A group of Rwandan students at the college of education of the University of Rwanda have started taking classes in the Chinese dialect with an aim to tap into opportunities in the Asian country.
The Confucius Institute has been the pioneer to provide a comprehensive platform for Chinese language and which is devoted to participants from different socio-economic categories as a move to promote Chinese culture as part of Sino-Rwanda bilateral relations.
“It originated in Rwanda in 2009,” says Mark Zhang, director of the institute that has seen over 3,500 students graduated in these Chinese language program.
Thirty-two-year-old Cedric Ndizeye who graduated from the institute in 2013 is impressed by his overall enhancement and ability to speak in Chinese.
“Apart from speaking Chinese, the one-year program helped me to understand more about Chinese culture in many ways. I am now among the few Rwandans citizens to speak Chinese,” Ndizeye said.
Many Rwandan graduates from the Confucius Institute who spoke in an interview believe that one of the benefits of the program is improved knowledge of Chinese culture from different perspectives, along with opportunity to go there to study and meet people and also learn more about China.
Speaking in the same vein, the director of Confucius Institute at the college of Education of the University of Rwanda, Mark Zhang said that the purpose of Chinese language program in Rwanda aims especially at teaching young Rwandan people about how they can use their own mind and using acquired language skills to think and to communicate with Chinese people.
“We are emphasizing to help these young people [in Rwanda] who are keen to discover the outside world by emulating Chinese entrepreneurial skills so that in the end, they become resourceful enough to depend on themselves,” he stated.
Among participants in this one-year training course include university students, politicians, civil servants and business people.