Kenyan varsity mulls Confucius Institute to boost Sino-Kenyan ties

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Embu University Vice Chancellor Daniel Mugendi
Embu University Vice Chancellor Daniel Mugendi/File | Nation Media Group

Kenya’s public university, Embu University is seeking to join the country’s tertiary institutions that host a Confucius Institute in order to boost Sino-Kenyan ties, an official said on Tuesday.

Daniel Mugendi, Vice Chancellor of the University of Embu told Xinhua in Nairobi that the education institution is keen to start teaching Chinese culture and language to its students.

Mugendi said that it is currently seeking to broaden its foreign language department and expand the array of services offered.

“We need as many languages and cultures as possible and Chinese is one we are seriously considering,” he added. Mugendi observed that China has emerged as an influential global player as its economy has expanded in the past decades.

According to the scholar, western languages have dominated the foreign language departments of most Kenyan universities but they are now keen to include Chinese in their curriculum.

Mugendi revealed that growing Sino-Kenyan relations have reinforced the importance of the Chinese language amongst the locals.

He observed that the number of Chinese investments being established in Kenya is increasing and that knowledge of the Asian language will boost employment prospects for students.

“The number of Chinese tourists visiting the country is increasing and this has increased the demand for locals who understand the Chinese language,” Mugendi noted. Currently, four Confucius institutes have been established in four Kenyan universities, including the University of Nairobi.

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