Ethiopian Tesfahun Tsehaye was one of the 15 university students who have participated in the recently held 16th edition of Chinese Proficiency Competition, dubbed Chinese Bridge, in Addis Ababa, capital of the Ethiopia.
Winning the contest held at country-level with second highest score, the electrical engineering student highlighted the strong China-Africa relations, particularly with the ever-growing Chinese investment on the African continent.
Sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, the competition was organized last Saturday by Confucius Institute at the Addis Ababa University.
The contestants went through three rounds of the competition involving presenting speeches in Chinese language, question and answer session, and talent shows on Chinese cultures like chanting verses, singing, dancing and kung fu.
Noting the closer ties between the two sides, Tesfahun hails the role Chinese Bridge program plays in promoting cultural exchanges and people-to-people relations between Africa and China.
Tsehaye, who will be traveling to China for the second time to attend the International Chinese proficiency competition, said the future is promising for students who properly learn the Chinese language considering the market demand, induced by the growing Chinese investments in Africa.
The competition is said to play an important role in promoting the China-Africa cooperation on education and culture.
Yan Xiangdong, Cultural Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, said China has worked very hard to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation in education sector.
“In the last several years, the Chinese side worked hard to promote the cultural and education relations through language teaching as we think the language is an important tool for the understanding and friendship,” he said.
Mikias Gebre, another university student who participated and scored highest in the Saturday’s contest, sees the program as a good platform to promote friendship and relations with the Chinese.
For Zelalem Leyew, Dean of the College of Humanities, Language Studies, Journalism and Communication of the Addis Ababa University, it is the result of the strong relations between Africa and China that many African scholars and university students now speak Chinese language in different cities and towns of the continent, which was not seen 10 and 20 year ago.
“Today, there are more Chinese-speaking African students and instructors in different cities and towns of Africa, which is the result of the strong contact between different African countries and China,” he said.
Leyew hailed the Confucius Institute (the Chinese language unit) as a “vibrant” and “active” unit with quality of Chinese instructors.
He also noted that there is more demand in the market for graduates in Chinese language, despite the number of graduates, which he said is less than sufficient. Enditem