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Egypt Builds 1st Confucius Institute
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China and Egypt inked an agreement in Cairo yesterday which will bring a new Confucius Institute to Cairo University.


The agreement was signed by Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Wu Sike, representing the Office of Chinese Language Council International, and members of famed Cairo University.


Speaking at the event, Wu announced that Cairo University, one of the most prestigious universities in Africa, would host Egypt's first Confucius Institute.


Interest in China and the Chinese language is growing among Egyptians due to regular bilateral exchanges in political, economic and educational fields, said Wu.


He noted that despite several Egyptian universities, including Cairo University, Al-Azhar University, Ain Shams University and Suez Canal University, setting up Chinese-language departments, these institutions were often unable to welcome all the Egyptian students looking to fulfill their interest in China.


The Confucius Institute in Cairo University will cater to the needs of Egyptian learners by offering a series of Chinese-language programs and train Chinese-language teachers for education at all levels, revealed the Chinese ambassador.


According to the agreement, Cairo University will receive a grant of between US$50,000 and US$100,000 from the Office of Chinese Language Council International to help get the Confucius Institute off the ground.


The office will further donate multimedia teaching materials to Cairo University, while China's Peking University will link up with Cairo by dispatching Chinese-language teachers to the Confucius Institute, said Wu.


"Promoting Chinese language teaching in Egypt will be of great benefit to future exchanges and cooperation between Egypt and China," Wu added.


Cairo University, set up in 1908, created its formal Chinese department last September after beginning to teach Chinese in October, 2004, at which point the idea setting up a Confucius Institute was first touted.


In an effort to promote the Chinese language and culture worldwide, the Chinese government plans to create a network of over 100 Confucius Institutes across the globe.


(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2007)

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