Confucius Institute inaugurated at Cape Coast University
A Confucius Institute has been inaugurated at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to provide support for economics and trade through education and cultural exchanges, and strengthen the bond between Ghana and China.
An implementation agreement has therefore been signed between the two sides.
The Institute is a branch of the Chinese Educational Institute, based on the teachings of Confucius, a leading figure in Chinese history, to promote Chinese language and culture, worldwide. It was founded in 2004.
The UCC Branch, initiated in 2008, is being hosted in partnership with the Hunan City University, and it is the second to be established in the country, after that of the University of Ghana, Legon.
As of last year, 130 of such institutes had been established in academic institutions worldwide with 60 of them in Africa.
Madam Sun Baohong, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, speaking at the inauguration, said through the institute, the longstanding bond of traditional friendship and rapid development of cooperation in economic, trade and bilateral relations would be strengthened.
She encouraged the younger generation to learn the Chinese language because the ability to speak Chinese was a major advantage for Ghanaian students to get jobs easily in the increasing Chinese companies in Ghana as well as China.
She said the Institute would also deepen the educational exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and their educational institutions, explaining that Ghana now had more students in China than any other African country.
More than 4,600 Ghanaian students are studying in China.
“With mutual learning, the young generation would become a new force to facilitate common progress and development of our two countries,” she said, adding that the Embassy would not spare any effort to support the development of the Institute at the University.
Madam Baohong said China regarded African civilization as an integral part of the world’s civilization and the mutual learning was one of the pillars to support the strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Africa.
She therefore urged developing countries to make concerted efforts to strengthen their national identities and protect their national wealth as they strive to become modern.
The Vice Chancellor of the Univeristy of Cape Coast, Professor Domwini D. Kuupole, said the Institute was intended to play a positive role and empower both the university and the country, as well as enlarge and enrich intellectual debate for proper understanding of each other.
He said the collaboration was important and explained that the introduction of the Chinese language and culture could serve as a new measure for research methods and be a positive addition to the Ghanaian culture.
He praised his predecessors and other key personalities who were instrumental in the establishment of the Institute and urged the students to take advantage of the opportunity to add more value to themselves.
The President of Hunan City University, Prof. Li Jian Qi, said the mutual agreement between the two universities would lead to economic exchanges and gave the assurance that his university would ensure smooth development for productive cooperation.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu- Agyare, the Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, said the collaboration was part of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries and urged stakeholders to use the Institute to promote the relationship.