Robert Anane/Elizabeth Ofosu, GNA
Accra, May 31, GNA - The Confucius Institute (CI) at the University of Ghana, on Wednesday marked its fifth anniversary with the launch of Alumni Association.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Wang Shiting, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, who launched the Alumni Association, said the CI was a bridge for the Chinese and people all over the world to communicate with and understand each other.
He said with the fast pace at which Ghana-China relations was growing and improving, as well as the various collaborations taking place between Ghana and China in a number of sectors, the Confucius Institute by its mandate, was playing a very crucial role.
Mr Wang observed that language was key in strengthening understanding and collaboration, adding that by studying the Chinese language, Ghanaians enhanced their dealings with the Chinese, which promoted beneficial interactions.
He expressed the hope that the Institute would endeavour to make new breakthroughs and continue to foster more cooperation between Ghana and China.
Madam Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, who joined the Chinese Ambassador to launch the Alumni Association, said as relations between Ghana and China grew, it was important for the peoples of the two countries to gain knowledge on each other’s culture and traditions, as these strengthened the relationship and increased mutual understanding and tolerance.
“I am happy to note that more and more Ghanaians are taking steps to learn the Chinese language, as more Ghanaian students choose to further their studies in China, and more business collaborations between Ghanaian and Chinese enterprises are established,” she said.
The Minister commended the CI for its enthusiasm and efforts at promoting not only the Chinese language, but also Chinese culture, saying language could not be separated from culture.
“Understanding the culture of a people in addition to their language, results in healthy communication, which ensures good relations,” she said.
Madam Afeku also commended the CI for organising the campus job recruitment fairs by Chinese enterprises, which created opportunities of employment for Ghanaians, especially young graduates.
She said she looked forward to closer collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Confucius Institute, to promote exchanges between Ghana and China, in the area of education, for the mutual gains of the two countries.
“I wish the Confucius Institute a happy anniversary and the best in its endeavours,” the Minister said.
Mr. Tang Hong, President of the Ghana Association of Chinese Societies and the Ghana Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said in the current era of globalisation, cultural exchanges formed an important means of promoting friendship and goodwill.
He said such exchanges also formed the bases of good diplomatic relations and cooperation.
Mr Tang said partnership was key to achieving positive results in this present era, adding that the Chinese Chamber of Commerce was fully behind the CI, which had cross-cultural studies between Ghana and China, at the core of its mandate.
The celebration was spiced with performances of Chinese dance, traditional Chinese Opera and Chinese musical instruments by Ghanaian students.
Founded in May 2013, the institute has enrolled more than 5,000 students over the years.
Apart from language teaching, the institute promotes the learning of Chinese culture.