital role in deepening bilateral and other relationships between Ghana and China.

She said as the relationship between the Ghanaian society and the Chinese society grows, it is important to gain knowledge about each other's culture and traditions as these strengthen the relationship and increases mutual understanding and tolerance.