The Confucius Institute at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar is “one of the flagships of cooperation” between Senegal and China, its former executive director Mamadou Fall said Saturday.
The institute “is a building which gives an unparalleled appeal,” Fall told Xinhua in an interview.
“The institute’s main vocation was to teach Chinese language and culture, but the rectorate had the foresight to give it a much more open orientation by integrating vocational education into its curriculum,” he said.
According to Fall, who served as executive director in 2015-2021, the number of students in the institute has grown from around 50 to at least 500.
“These are students from generalist training courses before, who have enrolled in professions in agriculture, oil and gas. This institute was able, in a very limited time, to pass from a simple language institute, to an excellent institute which is at the heart of the professionalization of the courses at the university,” he said.
For example, under a cooperation program, Senegalese students interested in agriculture can spend six months to receive theoretical training at the institute, and then finish a six-month internship at the Chinese Agricultural Assistance Center, where they will be taught a number of new agricultural techniques.
“I am used to presenting Chinese cooperation as one of the most generous in the world. We have witnessed it in recent years in several sectors,” Fall said, citing several quality infrastructures in Senegal built with China’s help, as well as China’s support for Senegal amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senegal-China cooperation is one “at the heart of the satisfaction of the most immediate and important needs of the Senegalese people,” he added. Enditem