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Senior government officials, diplomats, faculty members take a group photo at the Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa at the University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 30, 2024.

Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa launched in Nairobi

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Students perform during the opening ceremony at the Joint Conference of African Confucius institutes at the University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 30, 2024.

The 2024 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa is underway in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference, which started on Thursday and continues through June 1, aims to enhance the role of Confucius Institutes in fostering cultural exchange, educational development, and bilateral cooperation between China and African nations. This year’s theme is “Promoting Localization, Development, Collaboration, and Innovation of African Confucius Institutes.”

A series of keynote speeches, panel discussions, and cultural performances marked the event.

Stephen Kiama, vice chancellor of the University of Nairobi, said that the joint meeting reaffirms the commitment of both Africa and China to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers and promote mutual exchanges.

“The gathering of this conference is a testament to what we can do together. Indeed, it signifies our commitment to dismantling cultural and language barriers,” he said.

Professor Yang Wei, President of Chinese International Education Foundation, also highlighted the important role of Confucius Institutes in the relationship between China and Africa.

“China will work together with African friends to promote and carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation from generation to generation,” he said. “This is also the most important guideline for us to continue to secure the cooperation of Confucius institutions and Confucius classrooms.”

The event also featured the launch of the East African Confucius Institute Alliance and the Tianjin Alumni Association Kenya Chapter.

The principal secretary of the State Department for Parliamentary Affairs within the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya, Aurelia Chepkirui Rono, said the conference marked a significant milestone in the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

“This conference marks a pivotal moment in our shared journey towards fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among various Confucius institutes in Africa.”

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