May 19 marked the end of the 2017 Joint Conference of Confucius institutes in Africa.
The two day conference themed: Vocational and technical training by Confucius Institutes, cooperation between Confucius institutes and Chinese-funded agencies and local teacher training had more than 260 international delegates participating in the conference.
The participating delegates were divided into three clinic sessions of which each deliberated on the theme of the conference. The deliberations highlighted various problems faced by Confucius institutes in Africa as well as proposed solutions to these problems.
In his last remarks to the delegates, Deputy Director General of the Confucius institute Headquarters, Xia Jianhui noted that Hanban took note of the many problems faced by CIs in Africa and would look at implementing the solutions to these problems.
“It should be noted that all CIs in Africa have different problems of which we now need to implement solutions to. This will however involve a lot of factors and will be a long process requiring all parties to come on board and accomplish this goal,” Xia said. 
Xia further appreciated all the delegates that participated in the conference. He noted that their contributions and ideas reflected the headquarters pre-conference plans which boosted Hanbans confidence for CI business in Africa.

He also expressed gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the University of Zambia (UNZA) management and staff, Chinese management and staff and all parties involved in the preparations of the conference for their support. Xia observed that this year’s conference was the biggest there has been. 
“I am impressed with the success of this event. This conference has been the biggest we have ever had, a record that will forever be remembered in the CI Conference history. This conference had the largest number of international delegate participation,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education Peggy Chirwa called on Governments and Ministries in CI in Africa to embrace the basic paradigm changes in implementation, administration and mobilization of the Chinese language and culture.
“The Chinese language is being taught in many Confucius Institutes in Africa. What this entitles is that there is need to invest in human capital in order to have a pool of Africa’s own home grown lectures for Chinese. Therefore there is need to finance the training of Academics and development of capacity,” Chirwa said.
And UNZA Deputy Vice-Chancellor Pro. Enala Mwase expressed gratitude to the Confucius institute Headquarters Hanban for having confidence in the University to host the conference. 
“As UNZA we feel honored to have been asked to be the flag bearers of the 2017 Joint Conference, this gesture will outlive many generations to come. For the Financial assistant rendered we are grateful, we also thank all parties involved in the preparations of the conference,” Mwase said.
The conference ended at 17:00hrs with the international delegates departing for their home countries.

Story by Chola Chella