A Chinese language institute, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe
and the 85th around the world, was officially established at the
University of Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
The Confucius Institute was jointly built by the Office of
Chinese Language Council International and the University of
The Zimbabwe Confucius Institute is a case that indicates the
increasing cultural and educational exchange activities between
China and Zimbabwe, said Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhang
Xianyi at the ceremony on signing a memorandum on this matter.
Zhang said he was fully convinced that with the support of the
two governments the institute will serve as an ideal platform for
the people of Zimbabwe to learn the Chinese language and know about
the Chinese culture.
"It is bound to make greater contributions to enhance the
bilateral cultural and educational exchange between the two
countries and two peoples," he said.
The ambassador said Confucius is a great thinker and educator in
ancient China, and the essence of Confucianism, which he founded
around 2,500 year ago is harmony and peace.
It has been a virtue for the Chinese nation for generations to
love and safeguard peace, maintain good neighborliness, coexist
peacefully with people of all over the world, said the
China and Zimbabwe are endowed with a long history of friendship
and relations of mutual benefit, and the two countries are always
sympathized with and accord valuable support to each other, Zhang
He said the past years had witnessed comprehensive and profound
development of the bilateral relations and increased exchange and
cooperation on culture and education between the two countries.
Stan Mudenge, Zimbabwean minister of higher and tertiary
education, said at the ceremony that language is an important tool
that helps promote mutual understanding and friendship among
people. To that end the Zimbabwean government encourages its people
to learn foreign languages and culture.
"The establishment of the institute is but the beginning in a
series of educational programs that we intend to initiate with
China," the minister said.
With the Confucius Institute in place, the people of Zimbabwe
will learn more about the Chinese cultural diversity and how unity
is achievable in this sea of different cultures and subcultures
that make up the great Chinese nation, Mudenge said.
Mudenge said Zimbabwe also envisages the launching of short-term
courses in Chinese language at the Management Training Bureau and
more programs, for example, the establishment of a department of
pharmacology at the Harare Institute of Technology, will facilitate
and enhance the transfer of technology for sustainable development
He also expressed thanks to the Chinese ambassador for the
US$100,000 donation to the institute by the Chinese government.
(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2006)