October 7, 2019
By Yusufu S. Bangura
As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People Republic of China, last Friday the Confucius Institute at Fourah Bay College celebrated their 15th years of existence in Sierra Leone at Kort Right in Freetown.
Giving a brief introduction about the institute, Director of Confucius Institute, University of Sierra Leone, Professor Bai Shuping said they were very happy to celebrate 15 years of existence in Sierra Leone, with already school boys and girls willing to learn the Chinese language.
He said the institute was established in Sierra Leone to seriously learn about Sierra Leone and its people, what they eat, where and how they behave and how they go about their daily activities.
He said as a result, they have knew much about Sierra Leone and that they have introduced their own culture and have also sent Sierra Leoneans to China to learn more about their culture.
He continued that they have also established the institute for them to teach Chinese language and to bridge the language barriers between the two countries.
He said it has been a journey of 15years of the Confucius Institute work in the country, especially within the University of Sierra Leone, from the time of its establishment to now, it has been working effectively.
He noted that they have always made Chinese learning a focal point and have provided the platform for people to communicate in Chinese, and that the institute has always been committed to meeting the aspiration and needs of Sierra Leoneans to learn Chinese language and know about Chinese culture.
“I would like you all to join us as we celebrate 15 years anniversary of the Confucius Institute.We are so lucky that Chinese language tutorial is taking place at the University of Sierra Leone,” he said.
He concluded that the two countries would continue to work together to strengthen the relationship that have been existing between them.
Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang said he was grateful to the people of Sierra Leone, because they joined them to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the first Confucius Institute in the world.
He congratulated the institute on its 15th anniversary and thanked the University of Sierra Leone for it continuous support towards the work of the institute and the cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador Zhangliang mentioned that the purpose of the establishment of the Confucius Institute was to enhance mutual cultural communication and educational cooperation between the two countries.
He continued that the institute has also provided scholarship to help local students in achieving their dreams and that they were now 5,000 students, who have studied at the Confucius Institute in Sierra Leone.
“As Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, I will endeavour to strengthen the cultural and educational communication cooperation that exist between us and I wish today’s events a big success and I want the Confucius institute at the University of Sierra Leone to continue its success,” he said.
Representative from University of Sierra Leone, Munda J.S Lebbie, noted that what happened at the event was a clear manifestation of the relationship that has existed between the two countries.
He said the institute is quite a devoted one that aimed at implementing their primary mission of language teaching and cultural studies, adding that the institute started at FBC about five to six years ago, as a unit embedded in the language studies department that offers Chinese languages for interested staffs and students for free.
He said the s2019/20 academic year would witness the start of a Bachelor of Art with honors degree in Chinese language and cultural studies in University of Sierra Leone.
He added that the administration is committed to providing integrated and coordinated support for the implementation of all agreement of the past years and they are also determine to break down barriers between the university and the institute with the view to improving the performance and accountability.