Interview: Interest in learning Chinese skyrocketing in Cameroon

(Xinhua) 14:51, September 29, 2023

YAOUNDE, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Interest in Chinese language studies has been growing steadily in Cameroon, with the number of students taking Chinese courses in the Central African nation country increasing significantly, a Cameroonian official told Xinhua recently.

"We have nearly 20,000 Chinese learners, whether in primary, secondary or higher education. In all of Africa, Cameroon is the country with the highest number of Chinese language learners. We have nearly 200 secondary schools providing Chinese courses," said Didier Nama, National Pedagogic Inspector of Chinese Language in the Ministry of Secondary Education of Cameroon.

In 2008, only one state university offered a Chinese language diploma in the country, but now, four other state universities have formally applied to offer Chinese courses, Nama said. He added that nearly 300 Cameroonians co-trained by the University of Maroua and the Confucius Institute now teach the Chinese language in schools nationwide.

Demand for the language is growing because trade with China has been skyrocketing.

"It is difficult to find someone who has learned and mastered the Chinese language and is still unemployed ... which is not the case for other languages," Nama said.

After their studies are complete, Cameroonian students either continue to study in China or work in Chinese-related areas in Cameroon, Nama said, stressing that China offers the highest number of scholarships to Cameroonian students.

"Technology transfer can also be done via the students. This means that the scholarships that the Chinese government offers to the Cameroon government can enable this technology transfer," Nama said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Hongyu)


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