China's top political advisor visits Yaounde Stadium, Confucius Institute in Cameroon

15:40, March 26, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin visited a China-funded stadium and the Confucius Institute in Cameroon Thursday.

At the landmark stadium, the largest of its kind in central Africa, Jia watched local people play table tennis and stage a performance of Chinese kung fu.

The multifunctional stadium, located in downtown Yaounde, can hold more than 5,000 people.

Nicknamed "the Chinese stadium," it has hosted many international and regional sports and cultural events since June 2009, when it was inaugurated by Cameroonian President Paul Biya.

At the stadium, an advisor to the Cameroon Kung Fu Association told Jia that he knew about China by learning Chinese kung fu, and he found that kung fu and the Cameroonian culture share a lot in common.

"Instead of focusing on China's economic achievements, I think it is also necesssary to learn the Chinese culture so as to know about the country," he said.

Also on Thursday, Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), visited the Confucius Institute, which is based at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC).

In November, this institute, the first in Francophone Africa, partnered with five other teaching institutions to try to meet the demands for Cameroonians learning the Chinese language.

In total, the Cameroonian Confucius Institute has seven teaching centers, including IRIC, Yaounde University II, Yaounde Superior Institute for Commerce, Yaounde Normal Superior School, Saint-Andrew School in Douala, Maroua Normal Superior School in the extreme northern parts of the country and the Buea University in the west of the country.

According to Vice President of the Confucius Institute in Cameroon Zhang Xiaozhen, a teacher who was sent by the Zhejiang Normal University in China, the number of teachers has increased from two to 17, now including 15 from China and two from Cameroon.

"We have more than 2,000 students who are registered in our institute. We are overwhelmed. Business people, Cameroonian civil servants as well as other professionals from the private sector, are all coming to us to study Chinese," she explained.

In fact, in Yaounde, the teaching of the Chinese language started in 1996 with the opening of the first teaching center for the Chinese language and civilization at the IRIC under Yaounde University II. Initially, the classes were only offered to the students of the institution.

The classes were open to the public five years later. At first, the number of students appeared to be very low. In 2004, due to an increased demand for Chinese classes around the entire world, this center started organizing tests and competitions whose winners are given the opportunity to go to China.

In 2007, during a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Cameroon, the leaders of the two countries decided to establish a Confucius Institute. On Nov. 9, 2007, this Confucius Institute was inaugurated.

Source: Xinhua
  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Houston Rockets vs LA Clippers: 93-99
  • Stunning beauty of dotted lake in Canada
  • Different way to see things -- X-ray vision
  • First tyrannosaur rex bone discovered in southern hemisphere
  • Artist's impression: nuclear bombing
  • Russian bombers "intercepted in British airspace"
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion